George Saliba

George Saliba is Professor of Arabic and Islamic Science at the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies, Columbia University, New York, USA, where he has been since 1979.


Saliba received his Bachelor of Science (1963) in mathematics and a Master of Arts (1965) from the American University of Beirut; he earned a Master of Science degree in Semitic languages and a doctorate in Islamic sciences from the University of California, Berkeley. He has received a number of awards and honors, including the History of Science Prize given by the Third World Academy of Science in 1993, and the History of Astronomy Prize in 1996 from the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science. He was also selected as a Distinguished Kluge Chair, at the Library of Congress (2005-2006), and as a Distinguished Carnegie Scholar (2009-2010).

In his website, he writes about himself: "I study the development of scientific ideas from late antiquity till early modern times, with a special focus on the various planetary theories that were developed within the Islamic civilization and the impact of such theories on early European astronomy."

Saliba has been doing research on the transmission of mathematical and astronomical ideas from the Islamic world to Europe during the 15-16th centuries.

Columbia Unbecoming

In 2004, a pro-Israel activist organization, the David Project, produced a film, Columbia Unbecoming, interviewing students who claimed that Saliba and other Columbia professors had intimidated or been unfair to them for their pro-Israel views.[1] Saliba rejected the accusation and published a rebuttal in Columbia Spectator (November 3, 2004) to that effect.[2][3] Student Lindsay Shrier claimed that he told her that those with green eyes (like herself) are not racial "Semites", and have no valid national claim to middle-eastern lands.[3] Saliba claims that this is a fabrication.[2]



  1. "Columbia prof discusses Islamic science"
  2. 1 2 Rebutting a "Misguided Political Project" by George Saliba Columbia Spectator (November 3, 2004)
  3. 1 2 "The `Silent Jews' speak out" by Shoshana Kordova Haaretz, February 8, 2005

External links

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