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Professor Abdelwhab Elmessiri - Philosophers of the Arabs

Professor Abdelwhab Elmessiri - Philosophers of the Arabs



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Published by samirabuzaid
An article presents Professor Elmessir's Philosophical thought -
From Philosophers of the Arabs www.arabphilosophers.com
An article presents Professor Elmessir's Philosophical thought -
From Philosophers of the Arabs www.arabphilosophers.com

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Published by: samirabuzaid on Mar 11, 2009
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 Philosophers of the Arabs
Professor Abdel-Wahab Elmessiri
Elmessiri (1938 – 2008), professor of English andcomparative literature, an Egyptian thinker, one of the critics of westernmodernity, and a pro of founding an 'Islamic' version of modernism,author of the Encyclopedia "Jews, Judaism and Zionism".
Professor Abdel-Wahab Mohammad Ahmad Elmessiri, born inthe city of Damanhour, in a province in the Nile delta, around 150 kmnorth of Cairo, on the 8
of October 1938, died on 3
of June
Childhood and early life
Professor Elmessiri has been raised in a countryside wealthy family,and has been educated in the elementary and secondary schools in histown Damanhour. His father was a businessman, but he was keen to raisehis children on self-dependence. Dr. Elmessiri remembers this time andmentions that this way of raising up has made me a stubborn anddedicated researcher.
(Islam online, Elmessiri speaks for his life).
He has been educated during the elementary and secondaryperiods in Damanhour, and on 1955 joined Alexandria University, Facultyof literature, English literature division. He graduated on 1959 andappointed as a tutor in English literature. On 1961, he left to the UnitedStates to continue his higher studies. He earned his masters degree inEnglish and comparative literature from Columbia University on 1964,and earned his PhD degree from Rutgers University in English andAmerican comparative literature on
 Professor Abdel-Wahab Elmessir 
2hilosophers of the Arabs -
Professional Career
After his return to Egypt, Dr. Elmessiri was appointed as a teacherof English and American literature and critical theory at Ain shamsUniversity, girls' college, Cairo. He worked as a full professor from 1979till 1983, and as part time professor till his the end of his life. He workedalso as a professor in English and comparative literature at King SaudUniversity
(1983-1988), and the University of Kuwait (1988-1989), and theIslamic University at Malaysia. He was also a visiting professor in NasserMilitary Academy.Besides his work as a university professor, he was appointed as amember of the council of experts, and chief of the unit of Zionist thought,in the center of political and strategic studies, Al-Ahram newspaper (1970-1975); and as a cultural chancellor in the permanent delegate of the Arableague at the UN, New York (1975-1979); and as an Academic chancellorfor the International Institute of Islamic Thought (from 1992 till the end of his life); and as a member of the board of trustees of the University of Social and Islamic Sciences, Virginia State USA (1993 till the end of hislife); and as a member of the board of trustees of the University of Socialand Islamic Sciences, Washington, USA (1997 till the end of his life). Inaddition, he participated as an editorial chancellor for several magazinesin Egypt, Malaysia, Iran, USA, England and France.
Political Activities
 Since his youth, Elmessiri was active politically. He participated,during the period of British occupation of Egypt, in several politicalmovements and was involved in several civic protests against the rulingparties as well as the British existence. His activities continued in the early
 Professor Abdel-Wahab Elmessir 
3hilosophers of the Arabs -
fifties of the twentieth century, after the 1952 revolution, till his leave tothe States for study.He resumed his political activities in mid nineties when heparticipated and played a central role in establishing and formulating thepolitical agenda of the new 'Wasat Party' (meaning the middle or midwayparty). The Wasat is a party that acknowledges the democratic live of Egypt as a modern state, albeit with an Islamic background. This role canbe viewed as a means of expressing his philosophical vision in the politicalarena. On 2005 he joined the newly formed "The Egyptian movement forchange" widely know as "Kefaya", and became its president on 2007 tillthe end of his
Elmessiri's intellectual journey goes back to the secondary schoolperiod at which he embraced the communist thought and joined anEgyptian communist party for some time. At this early stage, he believedin the western modernist thought, in general, and the communist thoughtin particular. This conviction continued with him until the time of hisstudies at the states in the early sixties of the twentieth century.Elmessiri during the sixties, in the States, both realistically andintellectually, has witnessed the essential transformations through whichwestern modernity have been passing. This situation represents thestarting point of the turn away from his modernist convictions, in general,and the communist convection in particular. He mentions that thebeginnings of his conversion toward the Islamic thought go back to 1963.He adds that the essence of his view is that human being is a uniquecreature and is not a material one, and consequently, equality and justicebetween humans is an essential requirement, he says,
This essential vision is the common thread of all my writings, and in theevolution of my intellectual life. My philosophical position has been changed

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