Emran El-Badawi

Emran El-Badawi

Assistant Professor,
Director, Arab Studies Program

618 Agnes Arnold Hall
Phone: (713)743-3044
Email: eelbadaw@central.uh.edu
View CV


Dr. Emran El-Badawi joined the department of Modern and Classical Languages in fall of 2011. Prior to becoming a member of the faculty at the University of Houston, Emran completed his PhD with honors in 2011 from the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. Prior to that he completed an MA in Religion from Temple University in 2005 and a BA in Computer Science from Rutgers University in 2003. He has also studied in the Middle East and South East Asia.


Dr. El-Badawi teaches courses on Arabic language, literature, Islamic Studies and Middle Eastern History. He established the Arab Studies Minor, developed the curriculum for the Middle Eastern Studies concentration for the BA in World Cultures and Literature, and he recently established Arabic language credit by examination. Dr. El-Badawi is also Executive Director of the International Qur'anic Studies Association and serves on several other international and local academic committees.


Dr. El-Badawi’s areas of research are Arab intellectual history, Early Islamic history and Qur’anic Studies. His current research projects explore intellectual history in the contemporary as well as pre-modern Arab world. His current projects include a study on Enlightenment and Islamic Modernism in the contemporary Arab world, and a study on the relationship of Islamic as well as Syriac Christian legal tradition.



  • Co-author, A Classical History of the Middle East. San Diego: Cognella Press (in progress, 2016-17)
  • The Qur’an and the Aramaic Gospel Traditions. New York; London: Routledge Press, 2013. [NOMINATED for British-Kuwait Friendship Society Book Prize 2014]


  •  “Legal tradition in the long seventh century, ca. 570-705 CE” (in progress 2015)
  •  “Al-bahth ‘an al-siyaq al-qur’ani – nabdhah ‘an al-dirasat al-qur’aniyyah al-hadithah” (Arabic) Al-Machreq (forthcoming December 2014)
  •  “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.


  • “The liberals of Egypt and the Levant after the Arab Spring.” (in progress 2015)
  • “Associators (muskrikun); unbelievers (kafirun); those astray (dallun); oppressors (zalimun); hypocrites (munafiqun)” Routledge Companion to the Qur’an. Eds. Daniel Madigan and Maria Dakake (in progress 2015)
  • “Remembering Zakaria—A conversation with Emran El-Badawi” The Qur’an in Conversation. Ed. Michael Birkel. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2014.
  • “From Clerical to Scriptural Authority: The Qur’an’s Dialogue with the Syriac New Testament” [Edited Volume]. Eds. Angelica Neuwirth and Michael Sells. London; New York: Routledge, 2015 (forthcoming 2015)
  • “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.


  • Multiple entries, The Quran Seminar: a new commentary on 50 Qur’anic passages / Le Qur'an Seminar, Nouveau commentaire de 50 passages coraniques. Eds. G. S. Reynolds and Mehdi Azaiez. New York: Cambridge University Press (forthcoming 2015)
  • “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.


  • Ali Mabrouk, Nusus hawl al-qur’an (Rabat, Morocco: Mu’minun bila hudud, 2015), in Review of Qur’anic Research (in progress 2015)
  • Munther Younes, The Routledge Introduction to Qur’anic Arabic (London: Routledge, 2012), in Journal of Shi’a Islamic Studies (in progress 2014)
  • Holger Zellentin, The Qur’an’s Legal Culture: The Didascalia Apostolorum as a Point of Departure (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013), in Marginalia Review of Books (in progress 2014)


  • Husayn, Faleh, “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)


  • “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.
  •  “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.
  • Blog articles (http://iqsaweb.com; http://iqlid.wordpress.com, in English and Arabic)


  • Esme Murphy, “History of ISIS,” CBS Radio, September 27, 2014.
  • José Griñán, “Conflict in Israel following ongoing pattern,” Fox 26, July 22, 2014.
  • José Griñán, “Univ. of Houston professor explains how Iraq crisis affects U.S.,” Fox 26, June 23, 2014.
  • On ISIS in Iraq, Aljazeera English, June 20, 2014.
  • “Jésus à l’Islam,” Association Relative à la Télévision Européenne (ARTE), dir. Gérard Mordillat and Jérôme Prieur, July 15, 2013 (in production)
  • Marisa Ramirez, “UH Moment: Arab Studies,” KUHF-FM News/Houston Public Radio, June 20, 2012.


  • Kyle Devasier, “Scholars discuss Middle East crisis, U.S. foreign policy, ”The Daily Cougar, November 15, 2014.
  • Ericka Mellon, “HISD board to vote on Arabic-immersion school,” Houston Chronicle,  November 13, 2014.
  • Kyle Devasier, “ISIS, military invasion to be discussed by Honors-hosted panel,”  The Daily Cougar, November 12, 2014.
  • Michelle Iracheta and Mihir Zaveri, “Obama’s ISIS campaign touches a raw Texan nerve, generates support, skepticism,” Houston Chronicle, September 13, 2014.
  • Allan Turner, “Documentary calls on Muslims in U.S. to be more inclusive,” Houston Chronicle, July 2, 2014.
  • Peter Suciu, “Shadows of World War I Continue to Haunt Modern Iraq,” Armchair General, June 26, 2014.
  • Ting Xuan Tan, “Experts react to possible Iraq airstrike,” Daily Iowan, June 24, 2014.
  • Sơn Duân,“Sự trỗi dậy của ISIL,” Thanh Niên, June 22, 2014
  • Ehab Zahriyeh, “How ISIL became a major force with only a few thousand fighters,” Aljazeera America, June 19, 2014.
  • Shawn Lindsey, “UH expert lends historical context to ISIS insurgency in Iraq,” UH News, June 18, 2014.
  • Melissa Caroll, “UH researcher strengthens link between Quran and Bible,” UH News, March 10, 2014.
  • Menachem Wecker, “‘Bridging Atlantic divide in studies of Quran,” Houston Chronicle, March 6, 2014.
  • Mike Emery, “UH Mitchell Center awarded grant to promote understanding of Muslim culture through art,” UH News, January 16, 2014.
  • Lynn Garrett and Marcia Z. Nelson, “Academic publishing alive and thriving as religion scholars meet,” Publishers Weekly, November 27, 2013.
  • Nora Olabi, “Director molds emissaries of peace,” The Daily Cougar, November 26, 2013.
  • Ramit Plushnick-Masti, “For Fort Hood Shooter, Is Execution Punishment?,” Associated Press, August 24, 2013.
  • Melissa Caroll, “‘Under the Bombs,’ Film screening inaugural event for Arab Studies,” UH News, March 21, 2013.
  • Dina Kesbeh, “Arab Studies, student union to air film,” The Daily Cougar, March 21, 2013.
  • Mike Emery, “Exhibition at UH dedicated to Arab American’s contributions to US,” UH.edu, February 26, 2013.
  • Aimee Bachari, “Moving Forward: Area Studies Programs and Diversity at UH,” Houston History, November 26, 2012.
  • Menachem Wecker, “As Muslim student population grows, UH debuts Arab studies minor,” Houston Chronicle, November 1, 2012.
  • Paul Kopenkoskey, “Arab studies chief focusing on peace,” Houston Chronicle, June 21, 2012.
  • Mark Oppenheimer, “Across Religions, Persistent Battles Over What the Faithful May Read,” New York Times, June 9, 2012.
  • “Bible scholars back more critical studies of Qur’an,” The Christian Century, June 7, 2012.
  • Peter Monaghan, “For Koranic Studies, a Scholarly Society Is Born,” Chronicle for Higher Education, June 7, 2012.
  • Kaustuv Basu, “A big tent society: A scholarly organization for those who study the Koran,” Inside Higher Ed, May 30, 2012.
  • Melissa Caroll, “New Minor in Arab Studies Debuts at UH, Emran El-Badawi Named First Director of Program,” UH News, May 14, 2012.


  • Invited participant, Annual Osher International Theology Conference, Jerusalem, Theme: “The Religious Problem of Environmental Ethics,” January 19-23, 2014.
  • Three colloquium presentations on Q 4:2-28; Q 36; Q 75, The Qur’an Seminar, University of Notre Dame, December 2012; February; March, 2013
  • “Clerical authority in the Qur’an: A dialogue with the Syriac Gospels and Acts of the Apostles,” Workshop on Qur’anic Studies today – methodological diversity as a challenge: Biblical traditions revisited in the Qur’an, University of Chicago, November 9, 2012
  • “The qur’anic perspective on the Early Church: A dialogue with the Syriac Acts of the Apostles,” Society for Biblical Literature, Chicago, November 18, 2012
  • “The Qur’an and the Early Church,” Houston Colloquium, Lanier Theological Library, Houston, October 11, 2012
  • “The Qur’an: Revelation and Scripture,” “The Qur’an: Previous Nations and the Apocalypse,” “The Qur’an: Laws and Lessons,” Honors College, University of Houston, November 2011
  • “The Evolution of Arab Enlightenment Thought and Its Prospects after the Egyptian Revolution,” Middle East History and Theory Conference, University of Chicago, May 2011
  • “Stages of the Apocalypse in the Qur’an and Aramaic Gospel Traditions,” Middle East History and Theory Workshop, in a joint meeting with the Workshop on Late Antiquity and Byzantium, University of Chicago, May 2011
  • “Prophetic Tradition in the Qur’an,” Middle East Studies Association, San Diego, California, November 2010
  • “Prophetic Tradition in the Late Antique Near East,” Middle East History and Theory Workshop, in a joint meeting with the Workshop on Late Antiquity and Byzantium, University of Chicago, May 2010
  • “The Language of Condemnation: a Comparative Analysis of the Qur’an and Syriac Matthew,” 2nd Conference on the Qur’an in its Historical Context, University of Notre Dame, April 2009
  • “The Language of Condemnation in the Syriac Gospel of Matthew and the Qur’an,” Duroshe Annual Graduate Student Conference on Syriac Studies, Yale University, March 2009


  • "Critiquing Islam and Violence," Center for Religious Diversity and Public Life, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Spring 2015
  • TBA, A. D. Bruce Religion Center, University of Houston, February 2015
  • "Military Intervention and Human Rights in Iraq: A UH Perspective," Panel discussion, Honors College, University of Houston, November 14, 2014
  • "Al-bahth ‘an al-siyaq al-qur’ani / In search for the qur’anic context" (talk in Arabic), Department of Arabic and Near Eastern Languages, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon, May 16, 2014
  • Opening remarks & moderator for keynote lecture, International Qur’anic Studies Association, Baltimore, November 22, 2013
  • "Introduction to IQSA," International Qur’anic Studies Association/Society of Biblical Literature, University of St. Andrews, Scotland, July 2013
  • Discussant, Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians in the Umayyad State Symposium at the University of Chicago, June 17-18, 2011, “Looking for Jews in the Umayyad Period: First Efforts at a Prolegomena to the History of Jews in the Early Islamic Centuries” by Fred Astren
  • “Misr bayna al-tanwir wa al-thawrah / Egypt between Enlightenment and Revolution” (talk in Arabic), Arabic Circle Lecture Series, University of Chicago, February 2011
  • “Islamic Modernism and the Arab World,” Department of Humanities, University of Louisville, February 2011
  • “The Evolution of Arab Enlightenment Thought,” Department of Modern and Classical Languages, University of Houston, February 2011
  • “A Survey of Modern Qur’anic Studies,” Department of Religion, University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia, December 2010
  • Discussant, Middle East History and Theory Workshop, January 11, 2010, “The Early Development of the Qur’anic Hanif: an Exegetical Analysis” by Mun’im Sirri
  • “The Qur’an and the Aramaic Gospel Traditions,” Corpus Coranicum, Berlin, Germany, June 2009


  • TBA, Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS), Arab American Cultural and Community Center, Houston, Spring 2015
  • Two presentations at private donor dinners in support of campaign to hire Chair of Arab History, Arab American Educational Foundation, April 2012, 2013
  • “Arab Studies at UH”, World Affairs Council, April 2013; Discussion Leader, Foreign Language Awards Luncheon, World Affairs Council of Houston, April 2012, 2013
  • “Qur’anic Parallels in the Bible,” Islamic Society of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, May 2001
  • “On Chapter 12 of the Qur’an, Surat Yusuf,” Noor ul-Eman School, Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, May 2000



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


  • Supervisor, Honors paper: Sarah Jaroudi, Paper on Hoda Barakat  (University of Houston, Spring 2014) 
  • Supervisor, Honors paper: Mary Catherine Honeycutt, Survey project on Qur’an and Bible (University of Houston, Spring 2014)


  • Qur’an as Literature
  • Early Islamic Society: Literature and Thought ca. 750-1250
  • Modernity and Rationalism in Islamic Traditions
  • Women and Gender in Arabic Literature
  • Modern Middle East: Literature, Politics and Ideas
  • Human Situation 1: Antiquity (guest lecturer on the Qur’an)
  • Frames of Modernity I: Renaissance to World War 2 (guest lecturer on Islamic Thought)
  • Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced Modern Standard Arabic
  • Colloquial Egyptian & Levantine Arabic I & II
  • Introduction to Islam 
  • Western Religions
  • World Religions
  • Death and Dying