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Max Weiss


Is the Center for Jewish Life Stifling Free Speech on Campus?

[Nassau Hall, Princeton University. Image by Wikimedia Commons user Inabluenm.]

I have never met Slav Leibin. Nonetheless, it recently came to my attention that he vetoed, with the approval of the Center for Jewish Life, my right to participate in a proposed panel on the recent hostilities in Gaza. Apparently this preemptive act of exclusion was carried out on entirely political grounds. This strikes me as an attempt to stifle the exchange of views on an important, if contentious, issue of concern to many in the Princeton University community — an ...

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Psychedelic Soup for the Sectarian Soul

[Poster for Where Do We Go Now? Image from promotional materials.]

Where Do We Go Now? Directed by Nadine Labaki. Lebanon/France, 2011.   There is a heartbreaking scene towards the end of Wa-hala’ li-wayn (Et maintenant on va où? Where do we go now?), the second feature film from Lebanese writer, producer and director Nadine Labaki. A teenaged Muslim boy named Hammoudi (Mostafa Al Sakka) who has playfully stolen a cap from his Christian neighbor, Nassim (Kevin Abboud), gets marched over by his mother Afaf (Layla Hakim) to ...

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New Texts Out Now: Max Weiss, "In the Shadow of Sectarianism"

[Cover of Max Weiss,

Max Weiss, In the Shadow of Sectarianism: Law, Shi`ism, and the Making of Modern Lebanon. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010. Jadaliyya: What made you write this book?  Max Weiss: I suppose the central question at the heart of my book is: How did the Lebanese Shi`a become sectarian? Amidst the flood of writing about the rise to prominence and influence of the Shi'i community in Lebanon during the second half of the twentieth century—with starring roles ...

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Max Weiss


Max Weiss is Assistant Professor of History and Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, specializing in the social, cultural, and intellectual history of the modern Middle East. After receiving his Ph.D. in History from Stanford in 2007, he held a postdoctoral fellowship in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton (2007-08) and was a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows (2008-10, 2011-12). Weiss is the author of In the Shadow of Sectarianism: Law, Shiʿism and the Making of Modern Lebanon (Harvard University Press, 2010), and the translator, most recently, of Hassouna Mosbahi, A Tunisian Tale (American University in Cairo Press).