Sami Zubaida is Emeritus Professor of Politics and Sociology at Birkbeck, and also holds posts as Professorial Research Associate at the Food Studies Centre at the School of Oriental and African Studies, and Research Associate at the London Middle East Institute at SOAS.
His research involves the religion, culture, politics and law of the Middle East, with particular attention to Egypt, Iran, Iraq and Turkey. His other research interest is food history and culture, ranging comparatively over Europe, the Middle East and India.
Born in Iraq, Sami Zubaida went to school in Baghdad before studying at the Universities of Hull and Leicester. He is the author of the recently published Beyond Islam: A New Understanding of the Middle East. Professor Zubaida’s earlier books include Islam, the People and the State: Political Ideas and Movements in the Middle East; A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East; and Law and Power in the Islamic World.
As a Visiting Hauser Global Professor of Law in 2006, Sami Zubaida taught Law and Politics in the Islamic World at New York University School of Law. In 2008 he was Shaykh Zayed Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the American University of Beirut, and in 2009 he delivered the Peter Green Lecture on the Modern Middle East at Brown University, USA. In 2011 his public lectures included speaking at Ravenna University, Italy; at the International Association of Media and Communication Research Conference, Istanbul; and delivering a keynote lecture at the Arab Thought Forum, Jordan.