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Faculty experts

Egypt

Nezar AlSayyadNezar AlSayyad
Chair of UC Berkeley's Center for Middle Eastern Studies, professor of architecture
Phone: (510) 643-4109
Email: nezar@berkeley.edu
Media Relations contact: Yasmin Anwar, (510) 643-7944 or yanwar@berkeley.edu

Expertise: Middle East culture and politics, in particular Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

M. Steven FishM. Steven Fish
Professor of political science
Phone: (510) 643-1943
Email: sfish@berkeley.edu
Media Relations contact: Kathleen Maclay, (510) 643-5651 or kmaclay@berkeley.edu

Expertise: Fish studies democracy and regime change in developing and post-communist countries, religion and politics, and constitutional systems and national legislatures. He is the author of "Are Muslims Distinctive?" a new, data-centered book that looks at how Muslims and non-Muslims differ, or do not differ, around the world. Fish explores popular attitudes about religion, politics, socioeconomic inequality, gender equity and violence in Muslim regions of the world, including Egypt. His findings – which cast doubt on the idea that Muslims are eager to combine religious and political authority – have implications for international relations, interfaith understanding and human welfare. A commentary Fish wrote about the uprising in Egypt, "It's Democracy, Stupid!" appeared on CNN.com.

Charles HirschkindCharles Hirschkind
Associate professor of anthropology
Email: chirsck@berkeley.edu
Media Relations contact: Kathleen Maclay, (510) 643-5651 or kmaclay@berkeley.edu

Expertise: Hirschkind has studied religion, politics and the use of social media in Egypt. He is on leave for the spring 2011 semester, but can be reached by Email or through the Media Relations office. Hirschkind has been interviewed extensively by print and broadcast outlets about the uprising in Egypt. Hirschkind's op-ed about the challenges of defining U.S. interests in Egypt was published by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Saba MahmoodSaba Mahmood
Associate professor of anthropology
Email: smahmood@berkeley.edu
Media Relations contact: Kathleen Maclay, (510) 643-5651 or kmaclay@berkeley.edu

Expertise: Mahmood has been working for the past 15 years in Egypt, covering issues of Islamic politics, secularism, inter-religious conflict and gender. She is the author of "Politics of Piety" (2005), and co-author of "Is Critique Secular?" (2010). Mahmood also is a co-principal investigator for a project funded by the Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs to bring together key human rights and civil society organizations, jurists, policymakers and academics to study politics and religious freedom in the United States, the Middle East, South Asia and the European Union.

Michael NachtMichael Nacht
Professor of public policy, former dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy
Phone: (510) 643-4038
Email: mnacht@berkeley.edu
Media Relations contact: Kathleen Maclay, (510) 643-5651 or kmaclay@berkeley.edu

Expertise: International relations and public policy; national security policy; and missile defense. Nacht stepped down in mid-2010 after serving as Assistant U.S. Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs for more than a year.

Cihan Tugal
Associate professor of sociology
Email: ctugal@berkeley.edu
Media Relations contact: Yasmin Anwar, (510) 643-7944 or yanwar@berkeley.edu

Expertise: Tugal conducts research on how the interaction between religion and politics shapes everyday life, class relations and national identity. He studies Islamic mobilization in Egypt, Turkey and Iran. Tugal contends that Islamic politics has interacted with civil society and the state in different ways, leading to the victory of neo-liberalized Islam in Turkey, its defeat in Iran, and until recently, a stalemate in Egypt. Tugal is the author of "Passive Revolution: Absorbing the Islamic Challenge to Capitalism."