George Saliba is Professor of Arabic and Islamic Science at the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies, Columbia University, New York, USA, where he has been since 1979.
Saliba has been at Columbia University since 1979. He received a master of science degree in Semitic languages and a doctorate in Islamic sciences from the University of California at Berkeley. He has won many academic prizes and awards, including the History of Science Prize given by the Third World Academy of Science in 1993, and the History of Astronomy Prize in 1996 from the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science. In 2005 he was named as a Senior Distinguished Scholar at the John W. Kluge Center.
In 2004, a pro-Israel activist organization, the David Project, produced a film, Columbia Unbecoming, interviewing students who claimed that Saliba and other Columbia professors had intimidated or been unfair to them for their pro-Israel views. Saliba rejected the accusation and published a rebuttal in Columbia Spectator (November 3, 2004) to that effect. Student Lindsay Shrier claimed that he told her that those with green eyes (like herself) are not racial "Semites", and have no valid national claim to Middle Eastern lands. Saliba claims that this is a fabrication.