Skip to comments.Statement by John Raisian, Director of Hoover Institution, Stanford Univ. - Fouad Ajami has died
Posted on 06/22/2014 4:41:57 PM PDT by nuconvert
It is with profound sadness that we learned of the passing of Fouad Ajami, who lost his battle with cancer on Sunday.
Fouad is truly one of the most brilliant Middle East scholars of our time. His Hoover Institution family will forever miss his superb scholarship, quick wit and gentle spirit. As we reflect upon a man whose life and intellectual contributions influenced so many, our thoughts and prayers go to his lovely wife, Michelle.
Fouad Ajami was born September 18, 1945 in Arnoun, Lebanon. Ajami was a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution, and more recently the Herbert and Jane Dwight Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and co-chair of the Hoover Institution's Working Group on Islamism and the International Order. He is the author of The Arab Predicament; The Vanished Imam: Musa al Sadr and the Shia of Lebanon; Beirut: City of Regrets; The Dream Palace of the Arabs; and The Foreigner's Gift: The Americans, the Arabs, and the Iraqis in Iraq. His most recent publication is The Syrian Rebellion (Hoover Institution Press, 2012). His writings also include some four hundred essays on Arab and Islamic politics, US foreign policy, and contemporary international history. Ajami has received numerous awards, including the Benjamin Franklin Award for public service (2011), the Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism (2011), the Bradley Prize (2006), the National Humanities Medal (2006), and the MacArthur Fellows Award (1982). His research has charted the road to 9/11, the Iraq war, and the US presence in the Arab-Islamic world.
I didn’t even know he was sick.
I didn’t either
That is sad! I didn’t know he was battling cancer, either! Prayers for his family!
His insight was the best.
America has been fated to deal with the Middle East lo these many years, and Journal readers have had no better guide than our friend Fouad Ajami, who died Sunday at age 68 of cancer.
A protégé of Princeton’s great scholar Bernard Lewis, Fouad was born in Lebanon to a Shiite Muslim family. Yet he found his real home in America, and he discovered his calling in explaining the ways of the Arabs to Americans. His 1981 book, “The Arab Predicament,” was prescient in describing contemporary Arab history as “a chronicle of illusions and despair, of politics repeatedly degenerating into bloodletting.” He foresaw the extremist pathologies that authoritarianism was breeding in Arabia before they exploded on our shores on September 11, 2001.
Perhaps in part because he was an immigrant, Fouad was also more optimistic about American purposes than most of his academic colleagues. He supported the war in Iraq and refused to abandon the effort even when it would have been advantageous for his career. He appreciated American idealism even as he saw it run up against the cynical realities of the Arab world and radical Islam. He thus fulfilled one obligation of the public intellectual, which is to take responsibility for the consequences of his views. His elegant prose adorned our pages for 27 years and the world will miss his wisdom.