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 Welcome to the Arab-American Educational Foundation

The Arab-American Educational Foundation, Inc. (AAEF) was established in Houston in 1985 as a non-profit organization with
the mission to promote understanding of Arab culture, history and language, through the endowment of university chairs and
the sponsoring of academic programs, lecture series, cultural performances, scholarships, and research.

The AAEF has produced many successful events in the Houston area to educate the local community. The AAEF has also established the first Chair of Arab Studies in Houston, initiated at Rice University. Currently, the AAEF has successfully raised the necessary $1 million in an endowment campaign to establish a second Chair of Arab Studies in the area, at the University of Houston. We are very proud of our achievements on behalf of the Arab-American community, and invite you to join us in making as well as preserving history.


Current Projects


 Community Events

Establishing a Houston Center for Arab Studies

The AAEF is conducting discussions with the two chairs of Arab History and Middle East studies in Houston and university leadership to create a Center for Arab Studies. Please check back soon for more information.

The AAEF Hosts Social to Celebrate Establishing Chair of Arab Studies at University of Houston

An event was hosted on Friday, April 10, 2015, to celebrate the establishment of the Chair of Arab Studies. More than 150 guests attended the event at the Alumni Center.

Read more in:

Middle East Online

The Arab Weekly

AAEF President Featured in Three Videos

Dr. Aziz Shaibani was honored by the Arab American Cultural and Community Center at its annual gala in December 2017 with an award for his dedication to the community. See the video at

Dr. Shaibani gave a lecture at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston on Brain Science and Visual Art on 
October 26, 2017. See the video at

The AAEF cosponsored with the Arab American Cultural and Community Center a conversation with the Syrian thinker Professor Aziz Al Azmeh on secularism, moderated by Dr. Aziz Shaibani. See the video at

Articles by Dr. Ussama Makdisi, AAEF Chair at Rice University

The Mythology of the Sectarian Middle East  

Trump's Executive Order Pits Muslims Against Christians
November Discussion with Both AAEF Chairs: Law and Revolution in the Arab Spring

Discussants: Dr Ussama Makdisi (Rice University) and Dr Abdel Razzaq Takriti (University of Houston)

About the event:

Dr Sultany presented his recent book, Law and Revolution: Legitimacy and Constitutionalism After the Arab Spring (Oxford University Press, 2017). This award winning book offers a critical re-examination of political, legal, and constitutional theory in light of the Arab Spring. It is a comprehensive study of the constitutional order that preceded and followed the Arab Spring in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Jordan, Algeria, Oman, and Bahrain, while at the same time drawing on comparative insights derived from other revolutionary contexts. The book won the Society of Legal Scholars’ Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship 2018 and was a joint winner of the 2018 International Society of Public Law Book Prize.

About the speaker:

Dr Nimer Sultany is Senior Lecturer in Public Law at SOAS ( He holds a Doctor of Juridical Science degree from Harvard Law School, and was the recipient of the British Academy Fellowship (2016-2017) and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at SUNY Buffalo Law School (2012-2013). Prior to joining SOAS, he practiced human rights law in Israel/Palestine, and was the director of the Political Monitoring Project at Mada al-Carmel—The Arab Centre for Applied Social Research. He published extensively on constitutional theory, comparative constitutionalism, and Israeli jurisprudence. Other publications include: “The State of Progressive Constitutional Theory: The Paradox of Constitutional Democracy and the Project of Political Justification” in the Harvard Civil Rights—Civil Liberties Law Review; “Against Conceptualism: Islamic Law, Democracy, and Constitutionalism in the Aftermath of the Arab Spring” in the Boston University International Law Journal; and “Activism and Legitimation in Israel's Jurisprudence of Occupation” in Social & Legal Studies.

Celebration of First Chair of Arab Studies at the University of Houston


Endowment Campaign for the University of Houston Chair of Modern Arab Studies


We invite you to view our endowment campaign video and lecture videos at the links below.

Celebration of Chair of Arab Studies at University of Houston, April 2015

Shawqi Kassis Lecture at Rice University, November 2014

Robert Fisk Lecture at Rice University, May 2014

Charles Hirschkind Lecture at Rice University, April 2014

Ussama Makdisi Lecture at Rice University, March 2014
Marcel Khalife Lecture at Rothko Chapel
, April 2012

Anthony Shadid Lecture
, October 2011

Poet Adonis Lecture
, October 2010

Contact Us

The Arab-American Educational Foundation
P.O. Box 270333
Houston, Texas 77277-0333

Phone: 832-350-8477

Facebook: @ArabAmericanEF