first_imgNadav Safran, a wide-ranging scholar of the politics of the Middle East, whose works charted the modern political history and foreign relations of Egypt, Israel, and Saudi Arabia throughout momentous years of turmoil, taught at Harvard from 1959 until his retirement as the Murray A. Albertson Professor of Middle Eastern Studies in 1990.Born in Cairo to Joseph and Jeanne (Abadi) Za’farani into a largely non-observant family of oriental Jewish lineage, Safran developed an interest in religion and Zionism after graduating from high school. He embarked on religious studies and moved to a kibbutz in Palestine in 1946, where he changed his first name from Clement to Nadav, meaning ‘generous’ in Hebrew, and his last name to Safran. Two years later he fought as a commando in Israel’s war of independence, becoming a lieutenant in the Israeli army after the 1949 armistice. Moving to the United States in 1950, he entered the then new Brandeis University from which he graduated in 1954. The following year he married Anna Balicka and they had three daughters: Nina, Abigail, and Elizabeth.After a year spent in Europe on a Sheldon Fellowship, Safran undertook graduate studies at Harvard, completing his doctorate in 1958. His dissertation, a history of political ideas in Egypt, which was one of the first in Middle Eastern studies to employ the broader social science concepts of Max Weber, was published in revised form in 1961 by Harvard University Press as Egypt in Search of Political Community: An Analysis of the Intellectual and Political Evolution of Egypt, 1804-1952.As befits the scholar of a region whose domestic politics is intimately bound up with international relations, Safran combined interests in both fields. In 1963 he published a broad survey of Israeli- American relations entitled The United States and Israel, followed in 1969 by a study of Arab-Israeli relations within a broader international setting, From War to War: The Arab-Israeli Confrontation 1948-1967. In 1978 he published Israel: The Embattled Ally, a wide-ranging account of the founding and development of that nation with an emphasis on its relations with the United States. A parallel study came out in 1985, entitled Saudi Arabia: The Ceaseless Quest for Security, which the New York Times Book Review called “the most comprehensive, informative and reliable account of Saudi foreign policy yet written.” It charts the conflicting imperatives and factional struggles over security policy in the Saudi Kingdom with analytic skill and the detail of a sweeping historical narrative that goes back to 1744.Safran was a prominent member of an intellectual generation that sought to integrate the study of the politics of the Middle East with the analytic issues of mainstream social science. His books and articles join deep historical learning to contemporary analytical ambitions. Safran’s scholarship was also marked by a deep sensitivity to the cultures and concerns on both sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict, whose histories and complexion he understood intimately. Although he had fought for Israel, he retained a deep affection for Egypt and revisiting that country later in life was a moving experience for him. In a field whose subject matter evokes strong views, Safran stood out as a figure who could understand all sides of the issues. He was a student of the Arab-Israeli conflict who would be welcome today: someone with a deep personal and scholarly understanding of the issues involved, from both sides of the conflict, who knew well the difficulties of finding common ground.In the Department of Government, Safran played an important role as a graduate teacher about the politics of a region with great international significance. In the training of doctoral students, he insisted that there was no substitute for a full command of the languages spoken by those whose circumstances scholars sought to understand. He argued that political scientists should sustain a life-long commitment to understanding a people’s context, including where on the map they are located and the effects wrought by the timing and sequence of events. His teaching embodied a concern not only for the impact of wars but also for the multifarious effects of local cultures. Safran worked closely with his doctoral students and remained in touch with many of them for years after their graduation.Nadav Safran was a person of great good humor and a delightful conversationalist, and his affable temperament served him well on many occasions, not least when he served as Director of Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies, whose activities he significantly enlarged. He resigned from that position in 1986 amidst controversy over a grant received from the CIA, but remained a faculty member in the Department of Government until 1990, where his intellectual engagements had long ranged well beyond the Middle East. In seminars, Safran would often cast a skeptical eye on the conventional wisdom spouted about other parts of the world. As a colleague, he lent a sympathetic ear to junior colleagues who welcomed him as an interlocutor.In his later years, Safran pursued longstanding interests in the arts, and he took up painting with a striking enthusiasm. At his death, he was survived by his three daughters, Nina, Abigail, and Elizabeth, and his former wife, Anna, as well as three brothers and two sisters living in Israel.Respectfully submitted,Edward L. KeenanE. Roger OwenRoy MottahedehPeter A. Hall, Chairlast_img read more

first_imgTopics : Pharmacies in the oil-rich kingdom have reported shortages of masks amid panic buying, as authorities warned against hoarding and price hikes.Saudi Arabia is scrambling to limit the spread of the deadly disease at home. The kingdom’s health ministry on Sunday said the death toll from the COVID-19 disease had doubled to eight as cumulative infections rose from 1,203 to 1,299 — the highest in the Gulf region.Riyadh has imposed a nationwide partial curfew, barred entry and exit from the capital as well as Islam’s two holiest cities Mecca and Medina and prohibited movement between all provinces. Saudi authorities have seized more than five million medical masks that were illegally stockpiled amid the coronavirus outbreak, state media reported Sunday, as the death toll in the kingdom doubled.The commerce ministry seized 1.17 million masks from a private store in Hail, northwest of the capital, after authorities Wednesday confiscated more than four million masks stored in a facility in the western city of Jeddah in violation of commercial regulations, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.  The ministry said people behind such activities would be prosecuted, and that the confiscated masks would be redistributed to the open market. center_img King Salman warned last week of a “more difficult” fight ahead against the virus, as the kingdom faces the economic double blow of virus-led shutdowns and crashing oil prices.last_img read more

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first_imgNorthern Ireland and Watford defender Craig Cathcart has had a memorable past 12 months, but he wants the next year with club and country to be even more special. Press Association The 26-year-old will therefore be back in the Barclays Premier League next term and major-tournament football is on the horizon for Cathcart too if Northern Ireland can continue their Euro 2016 qualifying form and secure a trip to France next summer. “It couldn’t have gone any better really,” Cathcart said of his 2014/15 season. “This time last year I was out of contract and just about stayed up at Blackpool. A year down the line I’ve been promoted into the Premier League and in a great position with the international team so it couldn’t really have gone better in football terms for me. “For every team that goes up in the Championship, the next season in the Premier League is going to be difficult. You look at the likes of Leicester this year – that’s the sort of thing we want to do. We want to stay in the Premier League for as long as we can and hopefully build on that. “With Northern Ireland, we have got ourselves in a great position, hopefully we can carry it on through the campaign and get to France. It would be a great experience to get there.” Unfortunately for centre-back Cathcart, he also happens to play in a position where his international manager Michael O’Neill is blessed with options. Experienced heads such as Jonny Evans, Gareth McAuley and Aaron Hughes have been ahead of Cathcart in the pecking order and the emergence of Manchester United youngster Paddy McNair has only increased the competition. However, Cathcart believes the battle for spots is healthy and thinks his cause will be strengthened once he is back among the elite of the Premier League. Cathcart could well get his chance to impress in Sunday’s friendly against Qatar in Crewe, and he added: “We’ve had good defenders over the time I’ve been in the squad. “They’ve been in the Premier League playing and it’s obviously a step up from the Championship. Being in the Premier League can only be beneficial to myself and hopefully for Northern Ireland too. “We’ve had Jonny, Aaron Hughes, Gareth McAuley and obviously Paddy’s doing really well too. “We’re not short of defenders but that’s only going to be good for Northern Ireland. We’ve got a good solid base there. “We’ve shown in this campaign that we’ve gone away from home and got great results and clean sheets which has us in a great position.” This time last season Cathcart was left to reflect on a difficult time at Blackpool as he was part of the exodus out of Bloomfield Road following a campaign in which they narrowly avoided dropping into the third tier. He left the scrapheap by joining Watford and, although they went through three other managers before settling on Slavisa Jokanovic, Cathcart was an integral part of the Hornets’ promotion-winning squad. last_img read more