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Trustee Philip Khoury Named MIT Associate Provost  
AUB and UAE Center Sign Agreement to Offer EMBA Program to Emirate Institutions  
Fourth AUB Faculty Seminar on Teaching and Learning with Technology  
New Faculty: Hussein Shahidi  
New Faculty: Kirsten Scheid  
New Faculty: Tima al Jamil  
Office of Grants and Contracts Celebrates World Intellectual Property Day  
Staff Profile: Ghaleb Halimi  
Fifth Annual FEA Student Conference Held  
Engineering Alumni Recognized for Outstanding Achievements  
Studying Biodiversity in Lebanon and the Region at AUB  
Construction Update  
Renovated AUB Archaeological Museum Inaugurated  
Renovated Pediatrics Clinic Opened  
Women's Rights Club Holds Conference on Gender and Sexuality  
Tenth Annual AUB Job Fair Largest Since Its Inception  
Letters from a New Campus by Daniel Bliss  
Winners of the Coca-Cola 'Make Every Word Count' Essay Competition Announced  
AUBMC Research Group Awarded NIH Grant  
Science Students Reveal Bonds Between Chemistry and Art  
Understanding the Political Economy of Islamic Movements  
Extreme Makeover: AUB Graduate Transforms Gulf Television  
Science, Math, and Technology Fair Promotes Environmental Thinking  
School Fair 2006: Prospective AUB Students Visit Campus  
Situation of the Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon  
Remembering the Writer, Khalil Takieddine  
Promotions 2005-2006  
Piano Recital by Arnimée Choukassizian  
Lecture on Space Exploration by World Expert  
Teleconferencing Brings Students Together Across Continents  
"Something Is Happening": Fairuz and Ziad Al Rahbani  
Cultural Genocide and Assyrian Cultural Survival  
Lecture on the History and Origins of American Islamicism  
Business School and Arts and Sciences Team Wins Soccer Championship Match by Narrow Margin  
  Red Cross Club Celebrates its 26th Anniversary at AUB
  History of the American University of Beirut: A New CASAR Course
  First Stereo-photography Exhibit at AUB  
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  Film on Euthanasia-A True Story  
  Part Two of the CVSP Forum  
  Out of Place: Memories of Edward Said  
  Mozart and Schumann Celebrated at Assembly Hall  
  Austrian Chamber Music Duo Performs at AUB  
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  Rima Khcheich Concert Plays to Sold-out Crowds at Assembly Hall
  Women's Auxiliary  
  33rd Annual Folk Dance Festival Hosts 20 Performing Schools  
June 2006 Vol. 7 No. 8

Understanding the Political Economy of Islamic Movements

A large crowd attended the lecture of Professor Joel Beinin, entitled "The New Global Economy and the Political Economy of the Islamic Movements," sponsored by the Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies (CAMES) and held on May 16. Beinin, who teaches history at Stanford University, has made an extensive study of Egyptian labor movements and the Israeli conflict. He will be continuing his work at the American University in Cairo this coming fall.

Beinin's talk had wide scope-he discussed over thirty years of history and covered a range of political, religious, economic, and social issues. Using the example of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as the model of a political movement that grew from specific social and economic situations, Beinin created a comprehensive picture out of a complex network of factors.

One of the first myths Beinin dispelled was that Islamist movements are not necessarily in opposition to existing political and economic structures, but are often diverse social movements. Illustrating this point, he traced back to the 1970s and suggested that the power and popularity of the Muslim resistance movements were chiefly derived from the social capital existing in the network of Islamist businesses. He cited the oil boom and bust cycle as a concrete example of how dissenting political voices found economic power. Though excluded in their native land, exiled members of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood found a home in the oil industry in Saudi Arabia, and now hold a large portion of business.

Continuing with the example of Egypt, Professor Beinin defined the different sectors within Egyptian society and economy after the oil crash in 1985. With Gulf oil money behind them, the Muslim Brotherhood and connected families became the emerging entrepreneurs, a kind of "new Islamist business class." At the same time, many students and recent graduates, frustrated by the lack of sustainable wage jobs in the private sector, were also forced abroad and added their discontented voices to form the base of the Muslim Brotherhood movement. Combined with its alliance with the industrial workers, the Muslim Brotherhood stands as an example of a political movement made strong by the economic factors that united different social classes.

Putting his lecture to further political application, Beinin pointed out that "America only knows the axis of good and evil, not the underlying support systems within Islamic movements." Thanks to his research, Beinin helps widen understanding of this over-simplified phenomenon.