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Dr Samson A. Bezabeh

Assistant Professor (African Studies, Faculty of Arts)

HKU Scholars Hub
Personal Website
Personal Website
Dr Samson A. Bezabeh
  • Samson A. Bezabeh, is an Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong. He was previously a Research Fellow at Makerere University, Post-doctoral researcher at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, and has been affiliated with the University of Bergen, the University of Exeter, and Addis Ababa University.

    Dr. Bezabeh’s research interests include diaspora studies, state- society interaction, colonialism, religion (Islam and Orthodox Christianity) as well as issues of citizenship, ethnicity, and class in Africa. His article, “Citizenship and the Logic of Sovereignty in Djibouti,” published in African Affairs, won the journal’s African Author Prize. 

    Dr Bezabeh is the author of “Subjects of Empires /Citizens of States” (Cairo / New York, American University in Cairo Press, 2016), which examines the presence of Yemenis diasporas in the Horn of Africa.

    His second book, “Djibouti: A Political History “(Lynne Rienner, Colorado, 2023) documents the history of Djibouti since its independence from France in 1977. 

    His articles have appeared in various journals, including African Affairs, Cahier D’études Africain and Journal of Muslim Minority Studies. 

  • PhD in Social Anthropology
    University of Bergen

    M.Phil in Anthropology of Development
    University of Bergen

    M.A in Social Anthropology
    Addis Ababa University

    B.A. in Sociology and Social Administration
    Addis Ababa University

  • Bezabeh’s research interests include diaspora studies, religion and media, religion and the state, as well as issues of citizenship, ethnicity, and class in the Horn of Africa, particularly in Djibouti and Ethiopia, and the southern Arabian Peninsula.

  • 2021  University  of Hong Kong Faculty of Art’s Start Up Fund

    2017 Visiting Fellowship, African Studies, Leiden, Netherlands

    2015 Visiting Fellowship, African Studies, Leiden, Netherlands

    2014 International Fellowship for Experienced Researchers – Fernand Braudel – IFER by the  European Commission  and  Fondation Maison des Science de L’Homme:

    2013 Visiting Fellowship, African Studies, Leiden, Netherlands

    2012- African Author Prize from the journal African Affairs and the Royal African Society of Great Britain:

    2012- Research Prize from Lauritz Meltzer fund :

    2010 -Research grant from the Faculty of Social Science at the University of Bergen.

    2009 – Scholarship from Norwegian State Education Fund.

    2006 – Scholarship from Norwegian Agency for International Development

  • Books [ Published/ under contract]

    Samson A. Bezabeh Djibouti: A Political History (Lynne Rienner, Colorado), Forthcoming August 2023.

    Samson A. Bezabeh. 2016. Subjects of Empires/Citizens of State: Yemenis in the Port of Djibouti and its Hinterland. Cairo/ New York: The American University in Cairo Press.

    Samson A. Bezabeh Orthodox Ethiopia: Unsettling Conceptions of Political Transformation ( Under contract with Michigan University Press)

    Books under Preparation

    Meanings from Other worlds: Local Strategies of Political Engagements

    Articles (Published/Peer Reviewed)

    Samson A. Bezabeh. 2021. “Djibouti  and the Death of Hamoudi Ahmed’ Cahiers d’Etudes Africaines, 243, 511-531.

    Samson A. Bezabeh. 2017. “Arab Diaspora in Geopolitical Spaces: Imperial Contestation and the Making of  Colonial Subjecthood in Djibouti”, Cahiers d’Etudes Africaines,  LVII, 225, 17-38.

    Samson A. Bezabeh  and Eloi Ficquet. 2017.  ‘Djibouti’ , In Kate Fleet , Gudrun Kramer (eds) The Encyclopedia of Islam, Third Edition. Leiden/Boston : Brill.

    Samson A. Bezabeh. 2017.  ‘Africa’s Unholy Migrants: Mobility and Migrants Morality in the Age of Borders’, African Affairs , Vol. 116,  Issue 462, 1-17..

    Samson A. Bezabeh. 2015. “Living Across Digital Landscapes: Muslims, Orthodox and Indian Guru in Urban Ethiopia”. In Rosalind Hackett and Benjamin Soares (eds) New Media and Religion in Africa. Indiana University Press.

    Samson A. Bezabeh . 2012.“Mythical Roots, Fantasmic Realities and Transnational Migrants : Yemenis Across the Gulf of Aden”.  Cyber Orient, Vol. 6, Issue 2.

    Samson A. Bezabeh. 2011. Citizenship and the Logic of Sovereignty in Djibouti. African Affairs, 110/441, 587-606.

    Samson A. Bezabeh. 2011. “Yemeni Families in the Early History of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia ca.1900-1950: A Revisionist Approach in Diasporic Historiography”. Cahiers d’Études Africaines, LI (4) No.204, pp. 893-919.

    Samson A. Bezabeh. 2010. Muslim Hadramis in “Christian Ethiopia”. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Vol. 30, No.3, pp. 333-343.

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