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M. Issam Eido

Research and Teaching

Issam Eido is a former Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies and Arabic in the University of Chicago Divinity School during the 2013-2015 academic year. Eido’s research focuses on the Qur'an in late antiquity, Hadith Studies, Sufism, and Arabic language. His teaching interests focus on Modern and Classical Arabic language, Arabic Literature, Islamic Studies, and Qur'anic Arabic. Prior to the Syrian uprising, Eido served as a lecturer in the faculty of Islamic Studies in the Department of Qur'anic and Hadith Studies at the University of Damascus. His doctoral work, 'Early Hadith Scholars and their Methodology of Hadith Criticism,' presented a new understanding of the criteria used by Muslim scholars in accepting or rejecting traditions attributed to Muhammad and the transformations of that criteria from the classical to the modern period. While undertaking his doctoral work in the mid-2000s, Eido solidified an international reputation among Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies experts across disciplines by working closely with visiting researchers and Fulbright scholars in Damascus through an Arabic and Islamic studies institute he founded, named the Dalalah Institute. In 2012 he was a Fellow of the “Europe in the Middle East/Middle East in Europe” Research program at the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin affiliated with Corpus Coranicum, and worked with Angelika Neuwirth. Currently, his research focuses on the question of Authenticity and the shaping of authoritative Islamic texts among Muslim scholars in the Islamic formative period.

Dr. Eido has also become active locally in the arts since moving to Nashville.  Most significantly, he worked closely with Nashville Ballet to produce the world premier of Layla and the Majnun.  “Because Nashville is Music City, I was excited when the director of Nashville Ballet contacted me about helping him with the show.  Layla and the Majnun is the Arab equivalent of Romeo and Juliet and it’s great to see people in Nashville take an interest in Middle Eastern arts and history.” 

 In addition to these projects, Eido has enjoyed teaching Arabic to Vanderbilt students over the last year.  “The students here are very dedicated,” he says. “Most start the semester with no knowledge of Arabic, but they have aspirations watching the outcome of their studies is like watching a child grow.”  I addition to continuing to teach Arabic language classes, this fall Dr. Eido looks forward to offering a course on Qur’anic Arabic for undergraduate and graduate students.