Skip to main content


Kail C. Ellis, O.S.A., is Assistant to the President of Villanova University.  He was Vice President for Academic Affairs from 2010 to 2015 and served as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University from 1985 to 2000. He is Associate Professor of political science at Villanova, a position he has held for almost 35 years. He is also the founder-director of Villanova’s Center for Arab and Islamic Studies, which he directed from 1983 to 1998. A member of the Augustinian Order, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1967.

Fr. Ellis received his Ph.D. in International Relations with a minor in Middle East History from The Catholic University of America in 1979. He holds Master’s degrees in political science and theology. He served as a member and chair of the Board of Trustees of Merrimac College, North Andover, Massachusetts, from 1989 to 1991, and the Board of Trustees of the Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon, from 1996 to 2003. In 2010, he was elected to the International Board of Regents for Bethlehem University in Bethlehem, Palestine, and currently is chair of the Board Academic Policy Committee. He was also an evaluator of the arts and sciences program for Bethlehem University in 1994 and since has consulted with the American University of Science and Technology in Beirut.

Fr. Ellis is currently the Editor of the Journal of South Asian and Middle Easter Studies. He has edited and contributed to four books: The Vatican, Islam and the Middle East (Syracuse, 1987), Lebanon’s Second Republic: Prospects for the Twenty-First Century (University Press of Florida, 2002), and Secular Nationalsim and Citizenship in Muslim Countries: Arab Christians in the Levant (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), and Nostra Aetate, Non-Christian Religions and Interfaith Relations (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021).

Fr. Ellis has also presented papers, published articles, and contributed book chapters on such topics as “United States policy in Lebanon,” “Pakistan’s Foreign Policy: Alternating Approaches,” “Soviet Relations with South Asia and the Middle East,” “Superpower Relations with Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan,” “Vatican II and Contemporary Islam,” and “The Role of Minorities in the Formation of Modern Lebanon.” He has traveled in the Middle East, Western Europe, as well as to Russia, Pakistan, the autonomous republics of the Russian Federation, and Uzbekistan.

Dr. Saliba Sarsar is Professor of Political Science at Monmouth University and President & CEO of the Jerusalem Peace Institute. His teaching and scholarly interests focus on the Middle East, Palestinian-Israeli affairs, Jerusalem, and peacebuilding. His most recent authored books are Peacebuilding in Israeli-Palestinian Relations (2020) and Jerusalem: The Home in Our Hearts (2018). His most recent edited books are The Holy Land Confederation as a Facilitator for the Two-State Solution (2022) and What Jerusalem Means to Us: Christian Perspectives and Reflections (2018). His most recent co-edited books are Democracy in Crisis Around the World (2020); Continuity and Change in Political Culture: Israel and Beyond (2020), and What Jerusalem Means to Us: Muslim Perspectives and Reflections (2021). He is also the author of three books of poetry: Crosswinds; Seven Gates of Jerusalem; and Portraits: Poems of the Holy Land. Dr. Sarsar was featured in several publications, including The New York Times, and is the recipient of the Award of Academic Excellence from the American Task Force on Palestine, the Global Visionary Award and the Stafford Presidential Award of Excellence from Monmouth University, the Humanitarian Award from the National Conference for Community and Justice, and the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation Award. 

The late Dr. Hafeez Malik was Professor emeritus of Political Science at Villanova University. Before joining the Villanova University faculty in 1961, he was an accredited White House correspondent for the Pakistan Press during 1960-1961. From 1976 until his passing in 2021, he was the Editor of the Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.  In 1973, he established the American Institute of Pakistani Studies, and for 15 years served as its director. 

In the 1970s-80s, Dr. Malik was awarded substantial funds by the U.S. Department of Education to conduct three seminars in 1976, 1978, and 1981 in Pakistan for U.S. social science college faculty. Each delegation included 15-18 members.

From 1964 to 2000, Dr. Malik organized three major international seminars on Pakistan and the superpower relations in Bellagio, Italy (1964), Ufa in Bashkortostan (1988), and Kazan in Tatarstan (1990) as well as twelve seminars at Villanova University. Four seminars were organized in the Institute of Oriental Studies in Moscow.  

Upon the request of the State Department, Dr. Malik visited Russia on June 4-20, 2002 to explain U.S. foreign policy toward the Muslims in general and the Muslim republics in particular, especially those of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan within the Russian Federation. Also, he was a visiting professor at the U.S. Foreign Service Institute of the State Department from 1961 to 1963, and from 1966 to 1995 and helped train U.S. diplomats assigned to serve in South Asia.

In 1992, Dr. Malik, along with Dr. Sakhawat Hussein, founded the Pakistan American Congress, and then served as the Chairman of its Advisory Council. In 1994, in cooperation with Patricia Coffee, he founded the World Affairs Council of Greater Valley Forge and served on its Advisory.

Dr. Malik’s areas of specialization included U.S. foreign policy for Russia and Central Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East. He authored/edited/translated 20 books, which were published in the United State, Britain, and Pakistan. His travels took him to twenty-five countries in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, where he lectured in some of their well-known universities.

Nadia H. Barsoum is the Assistant Editor of the Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. She is a graduate of Cairo University, where she majored in Economics and Finance and minored in Management and Computer Science. Her master’s degree in international Relations is from Villanova University.

Nadia assisted Dr. H. Malik in organizing seminars on international Affairs. She has traveled extensively in the Middle East, Europe, South America, and Asia where she attended several international seminars.

Nadia is an active member and treasurer of the American Council for the Studies for the Islamic Societies (ACSIS) since 2008. She has organized its annual meetings at Villanova University.