Sharabi, H(isham) B(ashir) 1927-2005

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

SHARABI, H(isham) B(ashir) 1927-2005

OBITUARY NOTICE— See index for CA sketch: Born April 4, 1927, in Jaffa, Palestine (now Jaffa, Israel); died of cancer January 13, 2005, in Beirut, Lebanon. Activist, educator, and author. Sharabi was a liberal Arab intellectual who championed Palestinian rights and was cofounder of the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University. After graduating from the American University in Beirut in 1947, he moved to the United States to attend the University of Chicago. There he completed his master's degree in philosophy in 1948. When the state of Israel was created in 1948, the former Palestine was in chaos. Sharabi moved to Lebanon and joined the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, but a government crackdown against their activities forced him to return to Chicago. Completing a Ph.D. in the history of culture in 1953, he took a teaching job at Georgetown University as an assistant professor of history and government. In 1977 he was promoted to Omar al-Mukhtar Professor of Arab Culture there, helping to found the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, which is currently the only American institution devoted to modern Arab studies. He was also a cofounder of the Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development, and, in 1991, he created the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine. Though Sharabi consistently campaigned for the rights of his fellow Palestinians, he was also critical of the Palestine Liberation Organization and its leader, Yasser Arafat. Unlike many of his fellows, he advocated for women's rights and believed that the goal of Arabs in the Middle East should not be the destruction of the state of Israel. Instead, he argued that diplomats should work toward compromise and peaceful coexistence. Sharabi retired from Georgetown in 1998 and spent the last two years of his life living in Lebanon. He was the author of such books asGovernments and Politics of the Middle East in the Twentieth Century (1962), Arab Intellectuals and the West: The Formative Years, 1875-1914 (1970), Governments and Politics of the Middle East in the Twentieth Century (1987), and Hisham Sharabi Tells the Story of Three Cities He Lived In: Acre, Beirut, and Washington (1994).


OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Chicago Tribune, January 17, 2005, section 4, p. 9. Los Angeles Times, January 18, 2005, p. B10. Washington Post, January 16, 2005, p. C9.