MEMRI mourns the passing of Bernard Lewis, Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Emeritus at Princeton University, renowned and highly influential historian of Islam and the Middle East, and longtime member of the MEMRI Board of Advisors. Prof. Lewis, who authored nearly two dozen books, was considered one of the greatest historians and interpreters of the region and the people of the Near East. His research interests included Islamic history and the contemporary Middle East, as well as the history of the Ottoman Empire and the history of the relations between Europe and Islam from early Ottoman to modern times.
He has been called "the West's leading interpreter of the Middle East," and had great influence with the George W. Bush administration on Middle Eastern affairs. Today, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Prof. Lewis "a true scholar and a great man" and added, "I owe a great deal of my understanding of the Middle East to his work." Prof. Lewis was a beacon for MEMRI's work, and, in 2007, stated: "MEMRI is the single most important development in Middle East Studies in the last 25 years."