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The Nazarian Center mourns the passing of long-time lecturer, Kassem Nabulsi

Dr. Kassem Nabulsi, a lecturer at the UCLA Nazarian Center for Israel Studies for many years, died November 27, 2022 at the age of 69. From 2012-2018, Nabulsi served as a visiting lecturer in political science and taught several UCLA courses examining the role of identity in the relationship between the State of Israel and its Arab minority as well as the complex interaction between the different segments of Israel's society.

Dr. Nabulsi was Israeli by birth, American by naturalization, and a Palestinian by descent. He was a Muslim who attended a Catholic high school and a Jewish nursing school, and worked as a nurse in an Orthodox Jewish hospital in Jerusalem. His diverse background, family history, and personal political experiences informed his social and political identity, and influenced his choice to focus his academic research and teaching on the relationship between identity and conflict in the Middle East. He received his BA from California State University, Northridge, and his MA and Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, all in political science.

Kassem Nabulsi was beloved by his students, who spoke of his tremendous knowledge, passion, and personal investment in the subject matter, his caring about students’ learning, and his unbiased approach to topics that are often challenging and controversial. In a sampling of comments from his teaching evaluations, students noted: “incredible professor …offers great depth to his students…easily the most challenging yet informative class I have taken at UCLA”; “…one of my favorite professors ever. Nabulsi is brilliant, articulate, and passionate. I could not have been happier with this class and what I have learned”; and “It isn't very often that you have the opportunity to learn with and from a professor who is so knowledgeable about the course material and is able to provide nuance from his/her personal experience.”

In addition to his teaching at UCLA on behalf of the Nazarian Center, Dr. Nabulsi also taught at many Los Angeles-area community colleges and universities on government and politics in the Middle East, national security, comparative politics, and related topics.

Our condolences to Dr. Nabulsi’s family and all who knew him. He will be deeply missed. A memorial service will take place December 17 at Cal State University, Northridge, Whitsett Room (SH 451) from 4PM – 6PM.