Fairfield University's visiting professor from Iraq teaching students about the complexities of past and present Iraq


Qasim Al-Jumaily, Ph. D., who taught for more than a decade at the University of Al-Mustansiriya-Baghdad and another decade at Al-Fateh University-Tripoli-Libya, has joined the Fairfield University faculty as a visiting professor. David W. McFadden, Ph. D., chair of the history department, called him a world-class historian in his knowledge of the Middle East.

The University views Dr. Al-Jumaily's presence as a unique opportunity for students to learn from an expert with firsthand knowledge of the Middle East. Dr. Al-Jumaily's insights and his ability to act as a conduit between himself and his students have given a depth to his teaching that rewards students with a grasp of the complexities of past and present history in Iraq.

Through the efforts of Fairfield University's Center for Faith and Public Life, Dr. Al-Jumaily joined the faculty. Rev. Richard Ryscavage, S.J. director of the Center for Faith and Public Life, said, "One of the functions of the Center is to bring to the attention of the University distinguished academics from around the world who need the opportunity to teach in an American university. Dr. Al-Jumaily combines academic excellence with strong faith values. He is a great gift to our community."

For Dr. Al-Jumaily, being at Fairfield affords the opportunity to learn about Western perspectives and American life close-up. "I'm grateful to Fairfield University. I'm very happy to be here and thankful." Calling teaching in the United States a great experience, he noted, "Teaching at Fairfield gives me a real opportunity to develop my academic abilities according to the Western concepts and values."

Dr. McFadden, professor of history and faculty mentor to Dr. Al-Jumaily, noted the University is very fortunate to have him in residence teaching seminars, conducting colloquia, and being available for students to begin to deepen their knowledge of a crucial part of the world. "Qasim Al-Jumaily is one of the most well-known historians of the modern Middle East, and particularly modern Turkey and the late Ottoman Empire. In addition to Dr. Al-Jumaily's historical and scholarly acumen, he is a warm and sympathetic teacher and human being, one who shows us through his very example, the importance of reconciliation in areas of conflict."

Dr. Al-Jumaily received his Ph.D. in modern history from the University of Baghdad, and he has taught at Al-Mustansiriya University since 1986. He's currently teaching a course entitled, "Social, Economic and Cultural Topics of the Modern Middle East in the Late Ottoman Empire."

Dr. Al-Jumaily specializes in the history of modern Turkey with a focus on social and cultural problems, women's issues, and the Ottoman Empire. At the University of Al-Mustansiriya-Baghdad, he taught undergraduates and graduate students courses concerning the history of contemporary Turkey, the Ottoman state, contemporary Europe, and the United States.

His most recent paper is "The Role of the Young Turk Revolution in the Process of Crystallization of the Libyan's Intelligentsia's Secular Tendencies 1908-1911," which was presented to the 1908-2008 Centennial of the Young Turk Revolution, which was organized by the College of the Political Sciences, University of Ankara, Turkey, May 28-30, 2008. He has written three books, two of them in Arabic, and the other in Turkish. He has more than 25 scientific participations in the local, regional, and international conferences in Iraq, Libya, Tunisia, Turkey, Kazakhstan, and Italy.

He recently completed two papers: "The Ottoman Administrative Divisions and the Regional Disputes in the Arab Middle East: A Study in Light of the Ottoman Salnameleri (Ottoman Yearbooks) in the Late Ottoman Era;" and "The Secular Dimension of the Education's Curricula in some Schools of Iraq and Syria in the Late Ottoman Period." He is currently working on a book on selected topics from the history of the Middle East in the late Ottoman era.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on April 20, 2009

Vol. 41, No. 311