© 2015 The Institute for Critical Thought

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Founding Director


A. M. Awad is a faculty member at the Institute, where he convenes seminars in Arab and western thought, and a Fellow in History at Harvard University, where his research traverses continental philosophy, history, and literature. He has undertaken ethnographic work in China, India, Brazil, and Egypt, and lectured internationally on philosophy and literature. Currently an executive board member of Change, he was President of the Adelphic Union and a Herchel Smith Fellow at the University of Cambridge.

Professor of Philology


S. O. Saleem is a faculty member at the Institute, where she convenes seminars in comparative literature and poetics. While she holds doctoral and graduate degrees in Arabic literature, her research spans Sufism and Islamic philosophy, social theory, and intellectual history. A celebrated teacher, Saleem has taught Arabic language, literature, and criticism for ten years, cultivating a pedagogy which values intimacy and intellectual agility. She is also a practitioner of unpublished fiction.

Associate Director


Omar Zacharia is an associate director of the Institute, where he manages the daily operations of the programs in Arabic and English. A writer and historian, Omar's work on the history of libraries has appeared in print while his second novel, Al-Qurtubi, will be published in 2020. He holds degrees in Public Administration from the American University in Beirut. When the opportunity arises, Omar applies his professional voice-over skills on Arabic specials for Al-Jazeera and National Geographic.