Dahlia El Zein

El Zein

Ph.D. Student

Dahlia El Zein is a Ph.D. student working on transregional histories of the twentieth-century Middle East and Islamic Africa. She is interested in the intersections of education, nationalisms, pan-Arabism, pan-Islamism, gender, and race in the postcolonial period as manifested in school textbooks, publishing and distribution networks. Her most recent work is an exploration of the educational project of the United Arab Republic, the period of unification between Egypt and Syria 1958-1961 and focuses on how the state and its citizens negotiated the cultural, class, and gender dynamics of a young postcolonial nation. 

She has a Masters in Arab Studies from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree from Webster University in International Relations. Prior to her doctoral pursuits, Dahlia worked for the Middle East Institute and Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University and taught courses on the Middle East and Immigration at a Princeton University annual precollege summer program. She has also worked in human rights for several years covering the Middle East and North Africa region. 


Advisor: Eve Troutt Powell

Committee Members: 

Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet

Cheikh Babou 



B.A. International Relations, Webster University - London, UK

M.A. Arab Studies, Georgetown University - Washington D.C. 

Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies 


Research Interests

Twentieth-century Middle East, trans-regional histories, history of nationalism, postcolonial education, social and cultural history