Ikhras Reader Shares Personal Experience With Hussein Ibish

[Ikhras Note: An Ikhras reader and friend wanted to share his/her personal experience with Hussein Ibish but wishes to remain anonymous.]

He is absolutely horrible. I told you that I enrolled (that is the best way I can explain it) in one of his Arab American seminars in 2006 while I was surveying students for my dissertation research. I thought I would be enlightened. After 4 days of the 5 day seminar, I ditched it. Luckily, one of my cousins lived nearby to DC in Chevy Chase, Maryland. When he heard I was attending this seminar, he chastized me, how on earth I would sign up for it. At the time, I was trying to secure funding for my PhD research on a cutting edge topic on  Arab American and Muslim American students in higher education–amidst the post-9/11 backlash no scholar even the ones that are regular posters on… [name removed by editor] …were surveying Arab and Muslim American students’ attitudes or holding focus groups–both I did– on what the campus climate was like post 9/11. After applying to traditional foundations that extend funds designated for dissertation fellowships, i.e. Spencer, Mellon, I thought maybe Ibish! would know of other foundations. He exhibited no interest in an Arab American scholar doing worthwhile education research only on listening to his palaver. In an email correspondence with Norman Finkelstein, I related to him that I was in a 5 day seminar with Ibish, it is comical what he said “there should be a statute of limitation in having to sit through such a seminar with Ibish”. First of all, having lived in Gaza for 3 to 4 months in Spring 2010 and 2011 I know more than I did back when I attended Ibish’s seminar. But, I was equally knowledgeable on Arab American immigration, racism, and Islamophobia. Ibish absolutely went nuts when I upstaged him on his session regarding these specific topics. I was not being a show off I felt he omitted some points. Although I was not expecting the conference to pay for my dinners, as a generous lunch was given. But in our first dinner in DC Ibish invited us. He drank like a fish, which I don’t care I drink too, but I don’t expect those present to pay for my indulgences. I asked Ibish for my part of the bill (I did not drink that night), and he threw out to all of us seminarees to each pay a certain dollar amount. I asked him twice can I see the bill. He is a piece of work.

Follow up: Forgot to mention the upshot of trying to find a foundation to fund my dissertation research was finally granted by the USC Graduate School.  So in the end I did not suffer from Ibish’s lack of knowledge of how to pursue funding for my dissertation. Connections like Ibish I didn’t need.

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