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Samih Farsoun

Pioneering Palestinian Sociologist

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Date of Birth:



Haifa, Palestine

Place of Birth:

Why Featured?

Foundational Contributions to Palestinian Sociology

Brief bio

Samih Farsoun was a significant Palestinian-American sociologist, educator, and author, known for his critical perspectives on Middle Eastern politics and the sociology of the Arab world. His work has left a lasting impact on the understanding and study of Palestinian society and the broader Middle East.

Major Milestones


  • Educational Achievements: Farsoun earned his master’s degree in 1961 and his PhD in 1971, both in sociology from the University of Connecticut.

  • Academic Leadership: Served as the founding dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the American University of Sharjah, UAE, from 1997 to 1999, and later at the American University of Kuwait until his death in 2005...See More

  • Long-standing Educator: He was a professor of sociology at American University in Washington, DC for over three decades until his retirement in 2003.

  • Author and Editor: Authored several influential books, including "Palestine and the Palestinians" and "Culture and Customs of the Palestinians."

  • Active Contributor: Contributed extensively to scholarly journals and was a founding member of several scholarly associations, including the Middle East Studies Association of North America and the Association of Arab-American University Graduates...See More

  • Scholarly Publications: Farsoun's books and articles, such as "Palestine and the Palestinians", have become essential reading in Middle Eastern studies, providing deep insights into the social and political dynamics of the region.

  • Institution Building: Played a crucial role in establishing and leading new academic institutions in the Arab world, enhancing educational standards and opportunities.

  • Mentorship: Mentored numerous students and young academics, many of whom have gone on to become influential thinkers and scholars in their own right.

  • Public Education: Through his involvement with organizations like the Jerusalem Fund and the Palestine Center, he worked to educate the public on issues concerning the Middle East and Palestine.

  • International Advisory Roles: Served on international boards and committees, contributing to global discussions and policies on Middle Eastern studies.

Date of Last Update: 
May 9, 2024

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