Short CV/Education and training

  • 1987
    Magister Artium degree (MA) Thesis on the French Mandate in Syria

  • 1987 – 1991
    Doctoral studies (history, Islamic studies: Arabic-Turkish, modern German literature) in Freiburg, research on Syrian historiography, 1920 – 1990. Visiting researcher in Damascus for several months during 1987 and 1990


  • 1991
    Staff researcher in non-European history, FernUniversität (distance learning university) in Hagen, Germany, in the research group of Prof. Osterhammel

  • 1992 – 1993
    Research on Yemeni migration in the vicinity of the Indian Ocean (19th/20th century) in London

  • 1993 – 2002
    Lecturer in modern history of the Near and Middle East, Department of History, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London

  • 1996 – 1997
    One-year sabbatical to conduct research in Hadhramaut and Southeast Asia (Singapore, Java)

  • 1999 – 2000
    Fellowship, Historisches Kolleg, Munich (leave of absence from SOAS)

  • 2000 – 2001
    Habilitation (postdoctoral) fellowship from the German Research Foundation (leave of absence from SOAS)

  • since 2002
    Director, Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO), Berlin, in conjunction with an "S" professorship in Islamic studies, Freie Universität (FU) Berlin

Selected publications

Selected projects

  • Spaces of Participation: Topographies of Political and Social Change in Morocco, Egypt and Palestine, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, since 2014

  • Phantom borders in Eastern Central Europe, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), since 2011

  • Urban Violence in the Middle East: Between Empire and Nation State, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the British Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), 2011 – 2014

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Member of the advisory board to the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin – Institute for Advanced Study

  • Member of the International Advisory Council of the World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES)

  • Member of the governing council for the research programme "Europe in the Middle East—the Middle East in Europe" (EUME) at the Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin

  • Member of the advisory board to the Amsterdam Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (ACMES)

  • Member of the advisory board for the project "Elite Change and New Social Mobilization in the Arab World", German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)

  • Member of the research advisory board of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)

  • Member of the board, Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin

  • Deputy chairperson of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities board of enquiry for ensuring good scientific practice

  • Co-editor: Journal of Arabian Studies, London

  • Co-editor: Journal of Global History, Cambridge

  • Co-editor: Geschichte und Gesellschaft (Science and Society)

    Editor: ZMO Studien (ZMO (Zentrum Moderner Orient) Studies)

  • Co-editor: SOAS/Routledge/Curzon Studies on the Middle East

Media coverage


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