Keynote Speakers

Amira K. Bennison


Amira K. Bennison is Professor in the History and Culture of the Maghrib at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of Magdalene College. Her teaching and research interests include the medieval Islamic West (Islamic Iberia and Morocco), Maghribi modes of legitimation and cultures of power, and 18th-19th century Muslim religio-political discourse and engagement with modernity. Her publications include The Almoravid and Almohad Empires (Edinburgh, 2016), The Articulation of Power in Medieval Iberia and the Maghrib (Oxford, 2014); The Great Caliphs: the Golden Age of the ‘Abbasid Empire, (London, 2009); Cities in the Premodern Islamic World: the urban impact of religion, state and society, edited with Alison L. Gascoigne, (London, 2007); Jihad and its Interpretations in Pre-Colonial Morocco, (London, 2002), as well as numerous articles.

She is currently working on a book that draws together and expands her previous research on political legitimation and urbanism in the medieval Maghrib, as well as other projects looking at society and culture in the pre-modern Islamic West. Amira has led cultural tours to many parts of the Middle East and North Africa and she contributes regularly to television programmes on Islamic history. She is also a frequent guest on BBC Radio 4’s ‘In Our Time’.

Raymond Hinnebusch


Raymond Hinnebusch is Professor of International Relations and Middle East Politics and Director of the Centre for Syrian Studies at the University of St. Andrews. His works include Egypt Politics under Sadat (Cambridge 1980) Authoritarian Power and State Formation in Ba’thist Syria (Westview 1990) Syria: Revolution from above (Routledge: 2001); and International Politics of the Middle East (Manchester University Press 2003, 2015.

He co-edited Syria: From Reform to Revolt, (Syracuse, 2014) The Syria Uprising: Domestic Factors and Early Trajectory (Routledge 2018) and The War for Syria: Regional and International factors in the Syrian Conflict (Routledge 2019); Foreign Policies of Middle East States (Lynne Rienner 2014; Turkey-Syria Relation: between Enmity and Amity, co-edited with Ozlem Tur, Ashgate Publishers, 2013; Sovereignty after Empire: Comparing the Middle East and Central Asia, Edinburgh University Press, 2011; The Iraq War: Causes and Consequences, Lynne Rienner 2006; The Routledge Handbook to the Middle East and North African States and States System, Routledge 2019; he edited After the Arab Uprisings: between democratization, counter-revolution and state failure, Routledge 2016. 

Heba Raouf Ezzat


Heba Raouf Ezzat is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Institute of Alliance of Civilizations at Ibn Haldun University in Istanbul, Turkey. She also teaches at the political science as well as the sociology department at IHU. For almost 30 years she taught political theory at Cairo University. She was also an adjunct professor at the American University in Cairo (2006-2013).

She spent two years (2014-2015) at the unit for civil society and human security at London School of Economics (LSE) as a visiting fellow before moving to Istanbul  2016, where she is currently based. Her academic writings as well as teaching cover a wide range of topics that include classic and modern Western political thought, Islamic political theory, women and politics, global civil society, urban politics, cities and citizenships, and Middle East politics.

Besides her teaching and writings, she co-established a Diploma for Public Policy and Child Rights in 2010 that was a project funded by the European Commission and coordinated between 4 Arab Universities and 4 European Universities. For that effort she was awarded the Prize for Outstanding Support of German-Egyptian Collaboration in Science and Innovation.

Since 2015 she supervised and introduced the full translation of the Liquid Modernity series of Zygmunt Bauman into Arabic. She also translated Ziauddin Sardar’s book on Mecca: The Holy City to Arabic. Her latest work is a research paper in the “Project on the future of human rights in the Arab world” titled: “The Human rights movement and the Islamist: The Paths of Convergence and Divergence” with the Arab Reform Initiative/Paris, and a forthcoming chapter titled “ Re-imagining Egypt: The State of War” in a book on Contemporary thought in the Middle East (Routledge 2021). Her current research is on the reconfigurations of space in the Egyptian urban planning and urban politics, and the recent rise of Egyptian Ultranationalism.


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