Measures and categories in the production of knowledge about rural transformation in the Arab World

Conference, September 16 - 18 American University of Beirut



The lectures listed below are available via the youtube playlist.




Friday, September 16


Opening Ceremony


Rima Habib, Welcome address, American University of Beirut


François Ireton, keynote - Data production and use for the measurement of rural well-being and its analysis: exploratory considerations taking the Egyptian case as example. National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS), France.


Nader Fergany, keynote - Authoritarian rule and knowledge in counterrevolutionary times in the Arab world: the case of human poverty in Egypt, with reference to rural/urban differentials. Almishkat Centre for Research, Egypt.




Saturday, September 17


Knowledge and 19th-Century Empires


Chair: Alexis Wick, American University of Beirut


Richard Saumarez Smith, Statistical production and administration under the Raj and the formation of sociology. American University of Beirut.


Elizabeth Williams, Representing the rural: The International Institute of Agriculture and the politics of Ottoman statistics collection.  Brown University, United States.



Statistics, Economy, and “the Rural”


Chair: Raymond Bush, University of Leeds, United Kingdom.


Kamil Mahdi, Observations on Iraqi agriculture development. Independent economist, United Kingdom.


Yasuhisa Yamamoto, Macroeconomic accounts statistics and urban bias in the growth metaphor. United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, Lebanon.


Max Ajl,Interdisciplinary methodologies and indigenous hydraulics: Salaheddine el-Amami and Tunisian delinking. Cornell University, United States.



Law, Power, Knowledge and War


Chair: Omar Dewache, American University of Beirut


Joy Gordon, The United Nations Security Council and Economic Sanctions: The political construction of knowledge and normative interpretation. Loyola University Chicago, United States.


Martha Mundy, Empire of Information.  London School of Economics, United Kingdom.



Researching Syrian Agriculture in Times of War


Chair: Martha Mundy, London School of Economics, United Kingdom.


Rabie Nasr and Zaki Mehchy, The Crisis Impact on Food Security in Syria. Syrian Center for Policy Research, Lebanon.




Sunday, September 18


Roundtable on the state of agricultural training in the region and on interdisciplinarity in training


Discussants: Mohamed Mehdi, Ecole Nationale d’Agriculture de Meknes, Morocco; Habib Ayeb, Paris 8 University, France; Rami Zurayk, American University of Beirut; Rima Habib, American University of Beirut;  Zakaria Kadiri, Université Hassan II de Casablanca, Morocco; Bilkis Zabara, University of Sana’a, Yemen, Ray Bush, Unversity of Leeds, UK.



Methodologies for research


Chair: Habib Ayeb, Paris 8 University, France.


Roland Riachi, Interrogating Lebanese Agricultural Land Metrics, American University of Beirut.


Marion Dixon, A methodology for agriculture and food studies in the MENA. American University, United States.


Reem Saad & Yasmine Ahmad, Engaged research in rural Egypt: potentials and challenges. American University in Cairo, Egypt.



Powerful categories


Chair: Giuliano Martiniello, American University of Beirut.


Karen Rignall, ‘Shadow’ land governance: Documenting the impact of customary land tenure on land-use change and poverty in Morocco.  University of Kentucky, United States.


Zakaria Kadiri, La mesure officielle du ‘’bien être’’ au Maroc. Université Hassan II de Casablanca, Morocco.

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