Assistant Professor Samer Shehata came to SFS in the fall of 2001, one year after finishing his doctorate at Princeton University on issues of class and culture among Egyptian laborers. He was looking forward to teaching at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS), one of the foremost programs on the Middle East in the United States. He did not anticipate much of what would follow, including his rise to prominence as a media regular commenting on the relationship between the United States and the Arab world.
Shehata attributes the media's interest in him to simply being in the right place at the right time--moving to a prominent global research institution in a major media hub at the center of U.S. foreign policymaking in the wake of the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
This modest self-assessment overlooks Shehata's interdisciplinary expertise; he has been successful in bringing together a mix of political economy, comparative politics, political theory, and anthropology in his research and teaching efforts.
Born in Egypt, Shehata has lived in the United States since age five, and thus brings a unique angle to this important debate. In spite of his initial skepticism, Shehata has accepted his media role out of a deep sense of responsibility and civic duty. "I knew that I had something to contribute to the discussion of 9/11, Middle East politics, and the U.S. relationship with that part of the world," he said.
Shehata has offered commentary for many media outlets, including CNN, BBC, MSNBC, Fox, Al Jazeera, the New York Times, and NPR. He has also garnered positive attention for his scholarly work and earned a reputation as a charismatic and dynamic teacher. In the spring of 2002, Shehata and Professor Michael Hudson developed a course for SFS entitled "The US, the Middle East, and the War on Terrorism," which was featured on the BBC’s Newsnight, Fox News, and NPR's All Things Considered for its innovative use of a Middle Eastern politics simulation game putting students in the role of various actors involved in crucial real-world conflicts and situations. Learn more at ExploreGeorgetown...