Rashid Khalidi on the Middle East: A Conversation

From Logos Journal:

Q: Perhaps you can give us a sketch of your background and intellectual development?

Khalidi2Rashid Khalidi [RK]: Well, the easiest way to do that is to talk about my academic career. I started out as an undergraduate here in the States. I did my doctoral work in England at Oxford, went off to Beirut where I was doing much of my dissertation research, which was on British policy in the Middle East before World War I. My mother had already moved back to Beirut after my father died, so it was my home starting in the 1960s even when I was still in school here.  I lived in Beirut pretty much without interruption from then until 1983. I taught at the University of Beirut.  I then went to the Institute for Palestine Studies at the University of Chicago.  When we left in 1983, I thought I was just coming here for a year to write a book. And I did write the book in a year, but we never went back as a family — so all of my kids were born in Beirut, but we left with a few suitcases. And most of that stuff we never saw again.  Because we couldn’t go back, the war was worse.  It had been pretty bad before, but it got worse and worse. So I finally ended up with a job at Columbia for a couple years, and from there, to Chicago for sixteen years.  And then, I was offered Chair in Arab Studies here at Columbia and I came back.

More here.