Pete Moore, an associate professor of political science at Case Western Reserve University, left with his family last week for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on a Fulbright lecture and research grant, which ends June 2009. During his stay, Moore will be teaching at the Dubai campus of Zayed University, an all-female UAE public university. He also will be doing additional research for his book in progress on the political economy of the war in Iraq.
Moore also will be one of the few Fulbright recipients from the United States to take the whole family along for his year-long stay.
"My wife and I thought it would be a great learning experience for our three sons," said Moore, the father of a nine-year old and twin seven-year olds. "We are currently looking at a couple of American-style schools in the area. It will be an incredible life experience for all of us."
For his book, Moore will be working with companies and individuals who have done business in Iraq since 2003. The idea for the book came to Moore while in Jordan in 2004 when he saw first-hand that there was quite a bit of trading going on between Jordan and Iraq.
"It struck me that lots of wars—particularly in the Middle East—are supported by the pursuit of making money," he said. "Quite often the control of imported consumer goods is monopolized by small political factions, making it tough to get the goods out in the hands of the general population. There are many tragic trading parallels in Middle Eastern civil war, particularly in Lebanon between 1975 and 1989 and in Algeria during the 1990s."
Although Moore won't be going to Iraq, he feels that the UAE offers unique research opportunities.
"The UAE is the business hub of the Gulf region and is an area with a great variety of people and cultures for me to tap into," Moore said.
Moore is still working out the details of the course he will be teaching, but says it will deal with how the United States views and interacts with the Middle East.
"Less than 10 percent of Dubai's residents are UAE citizens," Moore said. "The rest of the population is made up of expatriates from many countries. Sharing the United States' cultural and political views of the Middle East with a group this diverse should quite interesting."
Moore expects his teaching and research experiences in the UAE to greatly enrich the scope of his teaching at Case Western Reserve upon his return.
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