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Juan R. I. Cole

Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History

University of Michigan

Juan R. I. Cole is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. For four decades, he has sought to put the relationship of the West and the Muslim world in historical context.

His most recent book is The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam: A New Translation from the Persian. Among his other recent works are Muhammad: Prophet of Peace amid the Clash of Empires and The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation is Changing the Middle East. He has also translated works of Lebanese-American author Kahlil Gibran.

He has appeared widely on media, including the PBS News Hour, ABC World News Tonight, Nightline, the Today Show, Anderson Cooper 360, Rachel Maddow, All In with Chris Hayes, CNN, the Colbert Report, Democracy Now!, and many others. He has written about Egypt, Iran, Iraq, the Gulf, and South Asia and about both extremist groups and peace movements. He is proprietor of the Informed Comment news and analysis site.

Cole conducts his research in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and Turkish as well as several European languages. He knows both Middle Eastern and South Asian Islam. He lived in various parts of the Muslim world for more than a decade, and continues to travel widely there. He has written, edited, or translated nineteen books and authored over 100 articles and book chapters.

Cole holds a BA in history and literature of religions from Northwestern University, and an MA in Arabic studies and history from American University in Cairo. He holds a PhD in Islamic studies from the University of California Los Angeles.

Baidoa, Somalia

Makeshift, temporary shelter made of plastic and clothing at a refugee center in Baidoa, Somalia.