ON-Lion Letter

Bradley Prize recipient Fouad Ajami died in June at the age of 68.  One of the most-influential Arab-American intellectuals of his generation, Ajami was an ardent and outspoken proponent of democracy in the Middle East.

After the first round Iraqi elections in 2005, Ajami said, “The spectacle of ordinary Iraqis, old women, old men, Iraqis returning from far away to vote, people holding up their forefingers dipped in purple ink gave the lie to the idea that democracy is alien or need be alien to this region.”

Born in 1945 in Arnoun, in the south of Lebanon, Ajami was the Majid Khadduri Professor and Director of the Middle East Studies Program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C., for 30 years.  He was also a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and a co-chair of its Working Group on Islamism and the International Order.  Previously, he had been a faculty member of Princeton University’s Department of Politics, a fellow at Princeton’s Center of International Studies, and a research fellow at The Lehrman Institute.

A prolific and elegant writer and commentator, Ajami was the author of numerous books -- including The Foreigner's Gift:  The Americans, the Arabs, and the Iraqis in Iraq, The Vanished Iman:  Musa al Sadr and the Shia of Lebanon, The Syrian Rebellion, and the just-released The Struggle for Mastery in the Fertile Crescent.

In 1982, Ajami was awarded a MacArthur Prize Fellowship.  His received his Bradley Prize in 2006.

The Hoover Institution has compiled a collection of memorials and his best analysis online.

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