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Introducing Ibrahim Gemeah, Postdoc in Middle East Studies Center

Ibrahim is a historian of the modern Middle East and modern Islam. He earned his B.A. in Islamic Studies from Al-Azhar University in Egypt, his Master’s in International Studies from the University of Washington, and his Ph.D. in the history of the modern Middle East from Cornell University.

Gemeah’s research draws on archival documents from the Egyptian National Archives, al-Azhar Archives in Egypt, and the National Archives in London to explore the interplay between state, society, religion, secularism, and politics in the 20th-century Middle East. His dissertation, an interdisiplinary project, explored the secular state’s relationship with religion and its instituions through the theoretical lense of bureaucracy and bureaucratization. It took Gamal Abdel Nasser’s rule in Egypt as a lense to analyze how a modern state uses its bureaucratizing mechanisms to dominate the religious field and implement its secular policies.

Prior to joining Duke, Gemeah was as a Humanities Research Fellow for the Study of the Arab World at New York University Abu Dhabi.

At Duke, Gemeah will teach two courses: an introductory course on the history of the modern Middle East and North Africa, and another course on the Arab Cold War. He will contribute to the intellectual life at the Duke University Middle East Studies Center (DUMESC) and the Department of History, fostering connections with Duke students and the broader Durham community.