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International agendas and local manifestations: Universities in Cairo, Beirut and Jerusalem after World War I


This article traces the influence of international networks in three Middle Eastern universities from the 1920s onwards: the American University of Beirut, the American University in Cairo and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. It shows how American, internationalist, imperial and religious actors competed and how the universities were placed in these often overlapping or interconnected networks. It illustrates the complicated process of institutionalizing the new universities, for instance in financing them or validating degrees. The article also looks at the role the universities played in the attempt to transform local societies, as they devised outreach programmes and language policies that aimed to spread English, to simplify Arabic, or to modernize Hebrew.

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Correspondence to Valeska Huber.

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Huber, V. International agendas and local manifestations: Universities in Cairo, Beirut and Jerusalem after World War I. Prospects 45, 77–93 (2015).

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  • American University of Beirut
  • American University in Cairo
  • Hebrew University
  • Internationalism
  • Outreach programmes
  • Elite formation
  • Language policies