American University

The MSFF is a proud and long-term partner of American University, supporting three key programmes: The Mohamed Said Farsi Chair of Islamic Peace, The Mohamed S. Farsi Foundation Scholarship, and the Abdul Aziz Said Peace and Conflict Resolution Fund.

Professor Emeritus, Abdul Aziz Said

The Mohamed Said Farsi Chair of Islamic Peace is the first endowed university Chair in the United States to be devoted to the study of Islam and peace. The inaugural Chair was established in 1996 – five years prior to 9/11 – with Professor Emeritus Abdul Aziz Said, who founded the university-wide Center for Global Peace and inspired thousands of students and alumni during his tenure. In fall 2017, Elizabeth Thompson, one of the country’s preeminent historians of the modern Middle East, became the new Chair.

“My gaze has been widened, my knowledge has expanded, my appreciation of the international life has blossomed. I will be indebted to the MSFF Scholarship for the rest of my life.”
Mahmoud El-Sharawy (Egypt), MSFF AU Scholar (2015—2017)

The Mohamed S. Farsi Foundation Scholarship began in 2011 – after the Arab Spring – as a commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative; the aim was to improve understanding and cross-cultural interaction between young leaders of emerging Middle East democracies and those in the United States. With this scholarship, a total of twelve students (six scholars from Tunisia and six from Egypt) have participated in the American University School of Professional and Extended Studies’ Washington Semester Program. Since 2011, MSFF support has expanded beyond the 12 scholarship recipients to give a wide range of students opportunities to interact with individuals they would not have otherwise had the chance to meet, and to foster a better global understanding.

Professor Emeritus, Abdul Aziz Said

Finally, the MSFF has created the Abdul Aziz Said Peace and Conflict Resolution Fund, named after Professor Said, upon his retirement. In its first year, the Fund helped support the Peace, Justice & Inclusion pilot, which created bonds between 19 AU staff, graduate, and undergraduate students and 48 Washington DC middle and high school students through a series of workshop activities promoting educational and emotional enrichment on themes of peace and nonviolence.

“Every day I feel grateful to the MSFF for enabling the work I do. When students tell me how my course has changed their view of the Middle East, I feel new hope for peace.”
Professor Elizabeth F. Thompson, American University Mohamed S. Farsi Chair of Islamic Peace