Considered one of the most highly-acclaimed and distinguished Syrians in the Diaspora, Aziz al-Azmeh was born into a prominent Damascene family of scholars and politicians in 1947. He studied Oriental Studies at St Anthony’s College at the University of Oxford, supervised by the legendary Arab scholar Albert Hourani. Over a life-long career in academia, Aziz al-Azmeh has become an international icon scholar in Arab and Islamic studies, both medieval and modern, and has taught at a wide assortment of top international schools like Yale, Colombia, Georgetown, Exeter, Cornell, Oxford, and the American University of Beirut (AUB). He serves on the editorial board of several academic journals, including the Journal of Arab and Islamic Studies. He has been a Fellow of, among other institutions, the Institutes for Advanced Study in Berlin, Uppsala and Budapest, Directeur de Recherches Associé at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris and a resident scholar at the Rockefeller Foundation Study Center in Bellagio.He has served and still serves on the boards of academic and international institutions. He holds the Order of Merit, Excellence Class, from Tunisia. He currently teaches at the Department of History and is Director for Religious Studies at the Central European University in Budapest.
Aziz al-Azmeh’s research and publications have spanned both the classical and the modern Arab World. Among his books are: Secularism (in Arabic 2008), Islams and Modernities (1993), Muslim Kingship: Power and the Sacred in Muslim, Christian, and Pagan Polities (1997), Constantine Zureik (in Arabic, 2003), L’Obscurantisme postmoderne et la question musulmane (2004), and The Emergence of Islam in Late Antiquity (2014). His latest book is Syria and the Fundamentalist Surge (in Arabic, 2015). He made available for edition and publication his great-grandfather Aziz Al-Azmeh’s Mirror of Damascus, and selections from his grandfather’s and great uncle’s private papers, Nabih and Adel al-Azmeh, edited by Palestinian scholar Khairiyyeh Qasimiyyeh and published as The First Arab Generation.