Ibrahim Abu-Lughod (1929-2001) is one of the leading Palestinian academics and intellectuals. He was born in Jaffa in British Mandate Palestine, and graduated from the Aamiriyah school there. After the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, he was forced to leave Palestine and then went to the US, via Beirut. In 1951, he earned his BA degree from the University of Illinois, and earned his PhD in Middle Eastern studies from Princeton University in 1957.
Abu-Lughod was one of the prominent academic activists in the US. In 1968, he established the Association of Arab-American University Graduates, along with Edward Said, Hisham Sharabi, Naseer Aruri, and others. He was also one of the key founders of the Arab Studies Quarterly, which became the voice of Arab-American academics who sought to regain a position of authority in analyzing major Palestinian and Arab issues in the US.
Abu-Lughod was a voracious reader, an author, and an editor. The Arab Rediscovery of Europe: A Study in Cultural Encounters (1963), The Arab-Israeli Confrontation of 1967: An Arab Perspective (1970), and The Transformation of Palestine (ed. 1972) were three of his most important books. Abu-Lughod also wrote and co-wrote numerous academic articles and monographs in both English and Arabic.
Abu-Lughod’s determination to preserve contact with Palestine drove him back to Birzeit University, where he worked as a Professor and Vice-President. He died in Palestine in 2001 at the age of 72.