Damascus University mourns the death of the Master ”Sheikh” of Syrian Historians, Professor Dr. Abdul Karim Rafiq

Professor of History at Damascus University and the sheikh of Syrian Historians, Professor Dr. Abdul Karim Rafiq, who devoted his life to scientific research and to teaching the history of Syria under the Ottoman rule, and the Modern History of Arabs, has passed away after a long career full of giving and scientific research. His unique book on the history of the Syrian University (Damascus University) and all his writings will remain a witness and reference for students and researchers in the history of Syria and the Arabs.


Biography of the late Professor Dr. Abdul Karim Rafiq:

He was born in the city of Idlib in 21/5/1931, then he joined the Department of History at the Faculty of Arts at the Syrian University in Damascus. He received a bachelor's degree in history in 1955, and a diploma in 1956 from the Higher Institute of Teachers.  He was appointed a teacher in the Department of History at his university, and taught there for two years, after which he received a scholarship for graduate studies in Britain. He joined the Faculty of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, and then received a PhD. in 1963 from the University of SOAS in London, and his thesis was entitled "The Province of Damascus from 1723 to 1783".


He later taught at the University of Jordan as a lecturer (1971-1996), at the Lebanese University (1972-1974), and at Damascus University as a professor of Modern and Contemporary History (1974-2000) until his retirement. He also taught at the College of William and Mary, and was a visiting professor at the Universities of Pennsylvania, Chicago, and California, in the United States of America.


In addition to his participation in writing the history of the Arabs in the leading academic journal Arab Historical Studies published by the Department of History at Damascus University, he was a member of the editorial board of the magazine "Chronos" published by the University of Balamand in Tripoli, one of the cultural flags honored by the cultural movement in Antelias - Lebanon in 2002, an honorary member of the SYRIAN SOCIETY for STUDIES in America, an honorary member of the Oriental Research Center in Japan, and a member of the editorial board in the journals of the Japanese society for Middle Eastern Studies.


His Publications:

The Province of Damascus from 1723 - 1783 (PhD thesis 1966), the Levant and Egypt from the Ottoman Conquest to the Campaign of Napoleon Bonaparte, Damascus 1967, and Social Life in the Province of Aleppo in the Second Half of the 17th Century, and the Revolutions of the Military in Egypt, Arabs and the Ottomans (1516 - 1916), researches in economic & social history of the Levant, Levant during the Ottoman rule. Publications of the University of Damascus, the history of the Syrian University, Palestine in the Ottoman era, and other studies and scientific production.


The late Professor Rafiq is one of the most important Syrian and Arab researchers and historians, who left behind a legacy full of scientific production and high-level research that enriched the Syrian-Arab library, and made it a historical reference that contributed to uncovering many falsehoods in aspects of the history of Syria.


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