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Born in Jaffa, Palestine, he was Professor of History Emeritus and founder of Centre for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University. He edited the English language quarterly journal of Palestine Studies. His degrees included BA from the American University of Beirut, MA in Philosophy and PhD in History of Culture, both from the University of Chicago. He is the author of several books in English and Arabic: Governments and Politics of the Middle East; Nationalism and Revolution in the Arab World; Arab Intellectuals and the West; Introduction to the Study of Arab Society; his most renowned Neopatriarchy: A Theory of Distorted change in Arab Society (1988); and most recently, in Arabic, Images of the past, an Intellectual Biography. He was one of the most influential of Arab intellectuals in the C20th.