Paul Sedra

Associate Professor of Middle East History, Simon Fraser University

Paul Sedra is Associate Professor of Middle East History at Simon Fraser University. He studied Arabic as an undergraduate at Princeton University. In his senior year at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, his thesis project involved a summer of interviews with Egyptian public figures on Coptic-Muslim relations. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa in international affairs at Princeton, Dr. Sedra was awarded the Commonwealth Scholarship for study towards a Master's degree at Oxford University. A chance discovery at the Church Missionary Society archives in Birmingham prompted a shift of focus from Egyptian politics to Egyptian history, and his master's thesis would address the activities of nineteenth-century Anglican missionaries in Cairo. Dr. Sedra was enticed back to the United States by New York University's pioneering joint program in History and Middle Eastern studies, developed by Michael Gilsenan and Zachary Lockman. NYU's MacCracken Fellowship permitted two years of fieldwork in Cairo and London, after which he ended up once again in Toronto, writing up the doctoral dissertation and teaching at U of T. Dr. Sedra defended the dissertation in late 2005, by which point he had taken up an Assistant Professorship in History at Dalhousie University. In 2006, he made the move from coast to coast, and assumed his current post at SFU.

Most Recent Posts

Sedra: Will Obama be successful in convincing Netanyahu not to strike Iran?

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March 5, 2012

President Obama has made it clear that his administration does not support a military strike against Iran at this time (particularly in an election year). I tend to believe the rhetoric of top Israeli political leaders, like Prime Minister Netanyahu, that Israel will act alone if it feels it has to. After all, many of […]

Sedra: How should Canada respond to the rising violence in Syria?

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February 27, 2012

That Canada chose not to withdraw its ambassador to Syria as the American and British governments were withdrawing theirs simply underscores Canada’s irrelevance in the Arab world – an irrelevance exacerbated by the Harper government’s wholesale abandonment of an ‘honest broker’ role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One would think that state killing on the scale […]

The Dignity Revolution

The Dignity Revolution

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November 21, 2011

Egypt scholar Paul Sedra tells Sawiris to get serious about the social forces driving the revolution.