Majid Khadduri

(1908 – January 25. 2007)

Majid Khadduri was born to a Greek Orthodox family in Mosul, northern Iraq, in 1908. He completed his high school education in Mosul, and then left for
Beirut in 1928. He received his undergraduate degree from the American University of Beirut in 1932. He went on the Chicago and received a doctorate in political science and international law from the University of Chicago in 1938.

From 1939 to 1947, he worked at the Iraqi Ministry of Education in Baghdad. During the same period he also was a professor at the Law and Higher Teachers College in Baghdad

As World War II came to an end, he was sent to San Francisco as a member of Iraq’s delegation at the founding sessions of the United Nations. Although he was not the most senior member of the delegation, Dr. Khadduri helped in drafting what eventually became the charter of the world body. Notably, there were more graduates of the American University of Beirut among the U.N. founding delegates at San Francisco than from any other university in the world.

Majid Khadduri taught at Indiana University and the University of Chicago. In 1949 and for the next thirty years, he taught at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC. He served as professor of Middle East studies from 1949 to 1970. He was director of the SAIS Center for Middle East Studies from 1960 to 1980. From 1970 to1980, he was Distinguished Research Professor at SAIS.

He helped establish the University of Libya, and served as its dean in 1957.

He was a pioneer of Middle East and Islamic studies in the United States, and he was recognized as one of the world's leading authorities on Islamic law and jurisprudence, Islam, modern Arab and Iraqi history, and politics and personalities of the Middle East.

He knew many of the political and intellectual leaders he wrote about, and many of his students went on to become prominent diplomats, journalists, scholars and civil servants, both in the United States and in the Arab world.

He wrote more than 35 books in English and Arabic and dozens of major articles on Islamic jurisprudence, Arab personalities and the politics of
Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia. Many remain standard works.

Among his books:

Modern Libya: A Study in Political Development (June 1963)
Political Trends in the Arab World: The Role of Ideas and Ideals in Politics (January 1970)
Arab Contemporaries: The Role of Personalities in Politics (June 1973)
War and Peace in the Law of Islam (June 1977)
Socialist Iraq: A Study in Iraqi Politics since 1968 (January 1978) Independent Iraq, Nineteen Thirty-Two to Nineteen Fifty-Eight: A Study in Iraqi Politics (June 1980)
Arab Personalities in Politics (April 1981)
Law in the Middle East: Origin and Development of Islamic Law (October 1982)
Political Trends in the Arab World: The Role of Ideas and Ideals (June 1983)
The Arab Gulf States: Steps Toward Political Participation (February 1988)
The Gulf War: The Origins and Implications of the Iraq-Iran Conflict (May 1988)
War in the Gulf, 1990-91: The Iraq-Kuwait Conflict and Its Implications (August 2001)
The Islamic Conception of Justice (February 2002)

He founded al-Shaybani Society of International Law, an organization of academic and legal scholars interested in a better understanding of legal issues affecting the Muslim world.

He was Visiting Professor at many universities between 1947 and 1978, including Oxford University, Columbia University, Harvard University, the University of Virginia and Georgetown University.

Khadduri received numerous research fellowships, grants and honors, including a Philosophical Society grant; a Ford Foundation fellowship; a Fulbright grant; three Rockefeller Foundation grants.

He received the Order of Merit, first class, from the government of
Egypt; and the Order of the Rafidain, from the government of Iraq.

He was an honorary fellow of the Middle East Studies Association, a founder and president of the International Association of Middle East Studies and a corresponding member of the Academy of Arabic Language in Egypt and of the Iraqi Academy.

He was married to Majida Khadduri, who died in 1972. He died on January 25. 2007 in Bethesda, Maryland.