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Eric Lob (Ph.D. 2013) was awarded an Honorable Mention by the International Society for Iranian Studies in the Mehrdad Mashayekhi Dissertation Award competition. Lob’s doctoral dissertation, “An Institutional History of the Iranian Construction Jihad” (2013), was supervised by Mirjam Künkler and is based on an impressive diversity of original primary data that is very difficult to obtain. The first organizational history of the rural development organization Jehad-e Sazand
Graduate student Simon Wolfgang Fuchs was awarded one of three European Association for South Asian Studies Research Student Awards at the 23rd meeting of the organization held July 23–26, 2014, at the University of Zurich (Switzerland).  The awards are given for the “most outstanding papers by currently registered research students presenting at the conference” and carry with it a prize of €300.

The Department and Program of Near Eastern Studies mourns the passing of our friend and colleague, Dr. Judith Laffan. Judy was a valued member of the Arabic Language instructional team since September 2011. 
Judy completed her Ph.D. at University of Queensland in July, 2011, and shortly after began teaching Arabic with us. She will be greatly missed by her colleagues, her students, and the many, many friends she made here at Princeton.
In lieu of flowers, the Laffan famil
Max Weiss has been promoted to associate professor and granted tenure by the University. Weiss, who has a joint appointment in Near Eastern Studies and History, specializes in the social, cultural, and intellectual history of the modern Middle East. His research interests include transformations of law and society, religious culture, history of ideas, and the translation of contemporary Arabic literature into English. Weiss has written In the Shadow of Sectarianism: Law, Shiʿism and the Making
Michael A. Cook, Class of 1943 University Professor of Near Eastern Studies, received the Holberg Prize from Norway’s HRH Crown Prince Haakon and Monica Mæland, Minister of Trade and Industry, at a ceremony held at Håkonshallen, Bergenhus Festning, Bergen, Norway, on June 4, 2014. The ceremony and Cook’s acceptance speech may be viewed at: http://www.holbergprisen.no/en.
Other events in Norway connected with the Prize included: a conversation with journalist and writer A
NES held its 2014 Class Day Reception on June 2 in 1915 Hall. At the reception, the Department and Program presented this year’s prize winners and announced departmental honors. Nadirah Mansour received Highest Honors and also won the Bayard and Cleveland Dodge Memorial Thesis Prize for her senior thesis, “From Nationalism to Public Piety: The Faces of Islamic Religious Authority in the Palestinian Context (1929–1935, 1951–1967).” Quinton Beck and Eleanor Wright bot
Quinton Alexander Beck and Eleanor Moselle Wright have been elected to Princeton’s chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. “The Phi Beta Kappa Society, founded in 1776 and the oldest of all national honorary scholastic societies, has a chapter at Princeton. Election to this chapter is based on scholastic standing and is open to candidates for the A.B. and B.S.E. degrees in their senior year. The chapter generally includes in its membership the highest-ranking tenth of each gradua
After nine years as Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Studies and twelve years as Director of the Program in Near Eastern Studies, Garrett Professor in Foreign Affairs M. Şükrü Hanioğlu will be stepping down effective July 1. M. Qasim Zaman, Robert H. Niehaus '77 Professor of Near Eastern Studies and Religion, will be the new Department Chair, and Cyrus Schayegh, Associate Professor of Near Eastern Studies, will be the new Program Director.
Seven students with NES connections were awarded summer Critical Language Scholarships by the U.S. Department of State, three for Arabic, three for Persian, and one for Urdu. NES concentrator Richard Grove ’14 studied Persian for three years in NES and will continue his study in Tajikistan. He will be joined there by Emily Goshen, a graduate student in Religion who has studied Persian for two years in NES, and Emily Charania ’17, who has completed one year of Persian in NES. All thre
Quinton Alexander Beck ’14 and Thomas Alexander Ledford ’13 were awarded 2014–15 Fulbright scholarships. Beck will be teaching English in Tajikistan and Ledford will be spending the year in Turkey.