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Samih Farsoun

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Samih Farsoun
سميح فرسون
Samih Farsoun
Haifa, Mandatory Palestine
DiedJune 9, 2005(2005-06-09) (aged 67–68)
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Connecticut
Academic work

Samih K. Farsoun (Arabic: سميح فرسون) (1937 – June 9, 2005) was a professor emeritus of sociology at American University, where he taught for thirty years until his retirement in 2003.[1]


Farsoun was born in Haifa, Mandatory Palestine, in 1937.[2] The family left their hometown during the Nakba in 1948.[2] They settled in Beirut.[2] He graduated from Hamilton College in New York. He received a master's degree in 1961 and a PhD in 1971, both in sociology from the University of Connecticut.[1] He died June 9 of a heart attack while on a walk with his wife in New Buffalo, Michigan.[3] He was a resident of Florida and Washington, D.C. During his career at AU, Farsoun served as chairman of the Department of Sociology for eleven years, chairman and member of numerous university-wide committees. He also established (with John Willoughby) the Arab Studies minor in the Sociology department in 2001.[citation needed]

Farsoun was the founding dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the newly established American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates from 1997 to 1999. In 2004, Farsoun was named founding dean of Academic Affairs and the College of Arts and Sciences at the newly established American University of Kuwait, where he served until February 2005.[4]

An activist and mentor to young Arab-Americans, Farsoun was a founding member of several organizations and the author or editor of books and other writings on aspects of the Arab world, Third World development and the political economy of the Middle East. He lectured at conferences and provided commentary on radio and television news shows on the Middle East.[citation needed]

His accomplishments include:[4]

Farsoun was one of the first members of the board of directors of the Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development and first member of the executive committee of the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine, now the Palestine Center, both based in Washington. He was a founding member of the Trans-Arab Research Institute in Boston.[4]

Farsoun was married to Katha Kissman and his daughter was Rouwayda Farsoun, an adoptee from the Palestinian refugee camp Tel Zatar in Lebanon.[citation needed]


Farsoun wrote books about the sociology and politics of the Middle East:

Additionally, he published papers, book chapters and articles. His works have been translated into several languages, including Arabic, Persian, French, Italian and German. Farsoun also published columns in Arabic and English journals and newspapers.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "Samih K. Farsoun". Arab American Times. Retrieved May 27, 2024.
  2. ^ a b c d Kathleen Christison (2005). "Farsoun, Samih". In Philip Mattar (ed.). Encyclopedia of The Palestinians (Revised ed.). New York: Facts On File, Inc. p. 158. ISBN 978-0816057641.
  3. ^ "AU Sociology Professor Samih K. Farsoun Dies". Washington Post. June 14, 2005. Retrieved May 27, 2024.
  4. ^ a b c "Farsoun, Samih K." Passia. Retrieved May 27, 2024.
  5. ^ Farsoun, Samih K.; Zacharia Hawatmeh, Christina (1997). Palestine and the Palestinians. Westview Press. OCLC 37011312.
  6. ^ Farsoun, Samih K.; Aruri, Naseer Hasan (2006). Palestine and the Palestinians : a social and political history (2nd ed.). Westview Press. ISBN 9780813343365. OCLC 62872779.
  7. ^ Culture and Customs of the Palestinians. Greenwood Press. 2004. ISBN 9780313320514. OCLC 55679550.

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