Abed Mansur


Indiana State University





Abed Mansur is surely one of the most worldly and widely traveled professors to have taught at Indiana State University.  His specialization in Middle Eastern history brought him to various teaching venues, both in the Middle East itself and, of course, in the United States.  Throughout his career he was able to draw upon his personal background and familiarity with Middle Eastern traditions, beliefs, and customs to help relate the history of this region to his students and scholarly audiences.


Born in Egypt on March 15, 1931, Mansur began his college education at the University of Cairo from 1951 to1952, later transferring to the American University of Beirut, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in history in 1956.  His advanced studies brought him first to UCLA in 1956, and then to the University of Oregon, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1964.   He began his professional career as a research assistant and part-time instructor at the American University of Beirut from 1964 to 1965, then moving on to the University of Saudi Arabia as an assistant professor of history from 1965 to 1966.  After that, he returned to the United States to work as an assistant professor at Southwestern State College of Oklahoma, and eventually found a tenure-track position at Indiana State University in 1970, where he remained until 1992. 


During his two decades at ISU, Mansur’s teaching activities naturally centered on the Middle East, creating two wholly new courses on this region and Islam.  But he also branched out to other areas and time periods as well.  Notably, he dedicated part of his sabbatical leave in 1990 to visiting to ancient historical sites in Greece and Egypt in order to acquire suitable audio-visual materials for the course he was planning to teach on the ancient world upon his return.  He also spent one academic leave as a visiting professor of history at the University of the United Arab Emirates from 1979 to1980, an experience that no doubt enriched his teaching upon his return to ISU.


Mansur was very active in the realm of university and professional service.  At the university level, he held positions on the Student Affairs Committee, Scholarship Committee, Academic Affairs Committee, and Greek Affairs Committee.  He also took an active part in the Advisory Committee of the Dean of Arts and Sciences, the Arts and Sciences Ad Hoc Committee for the Development of Interdisciplinary South Asian Student Programs, as well as the Promotions Committee of the College of Arts and Sciences, Arts and Sciences Faculty Council, Program Development Subcommittee of the Graduate Council, Executive Committee of the Graduate Council, Faculty Affairs Committee of the Arts and Sciences Faculty Council, and Informal Hearing Committee of the Arts and Sciences Faculty Council.  At the departmental level, Mansur served on the Budget, Graduate Studies, Tenure and Promotion, and Salary Committees, and was for a time the coordinator of Phi Alpha Theta.  At the student level, Mansur sponsored the Arab Students Cultural Club and Iranian Student Association, judged student applications for scholarships awarded by the Panhellenic Council, and served on the Educational Program Committee for Residential Life.  In the profession itself, Mansur was a Fellow of the Middle East Studies Association of North America and a prominent member of The Middle East Institute.  He also held membership in the Middle East Studies Association, American Historical Association, American Committee on the History of the Second World War, and the Indiana Academy of Social Sciences. 


Mansur’s research activities and content knowledge brought him a degree of national attention in the late 1970’s, as he was one of only twenty-two university professors to be invited to Washington by the State Department to participate in its Scholar-Diplomat Conference, in the hopes of inducing Syria and Jordan to join the contemporary peace negotiations between Egypt and Israel.  While on leave in 1979-1980, he delivered three lectures to the Diplomacy Forum (sponsored by the Foreign Ministry of the United Arab Emirates) on the history of French, British, and American policy in the Middle East.  During the summer of 1988 and again during his sabbatical in 1990, Mansur collected research data from Syrian government archives in Damascus and from the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris in support of his ongoing study of Anglo-French conflicts in Syria and Lebanon during World War II.  He retired from ISU in December 1992, and moved shortly thereafter to Syria, where he still currently resides and continues to pursue his reseach interests.



Steffyn Kiefer






Mansur, Abed.  Promotion and tenure documentation.  University Archives, Indiana State University.  Terre Haute, Indiana.


Selected Publications


“Sultan Abdul Hamid II and Theodor Herzl: The Story of the First Zionist Attempt to Establish a Jewish National Home in Palestine, 1891-1894,” Hadarat Al-Islam 1-2 (1971): 146-166.

“Egyptian Arab Nativism in the Nationalist Movement of Arabi Pasha, 1880-1882,” Al, Katib 127 (1971): 46-52.

Great Britain and the Birth of Syrian and Lebanese Independence,” International Studies 16 (1977): 245-273.

 “Emile Nakhleh’s The United States and Saudi Arabia: A Critique,” The Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula Studies Journal 13 (1978): 97-105.

 “Franco-British Interests in Egypt Prior to 1798,” The Arab Historians: A Bulletin of Historical Research 10 (1979): 71-98.

“The Growth of Nationalism in Egypt and the Outbreak of the Arabi Revolution,” in Studies in Arab History, ed. Abdul Wahhb Ahmad, 273-343 (Al Ain: United Arab Emirates University, 1980).