Associate Professor of History, Gender Historian, Author
I was born in Khartoum, Sudan and immigrated to the United States with my family as a baby. Raised as a child in the Midwest and as a young adult in the Washington DC metropolitan area, I was able to witness and experience the social injustices of racism and misogyny as well as the deep bonds of friendship and support that ran within and across the predominantly White suburbs where we lived and among the diverse Muslim communities.
I can recall from a young age being what we now call a social justice advocate, which ended up shaping my professional work. I am currently an Associate Professor of History and former Director of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies at Villanova University. Before coming to Villanova, I was the Assistant Professor of History, Honors and International Affairs at The George Washington University. I received my doctorate in history from Georgetown University, where I also completed a Master’s degree in Arab Studies. As a gender historian, my research interests are varied but all interrogate questions of power.
My first book, Gender and the Making of Modern Medicine in Colonial Egypt, examines the impact of colonial medicine on Egyptian gender relations. I have also published extensively on issues of women in Islam, including an article in Religion and Literature, Faith and Feminism, The Daughters of Abraham and The Muslim World. I was a senior editor of the The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women. My lead essay on “The Qur’an and Woman” will be featured in Oxford’s forthcoming Handbook of Islam & Women.