Sean Foley


Sean Foley is an associate professor of history at Middle Tennessee State University who specializes in the Middle East and religious and political trends in the broader Islamic world. He has published widely on Middle East history and Gulf politics and has delivered papers to academic conferences and universities around the world. He is the author of Changing Saudi Arabia: Art, Culture, and Society in the Kingdom (2019) and The Arab Gulf States: Beyond Oil and Islam (2010), both of which are published by Lynne Rienner Press. He has also lived for an extended period in Saudi Arabia and held Fulbright fellowships in Syria, Turkey, and Malaysia. In addition, he has contributed to The Atlantic, Australian Broadcasting Corporation Television, New Straits Times, Voice of America Television, and other media organizations. For more on his work, see​

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Storytelling in Today’s Saudi Arabia

The drama series “Al-Asouf” vividly captures the trend of telling Saudi stories with Saudi actors and its power in shaping the public’s perceptions and aspirations.