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Dr. Salim Tamari

Esteemed Palestinian Sociologist

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Date of Birth:



Ancient port city of Jaffa, Palestine

Place of Birth:

Why Featured?

Groundbreaking work in urban sociology and Palestinian history.

Brief bio

Dr. Salim Tamari is an esteemed sociologist and historian, known for his insightful analysis of Middle Eastern urban society, with a focus on Palestinian social history and urban culture. As a professor, author, and researcher, Tamari has significantly contributed to the understanding of Palestinian identity, heritage, and the complexities of life under occupation through his scholarly work.

Major Milestones


  • Educational Foundations: Born in Jaffa in 1945, Tamari's educational journey took him from Birzeit College in the West Bank to earning a B.A. in politics from Drew University, an M.A. in sociology from the University of New Hampshire, culminating in a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Manchester in 1983. These academic achievements laid the groundwork for his distinguished career...See More

  • Academic Tenure at Birzeit University: Since 1971, Tamari has been a foundational figure in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Birzeit University, significantly influencing generations of students and the academic study of Palestinian society. [Read more here:

  • Director of the Institute for Jerusalem Studies: Appointed in September 1994, Tamari has led this critical institution, focusing on the historical and sociopolitical analysis of Jerusalem and its diverse communities...See More 

  • Visiting Professorships and Fellowships: Tamari's expertise has been recognized globally, resulting in visiting professorships and fellowships at prestigious institutions, including the University of California Berkeley, New York University, Cornell University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Cambridge.

  • Editorial Leadership: As editor of the "Jerusalem Quarterly" and "Hawliyyat al Quds," Tamari has played a vital role in curating and disseminating research on Jerusalem's cultural and historical landscape, fostering a deeper understanding of the city's complexities.

  • Documenting Urban Culture and Political Sociology: Tamari's works, such as "Year of the Locust" and "The Mountain Against the Sea," offer profound insights into the urban culture, political sociology, and social history of Palestine, particularly during pivotal historical moments like World War I.

  • Biographical and Social History: Through meticulous research, Tamari has illuminated the lives and contributions of significant figures in Palestinian history, as seen in "Ihsan's War: The Intimate Life of an Ottoman Soldier," providing a nuanced understanding of individual experiences within broader social and political contexts.

  • Contributions to Ottoman and Mandate Jerusalem Studies: Collaborating with scholars like Issam Nassar, Tamari has edited works that delve into the social history of Ottoman and Mandate Jerusalem, highlighting the city's multifaceted past and its impact on contemporary identities and conflicts...See More

  • Analysis of Palestinian Refugee Negotiations: Tamari's scholarship on Palestinian refugee negotiations, from the Madrid Conference to Oslo II, has contributed significantly to the academic and policy discussions surrounding refugee rights, status, and negotiations.

  • Preservation of Palestinian Historical Record: Through his leadership at the Institute for Jerusalem Studies and his editorial work, Tamari has been instrumental in preserving and promoting the Palestinian historical record, offering invaluable resources for scholars, students, and the general public interested in Palestine's past and present.

Date of Last Update: 
April 2, 2024

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