Monday, June 23, 2014

Fouad Ajami

Professor Fouad Ajami passed yesterday. I haven't seen an obit or essay that does justice to him as a person and a teacher. There was and is so much more to Fouad Ajami than questions pertaining to Iraq, Palestine, and Israel.
Fouad Ajami touched and taught so many people. I remember Professor Ajami for such good things as teaching his Arab political thought class and supporting me with my book, my work, a fellowship application, or whatever else it was that I asked of him.  Vanished Imam remains one of the best non-fiction books I've ever read.  Most of all I remember Professor Ajami for giving me the chance to form and express my own opinions on the world where he was expert -- even if my opinions diverged from what he believed to be true.
Professor Ajami was always very generous with me, and I learned a great deal from him -- about the Middle East, about writing, and about the concept of dignity. He had an impact on the thinking and work of hundreds of graduate students who today are practitioners of international relations. That is a legacy that is hard to quantify but that will surely be missed.

No comments: