Majid Khadduri, founding faculty member of the Middle
East Studies Program at
SAIS, died on Jan. 25 in Potomac, Md. He was 98.
A native of Mosul, Iraq, Khadduri joined the school's
faculty in 1949 and the following year created at SAIS the
country's first graduate program on the modern Middle East.
He was the program's director until his retirement in 1980,
making him one of the longest-serving SAIS faculty members.
At the time of his death, Khadduri held the title of
University Distinguished Research Professor.
"Professor Khadduri was one of the pioneers of Middle
Eastern studies in the United States. He had a real mastery
of Islamic law, and he remained one of its leading
authorities," said Fouad Ajami, director of the Middle East
Studies Program, who also serves as the Majid Khadduri
Professor. "Our Middle East Studies Program, launched by
Dr. Khadduri, owes a great deal to him."
Ajami described his predecessor as an "exacting
scholar," noting that the Middle East Studies Program
during Khadduri's tenure produced a number of graduates who
went on to distinguished academic and diplomatic careers in
their own right, including Elie Salem, '53, as Lebanon's
foreign minister; Soliman Solaim, '70, as Saudi Arabia's
commerce minister; Samuel Lewis, '54, and Hermann Eilts,
'47, as U.S. ambassadors to Egypt and Israel, respectively,
at the time of the 1979 Camp David peace talks; and Malcolm
Kerr, PhD '58, president of the American University of
Beirut, who was assassinated on that campus in 1984.
SAIS Dean Jessica P. Einhorn said, "Professor
Khadduri taught at SAIS for more than three decades and
lived a long and full life after his retirement. On behalf
of the SAIS community, we express our condolences and
salute his many significant achievements with our
Khadurri's accomplished career spanned more than 65
years, during which he was internationally recognized as
one of the world's leading authorities on Islamic law and
jurisprudence, Islam, modern Arab and Iraqi history, and
politics and personalities of the Middle East. He was the
author of more than 35 books in English and Arabic and
hundreds of articles.
Prior to joining the SAIS faculty, Khadduri was a
member of the Iraqi delegation to the founding of the
United Nations, an event that took place at the 1945 U.N.
Conference in San Francisco, and taught at the universities
of Indiana and Chicago. Throughout his career, he also
served as a visiting professor at other universities,
including Columbia, Harvard, Virginia and Georgetown.
Khadduri received numerous research fellowships,
grants and honors, including a Philosophical Society grant;
a Ford Foundation fellowship; a Fulbright grant; three
Rockefeller Foundation grants; honorary LHDs from Johns
Hopkins and the State University of New York; the Order of
Merit, first class, from the government of Egypt; and the
Order of the Rafidain, from the government of Iraq.
He also played a key role in helping establish and
build other institutions concerned with academic studies
and research about the Arab world and Islam. Khadduri
founded the Shaybani Society of International Law, an
organization of academic and legal scholars interested in a
better understanding of legal issues affecting the Muslim
world, and was a founder of the Middle East Institute and
of the University of Libya, where he became dean in 1957.
He was an honorary fellow of the Middle East Studies
Association, a founder and president of the International
Association of Middle East Studies and a corresponding
member of the Academy of Arabic Language in Egypt and of
the Iraqi Academy.
A 1932 graduate of the American University of Beirut,
Khadduri earned his doctorate in international law from the
University of Chicago in 1938.
Khadduri is survived by a son, Farid Khadduri, of
Bethesda, Md.; a daughter, Shirin Khadduri Ghareeb, a 1977
SAIS graduate, also of Bethesda; and three grandchildren.
His wife, Majdia, died in 1972.
Plans for a memorial service at SAIS will be announced