December 2015

In This Edition

• Message from President Mark T. Clark, PhD
• WRAP UP: Eighth Annual ASMEA Conference
• SAVE THE DATE: Ninth Annual ASMEA Conference
• FORTHCOMING ISSUE: Journal of the Middle East and Africa
• Book Notes
• Featured News by ASMEA Members
• Announcements
• ASMEA Job Bank


Dear Friends:

I am proud to report that the recent Eighth Annual ASMEA Conference held in October in Washington, D.C. was our most successful event yet. A sold-out crowd of 300 attendees gathered to hear presentations by speakers from around the globe including special remarks by H.E. Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, Kurdistan Regional Government Representative to the United States and a keynote address by Prof. Samir Khalil Samir, SJ.

“Best Paper” prizes were awarded to three outstanding presenters: in the Middle East category, Dr. Carlos Segovia (University of St. Louis, Madrid Campus) for: "The Jews and Christians of Pre-Islamic Yemen (Himyar) and the Elusive Matrix of the Qur’an’s Christology;" in the Africa category, Maj. Bonnie Kovatch (United States Military Academy) for: "Sexual Exploitation & Abuse in UN Peacekeeping Missions: A Case Study of MONUC & MONUSCO," and; in the Student category, Ms. Rahel Fischbach (Georgetown University) for: "Rereading the Qur’ān – Challenging Traditional Authority: Political Implications of Contemporary Qur’ān Scholarship." In a virtual sea of outstanding submissions these papers stood out as exemplary.

You can view the final Conference schedule, a full list of papers presented, the abstracts and bios, the recipients of all ASMEA grants, videos and photographs from the Conference. And don’t forget to “Save the Date” for our Ninth Annual Conference taking place on October 27 – 29, 2016 at the Key Bridge Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C.  You will not want to miss it!

Finally, I am pleased to announce our Journal of the Middle East and Africa has been accepted for inclusion in Scopus, the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature: scientific journals, books and conference proceedings. This is a welcome testament to the good work of our editorial board and authors alike.

Please continue to share with us news of your latest accomplishments and achievements. We are always glad to promote the work of our members and look forward to hearing from you.


Mark T. Clark, Ph.D.
President, ASMEA
Professor of Political Science
Director, National Security Studies Program, California State University, San Bernardino

WRAP UP: Eighth Annual ASMEA Conference
For Better or Worse? Historical Trends in the Middle East and Africa
October 29-31, 2015
Key Bridge Marriott Hotel * Washington, D.C.

VIEW the SCHEDULE, the list of PAPERS, ABSTRACTS and BIOS, PHOTOS, and VIDEOS as well as the full list of Research and Travel Grant RECIPIENTS and the AWARDS for "Best Paper."

SAVE THE DATE: Ninth Annual ASMEA Conference
Taking the Long View: Assessing Change in the Middle East and Africa
October 27-29, 2016
Key Bridge Marriott Hotel * Washington, D.C.

FORTHCOMING ISSUE: Journal of the Middle East and Africa

ASMEA is pleased to announce the upcoming release of the next issue of our peer-reviewed, academic journal.  Below is the full table of contents for Volume 6, Issue 3/4 (July-December 2015):

The Political Economy of US-Iranian Relations (2005-2014)
(Amir Kamel)

The Quest for Legitimacy in Post-Revolutionary Egypt: Propaganda and
Controlling Narratives

(Joyce van de Bildt)

The “Jew” as Metaphor for Evil in Arab Public Discourse
(Esther Webman)

Dynamic Belonging: Moroccan Jews and the Development of Nationalist
Narratives in French Protectorate Morocco

(Kristin Hissong)

Why Deploy to Somalia? Understanding Six African Countries’ Reasons
for Sending Soldiers to One of the World’s Most Failed States

(Brian Hesse)

The Beirut Jewish Community and Early Twentieth-Century Lebanese Nationalism
(Franck Salameh)

Tribes Today: In Anthropology and in the World
(Philip Carl Salzman)

Book Review
The Mind of the African Strong Man: Conversations with Dictators,
Statesmen, and Father Figures

By Herman J. Cohen
(Reviewed by J. Peter Pham)

Boko Haram: Nigeria’s Islamist Insurgency
By Virginia Comolli
(Reviewed by Kelsey Lilley)

Flight Plan Africa: Portuguese Airpower in Counterinsurgency, 1961-1974
By John P. Cann
(Reviewed by Joshua Meservey)

All dues-paying members of ASMEA receive the Journal of the Middle East and Africa.  For more information on becoming an ASMEA member, click HERE.


ASMEA Book Notes

Religion, Politics, and the Origin of Palestine Refugee Relief
by Asaf Romirowsky and Alexander H. Joffe
(New York: Palgrave Macmillan: 2013) 254 pp.
Reviewed by Joseph S. Spoerl, Professor, Philosophy Dept., Saint Anselm College

Would you like to receive free books and write reviews on recently released Middle Eastern and African studies publications?  If you are interested in participating in the ASMEA Book Notes program, email for writing requirements and a list of available titles.


Featured News by ASMEA Members

Prof. Franck Salameh, “On Islamic State, Kryptonite, Verbal Promiscuity and the Suicide of Civilization,” The Boston Globe, (11/25/2015)
Dr. Nikolay Kozhanov, “Moscow Looks for Phase Two in Syria,” Carnegie Moscow Center, (11/6/2015)
Dr. J. Peter Pham, "Morocco's Green March at 40,” The Hill, (11/6/2015)
Prof. Wayne Bowen, “Saving Syria, Saving Europe,” Southeast Missourian, (10/6/2015)
Please share your next opinion piece or media hit on the Middle East or Africa with us. Email your links to



The latest volume by ASMEA Academic Council Member Dr. Gérard Prunier, “Understanding Contemporary Ethiopia” was released in September 2015 by Hurst Publishing.

ASMEA Member Dr. Carlos A. Segovia has published his latest book, "The Quranic Noah and the Making of the Islamic Prophet: A Study of Intertextuality and Religious Identity Formation in Late Antiquity" (JCIT 4; Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter).

ASMEA Member Prof. Carl Wege published his article “Urban and Rural Militia Organizations in Syria’s Less Governed Spaces” in the Journal of Terrorism Research, University of St Andrews (Volume 6 Issue 3 – September 2015). This article’s research was partially supported by an ASMEA grant.

ASMEA Vice President Dr. J. Peter Pham contributed the chapter on Africa to the book, Choosing to Lead: American Foreign Policy for a Disordered World, newly released by the John Hay Initiative,  an informal coalition of foreign policy experts committed to restoring the bipartisan tradition of American leadership in world affairs.

ASMEA Member Prof. Franck Salameh published his most recent book, "Charles Corm: An Intellectual Biography of a Twentieth-Century Lebanese 'Young Phoenician'" (Lexington Books) on July 7, 2015.

ASMEA Member Prof. Jonathan Pidluzny published his article “Why the Arab Spring Failed: The Cultural Roots of the Arab Predicament, a Review Essay of Tarek Heggy’s the Arab Cocoon and the Arab Mind Bound” with the Rubin Center in International Affairs.

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We are very interested in the activities of our members.  If you have upcoming publications, a recent op-ed, were awarded a fellowship or received a research grant and would like to share the news with your colleagues at ASMEA, please contact us at or 202.429.8860.


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To access the Job Bank, first log into and follow the link from the “Services” tab in the drop-down menu.  Institutions interested in placing job opportunities in the ASMEA Job Bank should e-mail


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