Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Beshara Doumani

Beshara Doumani is a faculty fellow at the Institue as well as Joukowsky Family Distinguished Professor of Modern Middle East History and Director of the Middle East Studies Program.

“How I was treated, how our family was treated instilled in me this idea that the world has got to be a better place than this, and we should do something to change it.”

Beshara Doumani

Beshara Doumani: “A Place I Need to Study”

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Beshara Doumani focuses on the history of social groups, places, and time periods that have been silenced or erased by conventional scholarship on the early modern and modern Middle East. He helped pioneer the fields of Middle East family history and the social history of the Palestinians. His forthcoming book, The Rightful Beneficiaries: A Social History of Family Life in Ottoman Syria, 1660-1860, questions assumptions about Arab and Muslim families by revealing and then seeking to explain dramatic regional differences in the organization of family life within the same cultural zone. He is also the editor of Family History in the Middle East: Household, Property and Gender. His first book, Rediscovering Palestine: Merchants and Peasants in Jabal Nablus, 1700-1900 uses local sources such as family papers and legal records to tell an intimate and textured story of the transformation of Palestinian society during the Ottoman period.

Audio by Corinne Cathcart ’14 and Bo Schlagel ’13