Sami Moubayed

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Sami Moubayed
Sami Moubayed speaking at the AUB Damascus Chapter - 2009.jpg
Sami Moubayed speaking at the AUB Damascus Chapter in 2009
Born 16 July 1978
Occupation Historian
Nationality Syrian
Subject Syria and the Middle East

Sami Moubayed (Arabic: سامي مبيض‎‎) is a Syrian historian specialized in Pre- Baath Syria.[1] In 2012–2013, he was a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, Lebanon. In 2006-2012 Moubayed served as editor-in-chief of Forward Magazine, Syria's premier English monthly. His articles on Middle East affairs have appeared in a variety of newspapers, including al-Ahram Weekly, al-Hayat, Gulf News, The Daily Star, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and Asia Times. He is a blogger with The Huffington Post and an online panelist with The Washington Post. He is a founding Research Fellow at the Syrian Studies Center at St Andrews University in Scotland and Vice-President of Haykal Media in Damascus.


Sami Moubayed, a native of Damascus, studied at the Faculty of Political Science at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and obtained his PhD in Middle East Politics from the University of Exeter, specializing in the founding years of the Syrian Republic. He was mentored by Munir al-Ajlani, a ranking parliamentarian and politician from the pre-Baath Era. His first book, The Politics of Damascus 1920–1946, was published when he was a college student at AUB in 1998.

In 2000, Moubayed joined the Arab Political Document Center at AUB, and worked as a journalist with Beirut-based The Daily Star. Between 2005 and 2011, Moubayed taught at the Faculty of International Relations at the University of Kalamoon in Deir Atiyah, 88-km north of the capital Damascus, while serving on its Board of Trustees.

Over the last 15 years, Moubayed has interviewed leading regional and international figures including Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Indian President Pratibha Patil, Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner. Moubayed has also interviewed Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal, Lebanese presidents Amin Gemayel and Elias Hrawi, and current Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam. In December 2008, he was the first Syrian to interview a US president, Jimmy Carter, during the latter's visit to Damascus.[2] Additionally, Moubayed has been accredited with landmark interviews with Brazilian bestselling author Paolo Coelho and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

Moubayed interviewing former US President Jimmy Carter


In 2004, along with pioneer Syrian web-designer Sahban Abd Rabbo, Moubayed co-founded, an online museum of Syrian history. It contains over 10,000 photographs, documents, and rare audiovisual material on Syria during the years 1900-2000.[3] The website contains un-published audio clips from historical Syrian figures like president Adib al-Shishakli, Hashim al-Atassi, and Shukri al-Quwatli.

Moubayed has written much about pre-Baath Syria, and is a biographer of former Syrian President Shukri al-Quwatli. In 2007–2009, he worked on the script for a 30-episode TV series about the life of Quwatli, which never saw the light due to disagreement with Quwatli's family.[4]

Selected works[edit]

He is the author of several books on modern Syria, including:

  • Damascus Between Democracy and Dictatorship, (Maryland, 2000), the book covers the periods between 1949 and 1957, when ten coups shook Syria. Each attempt to overthrow the government was led by powers sympathetic to either the Soviet Union or the United States. The book claims ultimately that this destroyed Syria's chances for a stable democracy.
  • Steel & Silk: Men and Women Who Shaped Syria 1900-2000, (Cune Press, 2006), the book covers the Syrian nationalists who led the independence struggle against the French and the makers & shakers of post-1946 Syria, running up to 2000.
  • Syria and the USA: From Wilson to Eisenhower, (IB Tauris, 2012) covering early Syrian-US relations during the years of the Mandate and throughout the FDR, Truman, and Eisenhower Administrations.


  1. ^ Stephen J. Flanagan; Samuel Brannen (2009). Turkey's evolving dynamics : strategic choices for U.S.-Turkey relations. Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies. p. 48. ISBN 978-0-89206-576-9. Retrieved 5 February 2011. 
  2. ^ Carter to Syria's Forward magazine: I'm carrying Assad's good greetings to Obama | News , Middle East. The Daily Star (3 January 2009).
  3. ^
  4. ^ مسلسل " شكري القوتلي" الآن على الورق ، و ينتظر الاذن بالتصوير. (17 September 2008).

External links[edit]