Mona Atia

Mona Atia

Associate Professor of Geography and International Affairs; Director, Middle East Studies Program
Room 216
Address: Old Main
1922 F Street, NW
Phone: 202-994-7757
Fax: 202-994-2484

Areas of Expertise

Islam and the Middle East, International Development, Charity and Philanthropy, Transnationalism, Geopolitics

Mona Atia is Associate Professor of Geography and International Affairs at the George Washington University. She received her PhD in Geography at the University of Washington, where she received the 2008 Distinguished Dissertation Award. She holds a MSc in Cities, Space and Society from the London School of Economics and a BS in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley.

Professor Atia is a critical development geographer whose areas of expertise include Islamic charity and finance, philanthropy and humanitarianism, and the production of poverty knowledge. She is author of Building a House in Heaven: Pious Neoliberalism and Islamic Charity in Egypt (University of Minnesota Press, 2013). She currently holds an NSF CAREER Award for her project "The Impact of Poverty Mapping on the Geography of Development."


Ph.D., University of Washington


"In Whose Interest? Financial Surveillance and the Circuits of Exception in the War on Terror" published in 2007 in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 25(3).

"The Arab Republic of Egypt" in From Charity to Change: Trends in Arab Philanthropy, eds. Barbara Ibrahim and Dina Sherif, American University in Cairo Press.

Her work has appeared in several other academic journals including, Environment and Planning A, Geografiska Annaler B, Housing Policy Debate, and Antipode.

Classes Taught

GEOG 2148 Economic Geography
GEOG 3154 Geography of the Middle East and North Africa
GEOG 6250 Geographical Perspectives on Development