Hello, I am a PhD Candidate in history at Harvard University.
I am a doctoral candidate and teaching fellow in the Department of History at Harvard University. I study the social and political history of the United States in the twentieth century, focusing on race, class, ethnicity, and labor in social movements, politics, and policing in post-industrial urban spaces. I also am interested in African American studies, Arab and Asian American history, and the history of capitalism and liberalism.
I am a first-generation college graduate and the son of two hardworking refugees from Iraq. I have a bachelors of arts in history from Wayne State University (2019), and an associates degree from Macomb Community College (2017). Before graduate school, I worked in historic preservation and public history.
At Harvard, I teach classes in the GenEd program, "Histories, Societies, and Individuals," advise undergraduates as a house advisor for the History Department, and research as a graduate fellow in the Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative. My research has been supported by the history department, the Center for American Political Studies, and the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan. I am also recipient of the Whipple V. N. Jones Graduate Fellowship from the Graduate School of Arts of Sciences, and I am employed as a Graduate Fellow for the Gilder-Lehrman Institue of American History in New York City.
My dissertation, "Controlling the Urban Crisis," examines how a broad set of urban stakeholders, from policymakers, city workers, and community and labor organizers to police departments, corporations, and foundations attempted to control, manage, and mitigate the effects of the spiraling urban crisis of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s in Detroit, Michigan. To that end, I center the twenty-year tenure of the city's first African American mayor, Coleman A. Young, who was the foremost Black politican in the United States in the last quarter of the century. Doing so will allow me to use Detroit and the Young Adminstration as a case study to understand how residents of declining cities like Detroit survived the social crisis of deindustrialization and in the process reshaped the politics of the city. The project will have chapters relating to the War on Drugs, movements for environmental justice, the relationship between Black Power, class, and religion, and the politics of Black liberalism and police reform, among other topics.
I am at work on two research articles. The first, "Operation Crack Crime," examines local, state, and federal policing of the drug economy in the mid-1980s. The second, tentatively titled, "Crime at the Corner Store," looks at how the urban crisis generated crime around immigrant-owned busineses which in turn fueled a small business owner law-and-order movement among Arab American merchants in Detroit from the late 1960s to the 1990s.
Beyond my research, I love science ficition (my favs are Octavia Butler, Kim Stanley Robinson, and the all-mighty Ursula K. Le Guin), drink plenty of coffee, and enjoy walks around Cambridge and Somerville. I'm orginally from Michigan, and I have a cat named Atticus. I am also the co-president of the History Graduate Students Association and welcome all prospective students to reach out to me with any questions regarding the program and graduate life at Harvard.