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Emran El-Badawi

Emran El-Badawi

Associate Professor
Program Director, Middle Eastern Studies

618 Agnes Arnold Hall
Phone: (713)743-3044
View CV


Dr. Emran El-Badawi is program director and associate professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Houston. He founded the Arab Studies program at UH and he has designed, implemented and assessed degree programs in the Humanities and Sciences. These include degrees in Arab-Middle East Studies, Religious Studies and interdisciplinary studies in Energy, Development and Sustainability, with a focus on US-Middle East relations. El-Badawi has consulted for various industries, including government, law and oil & gas. He is also active in program development and fund raising. 

El-Badawi is also the founding executive director and treasurer of the International Qur'anic Studies Association, which is the world's first learned society of its kind. Part of IQSA’s goal is to bridge the divide between scholars in the west and those in Muslim majority countries through international conferences. 

El-Badawi has published in English as well as Arabic and has made dozens of national as well as international media appearances, including for The New York TimesAl-Jazeera and Association Relative à la Télévision Européenne (ARTE). His awards include honorable acclaim by the British-Kuwait Friendship Society Book Prize for his book on The Qur'an and the Aramaic Gospel Traditions. His current research projects include a book on 'Arab Liberalism' between secular nationalism and political Islam, as well as a project documenting the evolution of Eastern Church/Canon Law to Shariah Law. 

El-Badawi has a bachelors degree in Computer Science from Rutgers University, and he received his Ph.D. with honors in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago.



  • Editor, Communities of the Qur’an (in progress)
  • Co-author, A History of the Classical Middle East. San Diego: Cognella Academic Publishing, (forthcoming, 2017).
  • The Qur’an and the Aramaic Gospel Traditions. New York; London: Routledge Press, 2013; repr. 2016.
    • (NOMINATED for British-Kuwait Friendship Society Book Prize 2014)


  • “Between Qur’an and Church Canon: Near Eastern law and politics in the long seventh century, ca. 570-705 CE” (in progress 2016)
  • “Religious violence in the Middle East: Military intervention, Salafi-Jihadism and the dream of a Caliphate” Journal of International and Area Studies (under review, 2016)
  • “When Jews and Christians believed in the Qur’an,” Conflict and Convergence in Late Antiquity: Judaism and Christianity at the Origins of Islam, Ed. Michael Pregill, Mizan (2015): 1-7.
  • “Al-bahth ‘an al-siyaq al-qur’ani – nabdhah ‘an al-dirasat al-qur’aniyyah al-hadithah” (Arabic) Al-Machreq Online 5.1 (2014): 1-7.
  • “The impact of Aramaic (especially Syriac) on the Qur’ān” Religion Compass 8.7 (2014): 220-28.
  • “From ‘clergy’ to ‘celibacy:’ The development of rahbaniyyah between Qur’an, Hadith and Church Canon” Al-Bayan: Journal of Qur’an and Hadith Studies 11.1 (2013): 1-14.
  • “A humanistic reception of the Qur’an,” English Language Notes 50.2, Scriptural Margins: On the Boundaries of Sacred Texts (2012): 99-112.
  • “Divine kingdom in Syriac Matthew and the Qur’an” Journal of Eastern Christian Studies 61.1-2, 2009.
  • “Tales of king Abgar: A basis to investigate earliest Syrian Christian syncretism” Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies 20.2 (2006): 25-44.


  • “Associators (mushrikun); unbelievers (kafirun); those astray (dallun); oppressors (zalimun); hypocrites (munafiqun)” Routledge Companion to the Qur’an. Eds. Daniel Madigan and Maria Dakake (in progress)
  • “From clerical to scriptural authority: The Qur’an’s dialogue with the Syriac New Testament,” [Editted Volume], Ed. Mun’im Sirry (forthcoming 2017)
  • Sixteen commentaries (Q 2:255-256; 3:33-63; 4:1-28; 5:105-20; 36:13-27; 37:6-11; 37:149-82; 43:81-83; 44:43-57; 46:7-12; 48; 53; 55; 75; 90; 97), The Qur’an Seminar Commentary / Le Qur’an Seminar: A Collaborative Study of 50 Qur'anic Passages / Commentaire collaboratif de 50 passages coraniques. Eds. G. S. Reynolds and Mehdi Azaiez. Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter, 2016.
  • “Conflict and Reconciliation: ‘Arab liberalism’ in Syria and Egypt,” Egypt and the Contradictions of Liberalism. Eds. Dalia Fahmy and Daanish Faruqi. London: OneWorld, 2016.
  •  “Remembering Zakaria,” The Qur’an in Conversation. Ed. Michael Birkel. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2014, pp. 40-48.
  •  “Condemnation in the Qur’an and the Syriac Gospel of Matthew” New Perspectives on the Qur’an: The Qur’an in Its Historical Context 2. Ed. G.S. Reynolds. London; New York: Routledge, 2011, pp. 449-466.


  • “Syriac and the Qur’an,” The Encyclopedia of the Qur’an (Supplement). Ed. Jane McAuliffe. E.J. Brill (in progress)
  • “The messenger’s creed” Q 2:285 (in progress)
  • “Jerusalem and Antioch in the Qur’an,” Bible Odyssey (2014).
  • “Tariq al-Suweidan,” The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women. Ed. Natana DeLong-Bas et. al. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. (winner of 2013 PROSE Award)
  • “Islamic Humanism,” Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God. 2 vols. Ed. C. Fitzpatrick and A. Walker, Santa Barbra, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2013. (winner of US 2015 RUSA Award for “Outstanding Reference Sources”) 


  • “Muslims should welcome a new, modern perspective on prophet’s sayings,” Christian Science Monitor, August 7, 2013.
  • with Gabriel Reynolds, “The Qur’an and the Syriac Bible,” Oxford Islamic Studies Online and Oxford Biblical Studies Online, Focus On Essay, June 2013.
  • with Gabriel Reynolds, “Anti-Muslim video – one more reason for independent scholarship on the Quran,” Christian Science Monitor, October 8, 2012. (response by John Weiglhofer, “Quran must be better understood,” November 12)
  • “Arab Studies in the American Academy,” Alumni Ties at Rutgers Preparatory School 5.1, July 2012.
  • with Anthony Banout, “From Tahrir to Maspero: Religious Tensions in Egypt Before and After the Revolution,” Sightings - Magazine of the Martin Marty Center, University of Chicago Divinity School, November 3, 2011.
  • Dozens of blog posts in Arabic and English http://iqsaweb.com


  • Faleh Husayn, “The Participation of Non-Arab Elements in the Umayyad Army and Administration” (Musharakat al-‘anasir ghayr al-‘arabiyyah fi al-jaysh wa al-idarah al-umawiyyah), Articulation of Islamic State Structures. Ed. Fred Donner. London: Ashgate Vaiorum, 2012. (Arabic to English)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Valley of the Kings/Wadi Al-Muluk [DVD, Arabic Translation] 2006. (Arabic to English)
  • Transcription, translation and annotation of several MSS from the Arthur Vööbus Syriac manuscript collection, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2006-2007. (Syriac to English)


  • “The ancient origin of qur’anic laws,” Review of Holger Zellentin, The Qur’an’s Legal Culture: The Didascalia Apostolorum as a Point of Departure (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013), in The Marginalia Review of Books, June 25, 2015.



  • M.A. thesis reader: Hasan Ylmaz (University of Houston; 2012), “A Study of Muslim Experiences with Discrimination and Prejudice in Houston”


  • B.A. Honors Thesis: Sahar Sadoughi, TBD on human rights in the Middle East (University of Houston, Spring 2016)
  • B.A. Honors Paper: Sarah Jaroudi, “Zahra’s Time Lapse; Development of Arab Women Writers Pre & Post Lebanese Civil War” (University of Houston, Spring 2014)
  • B.A. Honors Paper: Mary Catherine Honeycutt, “Perception Shapes Religion: A Study of the Qur’an & Bible Through the Eyes of the University” (University of Houston, Spring 2014)


  • Mentor, National History Day, “Exploring Al Andalus: Spain’s Encounter with the Moors, and the Cultural Exchange that fueled the Renaissance,” DeBakey High School for Health Professions, Houston, TX, Spring 2016
  • Capstone Mentor, Global Studies Academy, Clements High School, Sugar Land, TX, Fall 2015
  • Mentor, advisor on how to start an Arab Studies club; discussing Middle East conflict resolution, Carnegie Vanguard High School, Houston, TX, Fall 2013


  • Oil, Religion & the Middle East (ENRG 4397 / ARAB 3397)
  • Modern Middle East: Literature, Politics and Ideas (WCL 3377)
  • Modernity and Rationalism in Islamic Traditions (ARAB 3340)
  • Early Islamic Society: Literature and Thought ca. 750-1250 (WCL 3341)
  • Introduction to Arabic Literature in Translation (ARAB 3312)
  • Women and Gender in Arabic Literature (ARAB 3314)
  • Qur’an as Literature (ARAB 3313)
  • Terrorism: Past and Present (guest lecturer; WCL 3397)
  • Human Situation 1: Antiquity (guest lecturer; HON 2101)
  • Frames of Modernity I: Renaissance to World War 2 (guest lecturer; WCL 4351)
  • Elem, Inter & Adv Modern Standard Arabic (ARAB 10101-30201)
  • Spoken Colloquial Arabic I & II (FLSCAR)
  • Introduction to Islam (W200)
  • World Religions (C051)
  • Western Religions (R053)
  • Death and Dying (W343)