Madawi al-Rasheed

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Madawi al-Rasheed
Middle Eastern woman with long hair, wearing glasses, a white top and dark jacket, sitting and looking ahead.
al-Rasheed in 2018
BornOctober 1962 (age 60)
Paris, France
Political partyNational Assembly Party[1]

Madawi al-Rasheed, FBA (Arabic: مضاوي الرشيد;[2] born (1962-10-00)October 1962[3]) is a British citizen of Saudi origin and a professor of social anthropology. Al-Rasheed has held a position at the Department of Theology and Religious Studies in King's College London and as a Visiting Professor at the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She gives occasional lectures in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. She is the granddaughter of Muhammad bin Talāl al-Rasheed, the last prince of the Emirate of Ha'il, which was conquered by the Al-Saud in the early 20th century. She has written several books and articles in academic journals on the Arabian Peninsula, Arab migration, globalisation, gender, and religious transnationalism. As of 2016, she is a Visiting Research Professor at the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore.


Al-Rasheed was born in Paris to a Saudi father and a Lebanese mother. Her father descends from the Rashidi dynasty. Shortly after her birth, the family moved to Saudi Arabia, where al-Rasheed grew up.[4]

In 1975, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was assassinated by his nephew, Faisal bin Musaid. His mother was a sister of al-Rasheed's father, and the Saudi government accused the Rashidi family of being behind the assassination. Further investigation found this to be untrue, but in 1975, al-Rasheed's family moved to Lebanon, where al‐Rasheed finished her baccalaureate in 1981. She then started her studies in anthropology and sociology at the American University of Beirut.[4]

In 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon. Al-Rasheed went into exile a second time, to the UK, first to Salford University, then to the University of Cambridge, where she obtained her PhD with Ernest Gellner as her supervisor.[4]

In 2005, after an appearance on Al Jazeera TV criticizing the Saudi government, Salman of Saudi Arabia, at the time the governor of Riyadh province, who later became king of Saudi Arabia, telephoned al-Rasheed's father, claiming that her Saudi citizenship was withdrawn as punishment for her television appearance.[4]

Al-Rasheed was one of the targets in the so-called Pegasus spyware scandal, but the attack on her device was apparently unsuccessful.[5]


Al-Rasheed was recognized as one of the BBC's 100 women of 2013.[6]

Selected publications[edit]


Edited books[edit]

  • 2004 Al-Rasheed, M. & R Vitalis (eds.) Counter-Narratives: History, Contemporary Society and Politics in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, New York, Palgrave
  • 2005 Al-Rasheed, M. (ed.) Transnational Connections and the Arab Gulf, London: Routledge.
  • 2008 Al-Rasheed, M. (ed.) Kingdom without Borders: Saudi Political, Religious and Media Expansion, London: Hurst and Co.
  • 2009 Al-Rasheed, M. & M. Shterin. (eds.) Dying for Faith: Religiously Motivated Violence in the Contemporary World, London: I.B. Tauris.
  • 2012 Al-Rasheed, M. Kersten, C. and Shterin, M. (eds,) Demystifying the Caliphate: Historical Memory and Contemporary Contexts, London: Hurst and Co.


  1. ^ El Yaakoubi, Aziz (23 September 2020), Maclean, William (ed.), "Saudi dissidents form pro-democracy political group", Reuters
  2. ^ al-Rasheed, Madawi (10 September 2012). موقع الدكتورة مضاوي الرشيد (in Arabic). Archived from the original on 31 May 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  3. ^ Date information sourced from Library of Congress Authorities data, via corresponding WorldCat Identities linked authority file (LAF).
  4. ^ a b c d De‐exoticizing Saudi Arabia with Madawi Al‐Rasheed, 3 December 2019, Maha Abdelrahman, Archive
  5. ^ Pegasus Project: Why I was targeted by Israeli spyware, Madawi al-Rasheed], 20 July 2021, Middle East Eye
  6. ^ "100 Women: Who took part?". BBC News. 20 October 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2022.

External links[edit]