In providing this new prize, CIJA honours the memory of renowned Israel & Middle East scholar Barry Rubin whose analyses and consultations over many years proved invaluable to us and to the broader public.
Message from Barry Rubin’s wife
As Barry Rubin’s wife and occasional co-author, I am proud to support this CIJA essay-writing competition, which touches upon two of the most important issues that dominated Barry’s prolific career as a Middle East expert. First, he was devoted to mentoring and influencing the next generation. Barry always found the time to encourage and guide young scholars interested in the Middle East. “When someone tells you that you’ve helped them, informed them, encouraged them, or even changed their lives, it is an immeasurable feeling,” he wrote. Second, Barry was deeply troubled by the erosion of freedom in academia in general and Mideast issues in particular. “We live in an era where many ideas, much truth, and certainly the kind of things that I think are largely barred from the most prestigious media and institutions. We are either ignored or vilified,” he remarked. He worked tirelessly to provide accurate and balanced coverage on Israel and Middle East issues. This prize would have been very dear to him, and he would have read all the entries with great interest.
Who was Barry Rubin?
Professor Barry Rubin was Director of the Global Research for International Affairs (GLORIA Center) and professor at the Interdisciplinary Center. He was editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal and of Turkish Studies, and writer of the Middle East column for the Jerusalem Post and the Rubin Reports blog at PJMedia. All Prof. Rubin’s writings are compiled on his RubinReports site.
A prolific author and much-sought editor, Rubin’s recent books include: The Nazis, Islamists, and the Making of the Modern Middle East (2014) and Israel: An Introduction (2012), both Yale University Press; and The Truth about Syria, Palgrave-MacMillan. Edited works include: Conflict and Insurgency in the Contemporary Middle East (Taylor and Francis); Lebanon: Liberation, Independence, and Crisis (Palgrave-Macmillan); Iraq after Saddam and Guide to Islamist Movements, and The Middle East: A Guide to Politics, Economics, Society, and Culture (Sharpe); Political Islam (Routledge); and Israel-Arab Reader (Viking-Penguin, seventh edition).
Areas of expertise and published writings include the political and military history of the Middle East, the Arab struggle for democracy, the effects of international foreign policy on the region, terrorism, and how media cover the Middle East. He is noted for his media appearances discussing these and related topics at most major media outlets in the US, Europe and the Middle East.
An academic of international renown, Prof. Rubin was a Fulbright, Council on Foreign Relations Fellow, and Washington Institute for Near East Policy fellow; as well as a U.S. Institute of Peace and Hebrew University Leonard Davis Center grantee. He taught at American University, Bar-Ilan University, Georgetown University, Hebrew University, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, Monash University, and Tel Aviv University.