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Sumaiya Hamdani


It's Not About Islam, Stupid!

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“Yes We Can” Since the flight of Tunisia’s Ben Ali on January 14th, there has apparently been a breakthrough in the imaginary of the possible in the Arab world.  I was in Egypt at the time, and reeling as everyone seemed to be from the bombing of the Coptic church in Alexandria, attention soon became fixed on Tunisia, and a moment of national unity in reaction to the tragic event in Alexandria, soon developed into a movement of national unity that dared to conceive of ...

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Sumaiya Hamdani


Sumaiya Hamdani received her B.A. from Georgetown University and M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University in the field of Islamic history.  She has received awards and fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, Social Science Research Council, and the Institute of Ismaili Studies, as well as research grants from Princeton and George Mason Universities.  She has served as book review editor for HAWWA: the Journal of Women in Middle East and Islamic Studies, and as board member of the American Institute of Yemeni Studies, as well as on committees for the Middle East Studies Association, and the Association of Muslim Social Scientists.  She founded and was director of the Islamic Studies program at George Mason from 2003-2008.

Dr. Hamdani's book, Between Revolution and State: the Construction of Fatimid Legitimacy (I.B. Tauris 2006) examines the development of legal and historical literature by the Ismaili Shi’i Fatimid state.  Her research has also included articles and reviews in the fields of Shi’i thought, Islamic thought in general, Islamic history and women in Islam.  Her teaching interests include Islamic, Middle East, Central Asian, and world history, as well as Muslim women's history.  Her current research examines the construction of identity in Muslim minority communities in South Asia during the colonial and post-colonial periods.