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April 22, 2004



David Rabeeya

David Rabeeya, who will retire this spring after 33 years of service to Bryn Mawr College, will be honored by a reception in Wyndham on Monday, May 3, at 4 p.m. Rabeeya, a lecturer in the Program in Hebrew and Judaic Studies, is a prolific writer who has contributed much to the community's understanding of religious and ethnic tensions in the Middle East through both his scholarship and his personal reflections.

As a Sephardic Jew born in Baghdad, Rabeeya was raised in an Arabic culture while practicing the Jewish religion. This combination of Arabic culture and Jewish faith has made him the object of suspicion among both Arabs and Jews, Rabeeya has noted in his books and lectures; it has also given him an unusual perspective on the Arab-Israeli conflict. This multifaceted personal experience has made him a valuable resource for Americans who struggle to understand the cultural and religious conflicts that beset the Middle East.

Rabeeya's productivity certainly didn't slow as he approached retirement. In the last year, he has published two books through a comparative study of religious fundamentalism and a novel. The first, Fundamentalism: Roots, Causes and Implications, explores the fundamentalist impulse in Islam, Judaism and Christianity, with special emphasis on religious and cultural perspectives that are cited as the basis of violence. The novel, Afifah: A Bedouin Odyssey, tells the story of a Bedouin woman in modern Iraq "and her struggle against a society dominated by males as well as foreign invaders."

The reception in Rabeeya's honor is sponsored by President Nancy J. Vickers and Secretary of the Faculty David Cast; all members of the Bryn Mawr community are invited.


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