Author Archives: Steve Tamari

About Steve Tamari

Ever since I was a child I wanted to blog. Here goes. I have crossed many borders and boundaries. My father is from Jaffa, Palestine and my mother is from Little Rock, Arkansas. We lived in the United States, Algeria, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), and Haiti as I was growing up. Since then, I've lived in Greece, France, Palestine/Israel, Syria, Germany, Lebanon, and, now, southern Illinois. I study the Middle East and Islam and I live in the Midwest on the edge of the Bible Belt. I am a Quaker (and a pacifist) and I am attached to my students, many of whom serve(d) in the military. There are other contradictions and ambiguities in my life and in our world that I want to explore here. Please give me your feedback.

Home Movies as Newsreel: The Story of Palestinian Non-Violent Resistance

Sometime between 2000 and 2004, a remarkable example of grassroots, creative non-violent resistance to military occupation took root in villages of the West Bank. So much violence and upheaval was taking place in the region at the same time that this … Continue reading

Posted in Nonviolent Resistance, Palestine, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Inside the Mind of “Welcome Home” America

I arrived at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) to begin my teaching career three weeks before the attacks of 9-11. For those of us who teach about the Middle East and Islam and for those who have been actively involved … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Lest We Forget (the Nonviolent Resistance of) the Syrian Spring

Before pundits, politicians, and gunmen succeed in convincing us that the uprising in Syria has become a civil war, it is worth remembering that the uprising began as a seemingly spontaneous mass-based movement of non-violent resistance. It was unprecedented, but that … Continue reading

Posted in Arab World, Nonviolent Resistance, Syria, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Update: Resources for Teachers

It was a almost a year ago that I posted some resources for teachers related to Islam and the Middle East. We are nearing the end of the first week of Ramadan and, in my children’s school district (Illinois District … Continue reading

Posted in Sources for the Rest of US, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Against Orthodoxy: The Story of Alawi Origins

Since the outbreak of the popular uprising in Syria last spring, the media have focussed on the Alawi minority which controls the levers of power in that country. Most often, one hears echoes of mainstream Sunni and Shi’i sources that … Continue reading

Posted in History and Historians, Islam, Syria, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Mt. Lebanon: Holy Land or Den of Heretics?

Two weeks ago I participated in a memorial conference at the American University of Beirut (AUB) dedicated to Dr. Kamal Salibi and his legacy. On what would have been his 83rd birthday in what was once the campus chapel, he was feted (and mourned) … Continue reading

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Ottomans and Homeland Security: Who Determines Who You Are?

Anyone who thinks fiction is stranger than non-fiction has not read enough History. I spent last weekend in the rarefied company of scholars of the Ottoman Empire. I was fortunate to be at a conference-workshop organized by renowned Ottomanist and … Continue reading

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Bilad al-Sham, Arabic for Geographical Syria

I returned this week from the ninth annual meeting of the “Committee for the History of Bilad al-Sham” held in the Jordanian capital Amman. Most representations (popular and scholarly) of the Middle East focus on Islam, the nation state, and … Continue reading

Posted in History and Historians, Syria | 3 Comments

The Syrian Awakening?

This year has been gut-wrenching for anyone who loves Syria and Syrians. For Syrians living outside Syria it has been worse. For Syrians inside, I can’t even imagine. One of the best sources of measured information and commentary on events … Continue reading

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Kamal Salibi (1929-2011), the Model Teacher-Scholar

Scholars of the Arab world and of Lebanon in particular lost a pioneer with the passing just over a week ago of historian Kamal Salibi. I was fortunate to have met him and to have spent time with him during … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment