Center Publishes Book on Education in the Arab World
Center Publishes Book on Education in the Arab World
Tuesday, November 3,2009 14:08
By CCAS Staff

CCAS and Routledge recently published an edited volume on the topic of education in the Arab world. Contributions to the volume originated from two conferences on the subject, one hosted by CCAS in 2006, and one hosted by Georgetown's School of Foreign Service in Qatar in 2007. Dr. Osama Abi-Mershed, Assistant Professor of History at Georgetown, served as the chair of the CCAS conference and the editor of the volume. Contributors include Dr. André Elias Mazawi of the University of British Columbia, Dr. Malika Zeghal of the University of Chicago, and Dr. Munir Bashshur of the American University of Beirut.

To purchase a copy of the volume, please visit Routledge's website. Routledge's description of the book and a table of contents are below.


Trajectories of Education in the Arab World gives a broad yet detailed historical and geographical overview of education in Arab countries. Drawing on pre-modern and modern educational concepts, systems, and practices in the Arab world, this book examines the impact of Western cultural influence, the opportunities for reform and the sustainability of current initiatives.

The contributors bring together analyses and case studies of educational standards and structures in the Arab world, from the classical Islamic period to contemporary local and international efforts to re-define the changing needs and purposes of Arab education in the contexts of modernization, multiculturalism, and globalization. Taking a thematic and chronological approach, the first section contrasts the traditional notions, approaches, and standards of education with the changes that were initiated or imposed by European influences in the nineteenth century. The chapters then focus on the role of modern state-based educational systems in constructing and preserving national identities, cultures, and citizenries and concentrates on the role of education in state-formation and the reproduction of socio-political hierarchies. The success of educational reforms and policy-making is then assessed, offering perspectives on future trends and prospects for generating institutional and organizational change.

This book will be of interest to graduate and postgraduate students and scholars of education, history, Arab and Islamic history and the Middle East and North Africa.


Table of Contents

Introduction: The Politics of Arab Educational Reforms (Osama Abi-Mershed) Part 1: Historical Perspectives 1. The Principles of Instruction are the Grounds of Our Knowledge: Al-Farabi's Philosophical and al-Ghazali's Spiritual Approaches to Learning (Sebastian Günther) 2. Between the Golden Age and the Renaissance: Islamic Higher Education in Eighteenth-Century Damascus (Steve Tamari) 3. "If the Devil Taught French": Strategies of Language and Learning in French Mandate Beirut (Nadya Sbaiti) 4. "According to a Logic Befitting the Arab Soul": Cultural Policy and Popular Education in Morocco Since 1912 (Spencer Segalla) Part 2: Education and the Post-Colonial State 5. Public Institutions of Religious Education in Egypt and Tunisia: Contrasting the Post-Colonial Reforms of Al-Azhar and the Zaytuna (Malika Zeghal) 6. Palestinian Education in a Virtual State (Nubar Hovsepian) 7. Language-in-Education Policies in Contemporary Lebanon: Youth Perspectives (Zeena Zakharia) 8. Education as a Humanitarian Response as Applied to the Arab World, With Special Reference to the Palestinian Case (Colin Brock and Lala Demirdjian) Part 3: Education and Socio-Political Development: Reform, Policy, and Practice 9. Naming the Imaginary: "Building an Arab Knowledge Society" and the Contested Terrain of Educational Reforms for Development (André Elias Mazawi) 10. An Introduction to Qatar's Primary and Secondary Education Reform (Dominic J. Brewer and Charles A. Goldman) 11. Observations From the Edge of the Deluge: Are We Going Too Far Too Fast in our Educational Transformation in the Arab Gulf? (Munir Bashshur)

 2009 Arab Knowledge Report (link to the complete report)