The shared history of modernisation between Arabs and Americans was expounded at a recent lecture at Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q), where Professor Nathan J. Citino shared insights from his recent book Envisioning the Arab Future: Modernization in US-Arab Relations, 1945-1967.
Citino is a professor at Rice University who specialises in the history of US and the world with a focus on the Middle East. His talk focused on modernisation as a key theme of US Arab relations during the Cold War and included case studies of global Arab travel and conflicts over the development of post-revolutionary Iraq.
"The study of past Arab-American relations can help us to see contemporary issues in new ways," said Citino.
"Not so long ago, the dominant political discourse in the Arab world concerned secular economic development, and Arabs and Americans spoke a common language of modernisation."
The lecture was based on findings from Citino's book, which includes new research in both Arabic and English. The book assesses the regional implications of US power while examining a range of topics that transcend Arab-Israeli conflict, such as travel, community, gender, oil, and agriculture in both the United States and the Middle East.
The historian, who holds a Ph.D. from Ohio State University, is also the author of From Arab Nationalism to Opec: Eisenhower, King Saud, and the Making of US-Saudi Relations. He has published widely, including articles in titles such as Diplomacy and Statecraft, the International Journal of Middle East Studies, the Business History Review, the Arab Studies Journal, and Cold War History.