Joshua Landis

Joshua M. Landis (born May 14, 1957) is an American academic who specializes in the Middle East and is an expert on Syria.[1][2][3][4][5][6] He is the head of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma,[7] and since 2004, he has published the blog Syria Comment.[8] He is married to Manar Kachour and has two sons, Kendall and Jonah Landis.


Landis was born on May 14, 1957 in Manhattan, New York City, New York. When he was one year old, his family moved to Saudi Arabia, where his father was sent by Citibank to open the first branch of an American bank in the country. After staying in Saudi Arabia for three years, Landis' family moved to Beirut, Lebanon, due to his father being transferred there to work as Citibank's Vice-President for the Middle East. When Landis was ten years old, his family moved back to the United States.

Landis earned a BA from Swarthmore College, majoring in European History and French Literature. He spent his college sophomore year in France. After graduating, Landis then returned to Beirut in the midst of the Lebanese Civil War to teach at the International College, Beirut. According to Landis, his experience of living in Beirut during the civil war shaped his interpretation of the Syrian Civil War later on. In 1981, Landis went to Damascus University on a Fulbright Grant. During the following year, whilst Landis was still living in Damascus, the Hama uprising of 1982 took place. Landis visited Hama a week after the uprising.[9] Later he earned an MA from Harvard University, and his PhD from Princeton University.

Fluent in Arabic and French, he has studied Turkish, Italian, and Ottoman Turkish. He has received three Fulbright grants and a Social Science Research Council award.


He taught at Sarah Lawrence College, Wake Forest University, and Princeton University before moving to the University of Oklahoma. Since May 2004, Landis has published the Syrian Comment blog, which focuses on Syrian politics, history, and religion. Landis regularly travels to Washington, D.C. to consult with government agencies. In 2008, he received the Outstanding Teaching Award at his university.[citation needed]

Landis is a frequent analyst on TV and radio, such as PBS News Hour, Charlie Rose Show,[10] CNN and Fox News.[11] He comments frequently for NPR and BBC radio. He has spoken at the Brookings Institution, USIP, Middle East Institute, and Council on Foreign Relations.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Hirsch, Michael (September 29, 2015). "Obama's New Best Friend in Syria: Vladimir Putin". Politico. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  2. ^ Dilanian, Ken (October 10, 2015). "CIA-backed rebels in Syria face Russian bombardment". PBS Newshour. Associated Press. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  3. ^ Timm, Trevor (October 13, 2015). "Presidential candidates must answer uncomfortable questions about Syria". The Guardian. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  4. ^ "Support For Syrian Regime Critical In Fight Against ISIS, Putin Says At U.N." All Things Considered. NPR. September 28, 2015. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  5. ^ "Should the United States Work With Russia in Syria?". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  6. ^ Hussein, Sara, Lapenkova, Marina (September 16, 2015). "Russia moves into Syria to boost Assad, send signal to West". Yahoo! News. Agence France-Presse . Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  7. ^ Bulos, Nabih (October 12, 2015). "A 'kaleidoscopic' mix of rebel alliances on Syria's battlefield". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  8. ^ "Professor's blog keeps OU in the news, world informed on Mideast nation". 2008-11-06. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  9. ^ "Global Dispatches Podcast: Episode 141: Joshua Landis (Interview with Joshua Landis, from 26:00)". Global Dispatches Podcast. 17 February 2019. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Crisis in Syria". Charlie Rose Show. February 6, 2012. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  11. ^ See here via his homepage Archived 2012-03-14 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 1 September 2014.

External linksEdit

Articles written by Joshua Landis: