front cover of After the Nobel Prize 1989-1994
After the Nobel Prize 1989-1994
The Non-fiction Writing of Naguib Mahfouz, Volume IV
Naguib Mahfouz
Gingko Library, 2015
Naguib Mahfouz, the Arab world’s only Nobel literature laureate, is best known internationally for his short stories and novels, including The Cairo Trilogy. But in Egypt he was equally familiar to newspaper readers for the column he wrote for many years in the leading daily Al-Ahram, in which he reflected on issues of the day from domestic and international events, politics, and economics to historic anniversaries, inspirational personalities, and questions of cultural freedom. This volume brings together the 285 articles he wrote between January 1989 and the near-fatal knife attack in October 1994.
In carefully crafted short texts, his social conscience is revealed as he highlights political shortcomings, economic injustice, and corruption in Egypt and the wider Arab world. His philosophical sensitivity comes to the fore as he contemplates the meaning of a historic events, contributions of an influential people, and what is required to lead a good life. The collapse of the Soviet Union, the Oslo peace accords, the spread of terrorism, the Cairo earthquake, the passing of Louis Awad, Yusuf Idris, Yahya Hakki, the third term of Hosni Mubarak, climate change, and more come under Naguib Mahfouz’s fine scrutiny. For any fan of Mahfouz’s fiction, this collection opens a window on a different side of his intellect, and it offers insights from one of the region’s greatest modern minds.

front cover of The Age of Aryamehr
The Age of Aryamehr
Late Pahlavi Iran and Its Global Entanglements
Edited by Roham Alvandi
Gingko Library, 2018
The reign of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1941–79), marked the high point of Iran’s global interconnectedness. Never before had Iranians felt the impact of global political, social, economic, and cultural forces so intimately in their national and daily lives, nor had Iranian actors played such an important global role –  on battlefields, barricades, and in board rooms far beyond Iran’s borders. Iranian intellectuals, technocrats, politicians, workers, artists, and students alike were influenced by the global ideas, movements, markets, and conflicts that they also helped to shape.

From the launch of the Shah’s White Revolution in 1963 to his overthrow in the popular revolution of 1978–79, Iran saw the longest period of sustained economic growth that the country had ever experienced. An entire generation took its cue from the shift from oil consumption to oil production to dream of, and aspire to, a modernized Iran, and the history of Iran in this period has tended to be presented as a prologue to the revolution. Those histories usually locate the political, social, and cultural origins of the revolution firmly within a national context, into which global actors intruded as Iranian actors retreated. While engaging with that national narrative, this volume is concerned with Iran’s place in the global history of the 1960s and ’70s. It examines and highlights the transnational threads that connected Pahlavi Iran to the world, from global traffic in modern art and narcotics to the embrace of American social science by Iranian technocrats and the encounter of European intellectuals with the Iranian Revolution. In doing so, this book seeks to fully incorporate Pahlavi Iran into the global history of the 1960s and ’70s, when Iran mattered far beyond its borders.

front cover of The Arab Christ
The Arab Christ
Towards an Arab Christian Theology of Conviviality
Mouchir Basile Aoun
Gingko Library, 2022
A reflection on Christianity in Arab society.
This work explores the Christian faith in the current intercultural context of Arab societies. It argues that Arab Christianity seeks to express the Christian faith through openness to Muslim otherness, existential conviviality, and fraternal solidarity. In order to safeguard not only the physical existence of these communities but also and above all the relevance and richness of their message of life, the theological reflection presented here takes on a three-part task. First, it faithfully describes the sociopolitical and sociocultural reality of the historical integration of Arab Christian communities. Second, it reinterprets the content of the Christ event with reference to the challenge of Muslim otherness. And finally, it offers a path for conversion that involves a form not only of evangelical practice, designed to foster bonds of fraternal solidarity between the inhabitants of the Arab world but also of shared spiritual quest for moral and political commitment.

front cover of Architectural Heritage of Yemen
Architectural Heritage of Yemen
Buildings that Fill My Eye
Edited by Trevor H. J. Marchand
Gingko Library, 2017
Generations of highly skilled masons, carpenters and craftspeople have deftly employed local materials and indigenous technologies to create urban architectural assemblages, gardens, and rural landscapes that dialogue harmoniously with the natural contours and geological conditions of Yemen.  Unfortunately, a sharp escalation in military action and violence in the country since the 1990s has had a devastating impact on the region’s rich cultural heritage. In bringing together the astute observations and reflections of an international and interdisciplinary group of acclaimed scholars, this book aims to raise awareness of Yemen’s long history of cultural creativity and the urgent need for international collaboration to protect it and its people from the destructive forces that have beset the region.

front cover of Art, Trade, and Culture in the Islamic World and Beyond
Art, Trade, and Culture in the Islamic World and Beyond
From the Fatimids to the Mughals
Edited by Alison Ohta, Michael Rogers, and Rosalind Wade Haddon
Gingko Library, 2016
The essays in this book trace a rich continuum of artistic exchange that occurred between successive Islamic dynasties from the twelfth through nineteenth centuries—as well as the influence of Islamic art during that time on cultures as far away as China, Armenia, India, and Europe. Taking advantage of recent technologies that allow new ways of peering into the pasts of art objects, the authors break new ground in their exploration of the art and architecture of the Islamic world.
The essays range across a variety of topics. These include a look at tile production during the reign of the Qaytbay, the book bindings associated with Qansuh al-Ghuri, and the relationship between Mamluk metalwork and that found in Rasulid Yemen and Italy. Several essays examine inscriptions found on buildings of the Fatimid, Mamluk, and Ottoman periods, and others look at the debt of European lacquer works to Persian craftsmen, the Armenian patrons of eighteenth-century Chinese exports, and the influences of Islam on art and architecture found all across India. The result is a sweeping but deeply researched look at one of the richest networks of artistic traditions the world has ever known.  

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At the Corner of a Dream
A Journey of Resistance and Revolution: The Street Art of Bahia Shehab
Bahia Shehab
Gingko Library, 2019
Working with stylized typographic and calligraphic forms, Egyptian-Lebanese street artist Bahia Shehab brings creative presentations of language and culture to public spaces around the world. During the Egyptian revolution of 2011, she began taking to the streets to paint. Starting in Cairo, Shehab began creating large-scale public art as a form of resistance against military rule and violence. With her spray can in hand, this artist, designer, and historian set out to spread beautiful and empowering images in the face of tumultuous times. Now she has taken her peaceful resistance to the streets of the world, creating works in cities from New York to Tokyo, Amsterdam, and Honolulu. Engaging with identity and the preservation of cultural heritage, Shehab creates work that investigates Islamic art history and reinterprets contemporary Arab politics, feminist discourse, and social issues. Internationally renowned, Shehab’s work has been on display in exhibitions, galleries, and city streets across the world and has earned her a number of international recognitions and awards, including the BBC 100 Women list, TED Senior fellowship, and a Prince Claus Award. In 2016, she became the first Arab woman to receive the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture.

At the Corner of a Dream offers extensive documentation of Shehab’s powerful street paintings. It also chronicles the stories of the people she meets along her journeys and includes her observations from the streets of each new city she visits. Shehab’s work is a manifesto, a cry for freedom and dignity, and a call to never stop dreaming.

front cover of Capital Development
Capital Development
Mandate Era Amman and the Construction of the Hashemite State (1921–1946)
Harrison B. Guthorn
Gingko Library, 2021
The history of the city of Amman under the British mandate government of Transjordan.

Amman, the capital of Jordan, contends with a crisis of identity rooted in how it grew to become a symbol for the Anglo-Hashemite government first, and a city second. As a representation of the new centralized authority, Amman became the seat of the Mandatory government that orchestrated the development of Transjordan, the British mandate established in 1921.
Despite its diminutive size, the city grew to house all the components necessary for a thriving and cohesive state by the end of the British mandate in 1946. However, in spite of its modernizing and regulatory ambitions, the Transjordan government did not control all facets of life in the region. Instead, the story of Transjordan is one of tensions between the state and the realities of the region, and these limitations forced the government to scale down its aspirations. This book presents the history of Amman’s development under the rule of the British mandate from 1921–46 and illustrates how the growth of the Anglo-Hashemite state imbued the city with physical, political, and symbolic significance.

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Christmas and the Qur'an
Karl-Josef Kuschel
Gingko Library, 2017
The familiar and heartwarming story of Christmas is one of hope, encapsulated by the birth of the infant Jesus. It is also a story that unites Christianity and Islam—two faiths that have often been at odds with each other. The accounts of the Nativity given by the Evangelists Luke and Matthew find their parallels in Surahs 3 and 19 of the Qur’an, which take up the Annunciation to Mary, the Incarnation from the Holy Spirit, and the Nativity. 

Christmas and the Qur’an is a sensitive and precise analysis of the Christmas story as it appears in the Gospels and the Qur’an. Karl-Josef Kuschel presents both scriptures in a convincing comparative exegesis and reveals startling similarities as well as significant differences. Kuschel explores how Christians and Muslims read these texts and reveals an intertwining legacy that serves as a base for greater understanding. Without leaving the realm of theology, Kuschel approaches his analysis in a theocentric way by emphasizing the shared belief that God is almighty, which, he argues, can act as a healing suture between Christianity and Islam. Christmas and the Qur’an gives the reader the chance to remember the message of hope that the birth of Jesus brings and invites to a dialogue between Muslims and Christians. 

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The Culinary Crescent
A History of Middle Eastern Cuisine
Peter Heine
Gingko Library, 2018
The Fertile Crescent region—the swath of land comprising a vast portion of today’s Middle East—has long been regarded as pivotal to the rise of civilization. Alongside the story of human development, innovation, and progress, there is a culinary tradition of equal richness and importance.           
          In The Culinary Crescent: A History of Middle Eastern Cuisine, Peter Heine combines years of scholarship with a personal passion: his knowledge of the cookery traditions of the Umayyad, Abbasid, Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal courts is matched only by his love for the tastes and smells produced by the contemporary cooking of these areas today. In addition to offering a fascinating history, Heine presents more than one hundred recipes—from the modest to the extravagant—with dishes ranging from those created by the “celebrity chefs” of the bygone Mughal era, up to gastronomically complex presentations of modern times.
          Beautifully produced, designed for both reading and cooking, and lavishly illustrated in color throughout, The Culinary Crescent is sure to provide a delectable window in the history of food in the Middle East.

front cover of Democracy is the Answer
Democracy is the Answer
Egypt's Years of Revolution
Alaa Al Aswany
Gingko Library, 2014
As the Egyptian revolution unfolded throughout 2011 and the ensuing years, no one was better positioned to comment on it—and try to push it in productive directions—than best-selling novelist and political commentator Alaa Al-Aswany. For years a leading critic of the Mubarak regime, Al-Aswany used his weekly newspaper column for Al-Masry Al-Youm to propound the revolution’s ideals and to confront the increasingly troubled politics of its aftermath.

This book presents, for the first time in English, all of Al-Aswany’s columns from the period, a comprehensive account of the turmoil of the post-revolutionary years, and a portrait of a country and a people in flux. Each column is presented along with a context-setting introduction, as well as notes and a glossary, all designed to give non-Egyptian readers the background they need to understand the events and figures that Al-Aswany chronicles. The result is a definitive portrait of Egypt today—how it got here, and where it might be headed.

front cover of The Early Mubarak Years 1982–1988
The Early Mubarak Years 1982–1988
The Non-Fiction Writing of Naguib Mahfouz, Volume III
Naguib Mahfouz
Gingko Library, 2020
In these essays Naguib Mahfouz comments on Egyptian politics, the role of Parliament, and the institutional changes that took place in Egypt after Honsi Mubarak became President in 1981. 

front cover of The Early Ottoman Peloponnese
The Early Ottoman Peloponnese
A Study in the Light of an Annotated Editio Princeps of the TT10-1/14662 Ottoman Taxation Cadastre (ca. 1460–1463)
Georgios C. Liakopoulos
Gingko Library, 2019
The Early Ottoman Peloponnese: A study in the Light of an Annotated editio princeps of the TT10-1/14662 Ottoman Taxation Cadastre (ca. 1460-1463) is a study drawn from the author's PhD thesis, conducted at Royal Holloway, University of London, under the supervision of the late Professor Julian Chrysostomides.
The book is divided into two parts, with part one covering a range of materials through an introduction and three chapters and part two consisting of a diplomatic edition of the transcribed Ottoman text. The introduction offers an orientation to the scope of the book, surveys previous scholarship conducted on the subject, and provides a historical examination of the late Byzantine Peloponnese and its conquest by the Ottomans. Accompanied by topographic and linguistic notes, Liakopoulos presents the historical geography of the Peloponnese, listing all the place-names mentioned in the sequence they appear in the TT10-1/14662 register. This is followed by a set of thirty-eight digital maps of the early Ottoman Peloponnese using GIS (Geographical Information Systems). This is followed by a discussion of the demography of the Peloponnese, including the settlement patterns, the density of population and its categorisation—urban and rural, sedentary and nomadic—concentrating on the influx and settlement of the second largest ethnic group in the peninsula: the Albanians. Liakopoulos explores the administrative and economic structures of the Peloponnese, and provides a detailed presentation their of agricultural production, fully illustrated with tables and charts.

front cover of East-West Divan
East-West Divan
In Memory of Werner Mark Linz
Edited by Aran Byrne
Gingko Library, 2014
This collection of scholarly essays on Egyptian culture, history, society, archeology, literature, art, and conservation is published in memory of Werner Mark Linz, who spent much of the latter part of his professional life as the Director of the American University in Cairo Press. East-West Divan is the first volume of the Gingko Library, a publishing project that embraces scholarship from both East and West, conceived by Werner Mark Linz to foster greater cross-cultural understanding. Among the contributors to this collection are the Egyptian novelist Alaa Al Aswany, author of The Yacoubian Building; Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass; the renowned Swiss theologian, Hans Küng; the author of the acclaimed A Fort of Nine Towers, Qais Akbar Omar; and Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan.

front cover of Environmental Challenges in the MENA Region
Environmental Challenges in the MENA Region
The Long Road from Conflict to Cooperation
Hamid Pouran and Hassan Hakimian
Gingko Library, 2019
The Middle East and North Africa region is well-known for its abundant natural resources and important geostrategic position. This position is often overshadowed by continued sectarian violence and trans-boundary conflicts that threaten the stability of the entire region with serious global implications. This preoccupation with conflict has come at the expense of addressing the region’s other challenges.
Although the region’s fragile environmental state has increasingly preoccupied policymakers in individual countries, there is currently insufficient attention paid to coordinating collaborative action to recognise and address problems relating to its environmental sustainability and climatic change. In the absence of a positive agenda for tackling these issues, recurrent environmental setbacks and rapid depletion of the region’s natural resources continue to pose a major threat to the long-term economic, political, and social stability of the region.
Despite the urgency of these challenges, there is little research dedicated to studying MENA’s environmental sustainability. Environmental Challenges in the MENA Region: The Long Road from Conflict to Cooperation draws from the proceedings of a seminal international conference on the subject at SOAS in October 2016, which was held as a celebration of the SOAS Centenary. This led to a collective contribution by experts and policy-makers concerned with the state of the MENA region’s environmental predicament with the aim of addressing these problems in a constructive and forward-looking approach.
The chapters in this book are predicated upon two critical premises. First, expertise and awareness from a wide range of disciplines is required to understand and address environmental challenges. And, second, to have a real chance of success, MENA countries need to confront these problems as their common threats and to see them as an opportunity for regional cooperation and policy coordination. This book provides the results of an interdisciplinary effort to address the various dimensions of the region’s environmental challenges from across the region and disciplines.

front cover of Essays of the Sadat Era
Essays of the Sadat Era
The Non-fiction Writing of Naguib Mahfouz: Volume II
Naguib Mahfouz
Gingko Library, 2015
When Naguib Mahfouz quit his job as a civil servant in 1971, a Nobel Prize in literature was still off on the horizon, as was his global recognition as the central figure of Arab literature. He was just beginning his post on the editorial staff of the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram, and elsewhere in Cairo, Anwar Sadat was just beginning his hugely transformative Egyptian presidency, which would span eleven years and come to be known as the Sadat era. This book offers English-language readers the first glimpse of the Sadat era through Mahfouz’s eyes, a collection of pieces that captures one of Egypt’s most important decades in the prose of one of the Middle East’s most important writers. 
            This volume stitches together a fascinating and vivid account of the dramatic events of Sadat’s era, from his break with the Soviet Union to the Yom Kippur War with Israel and eventual peace accord and up to his assassination by Islamic extremists in 1981. Through this tumultuous history, Mahfouz takes on a diverse array of political topics—including socioeconomic stratification, democracy and dictatorship, and Islam and extremism—which are still of crucial relevance to Egypt today. Clear-eyed and direct, the works illuminate Mahfouz’s personal and political convictions that were more often hidden in his novels, enriching his better-known corpus with social, political, and ideological context.
            These writings are a rare treasure, a story of a time of tremendous social and political change in the Middle East told by one if its most iconic authors. 

front cover of The First World War and Its Aftermath
The First World War and Its Aftermath
The Shaping of the Middle East
Edited by T. G. Fraser
Gingko Library, 2015
Think of a map of World War I and chances are that map will be of Europe—but the First World War had just as heavy an impact on the Middle East, shaping the region into what we know it as today. This book gathers together leading scholars in the field to examine this impact, which is crucial to understanding the region’s current problems and the rise of groups like the Islamic State.

In addition to recounting the crucial international politics that drew fierce lines in the sands of the Middle East—a story of intrigue between the British, Russians, Ottomans, North Africans, Americans, and others—the contributors engage topics ranging from the war’s effects on women, the experience of the Kurds, sectarianism, the evolution of Islamism, and the importance of prominent intellectuals like Ziya Gökalp and Michel ‘Aflaq. They examine the dissolution of the Ottoman empire, the exploitation of notions of Islamic unity and pan-Arabism, the influences of Woodrow Wilson and American ideals on Middle East leaders, and likewise the influence of Vladimir Lenin’s vision of a communist utopia. Altogether, they tell a story of promises made and promises broken, of the struggle between self-determination and international recognition, of centuries-old empires laying in ruin, and of the political poker of the twentieth century that carved up the region, separating communities into the artificial states we know today.   

front cover of Fruit of Knowledge, Wheel of Learning (Vol I)
Fruit of Knowledge, Wheel of Learning (Vol I)
Essays in Honour of Professor Carole Hillenbrand
Edited by Ali M. Ansari
Gingko Library, 2021
Collected essays honoring the work of British professors Carole and Robert Hillenbrand.

Carole and Robert Hillenbrand are legendary British professors, both of whom have made immense contributions to the fields of Islamic history and art history, and they are highly respected and beloved by the academic community. For these two volumes, editors Melanie Gibson and Ali Ansari have gathered an eclectic mix of scholarly contributions by colleagues and by some of their most recent students who now occupy positions in universities worldwide. The eleven articles in the volume dedicated to Carole Hillenbrand include research on a range of topics, including the elusive Fatimid caliph al-Zafir, a crusader raid on Mecca, and the Persian bureaucrat Mirza Saleh Shirazi’s history of England. In Robert Hillenbrand's volume, the thirteen articles include studies of a rare eighth-century metal dish with Nilotic scenes, Chinese Qur’ans, the process of image-making in both theory and practice, and a shrine in Mosul destroyed by ISIS.

front cover of Fruit of Knowledge, Wheel of Learning (Vol II)
Fruit of Knowledge, Wheel of Learning (Vol II)
Essays in Honour of Professor Robert Hillenbrand
Edited by Melanie Gibson
Gingko Library, 2021
Collected essays honoring the work of British professors Carole and Robert Hillenbrand.

Carole and Robert Hillenbrand are legendary British professors, both of whom have made immense contributions to the fields of Islamic history and art history, and they are highly respected and beloved by the academic community. For these two volumes, editors Melanie Gibson and Ali Ansari have gathered an eclectic mix of scholarly contributions by colleagues and by some of their most recent students who now occupy positions in universities worldwide. The eleven articles in the volume dedicated to Carole Hillenbrand include research on a range of topics, including the elusive Fatimid caliph al-Zafir, a crusader raid on Mecca, and the Persian bureaucrat Mirza Saleh Shirazi’s history of England. In Robert Hillenbrand's volume, the thirteen articles include studies of a rare eighth-century metal dish with Nilotic scenes, Chinese Qur’ans, the process of image-making in both theory and practice, and a shrine in Mosul destroyed by ISIS.

front cover of Hijab
Three Modern Iranian Seminarian Perspectives
Lloyd Ridgeon
Gingko Library, 2021
This book provides an overview of the range of seminarian thinking in Iran on the controversial topic of the hijab. During the modern period, Iran has suffered a great deal of conflict and confusion caused by the impact of Western views on the hijab in the 19th century, Riza Shah Pahlavi’s 1936 decree banning Islamic head coverings, and the imposition of the veil in the wake of the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

Ḥijāb addresses the differences of opinion among seminarians on the hijab in the Islamic Republic of Iran, focusing on three representative thinkers: Murtaza Mutahhari who held veiling to be compulsory, Ahmad Qabil who argued for the desirability of the hijab, and Muhsin Kadivar who considers it neither necessary nor desirable. In the first chapter, the views of these three scholars are contextualized within the framework known as ‘new religious thinking’ among the seminarians. Comprehending the hermeneutics of this new religious thinking is key to appreciating how and why the younger generation of scholars have offered divergent judgements about the hijab. Following the first chapter, the book is divided into three parallel sections, each devoted to one of the three seminarians. These present a chronological approach, and each scholar’s position on the hijab is assessed with reference to historical specificity and their own general jurisprudential perspective. Extensive examples of the writings of the three scholars on the hijab are also provided.

front cover of The Image Debate
The Image Debate
Figural Representation in Islam and Across the World
Edited by Christiane Gruber
Gingko Library, 2019
The images released by the Islamic State of militants smashing statues at ancient sites were a horrifying aspect of their advance across Northern Iraq and Syria during 2015-16. Their leaders justified this iconoclasm by arguing that such actions were divinely decreed in Islam, a notion that has remained fixed in the public consciousness. 

The Image Debate is a collection of thirteen essays which examine the controversy surrounding the use of images in Islamic and other religious cultures and seek to redress some of the misunderstandings that have arisen. Written by leading academics from the United States, Australia, Turkey, Israel and the United Kingdom, the book has a foreword by Stefano Carboni, Director of the Art Gallery of Western Australia, followed by an introduction by the editor Christiane Gruber, who sets the subject in context with a detailed examination of the debates over idols and the production of figural images in Islamic traditions. 

Twelve further articles are divided into three sections: the first deals with pre-modern Islam: Mika Natif looks at tensions between the Hadith prohibition on images and the praxis of image-making under the Umayyad dynasty and argues that the Umayyad rulers used imagery to establish their political and religious authority; Finbarr Barry Flood examines the practice of epigraphic erasure, i.e., the removal of names of rulers and patrons from historical inscriptions from the medieval Islamic world; and Oya Pancaroğlu focuses on the figural conventions of an illustrated manuscript of Varqa and Gulshah, a medieval Persian romance composed in the masnavi (rhyming couplet) form by the 11th-century poet ‘Ayyuqi. 

The second section addresses the situation outside Islam: Alicia Walker surveys attitudes toward the production and veneration of religious images in Byzantium from the earliest years of the Christian Roman Empire (early 4th century) to the aftermath of the Iconoclast controversy (late 9th century); Steven Fine explores the history of Jewish engagement with ‘art’ from Roman antiquity through the high middle ages through a detailed exploration of the 3rd-century Dura Europos synagogue and its wall paintings; Michael Shenkar examines evidence for the employment of figural images in the cultic practices of some of the major ancient Iranian cultural and political entities, offering a broad perspective on perceptions of images in ancient Iranian worship; and Robert DeCaroli delves into the question of why no image of the Buddha was made during the first five hundred years of Buddhism.  

The third section brings the reader back to Islamic lands with five articles examining aspects of the issue in the modern and contemporary periods: Yousuf Saaed investigates South Asian mass-produced images, especially posters that include illustrations of local Sufi shrines, portraits of saints and Shi‘i iconography; James Bennett explores the visual depiction of Javanese shadow puppets (wayang kulit), including the sage Begawan Abiyasa, whose narratives convey key elements of Sufi mystical philosophy; Allen and Mary Roberts consider images of Cheikh Amadu Bamba, the founding Sufi saint of the Senegalese Mouride order; Rose Issa addresses how the term ‘Islamic’ relates to contemporary art, how artists manage to create work in countries in constant turmoil and to what extent such works reflect their conceptual, aesthetic, and socio-political concerns; and finally Shiva Balaghi traces the use of the figure, along its symbolic shadows and silhouettes, in works by notable Iranian artists living in Iran and in diaspora.

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Iran and Global Decolonisation
Politics and Resistance After Empire
Edited by Robert Steele and Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet
Gingko Library, 2023
A presentation of scholarly work that investigates Iran's experiences with colonialism and decolonization from a variety of perspectives.

How did Iran’s unique position in the world affect and define its treatment of decolonization? During the final decades of Pahlavi rule in the late 1970s, the country sought to establish close relationships with newly independent counterparts in the Global South. Most scholarly work focused on this period is centered around the Cold War and Iran's relations with the United States, Russia, and Europe. Little attention has been paid to how the country interacted with other regions, such as Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Adding to an important and growing body of literature that discusses the profound and lasting impact of decolonization, Iran and Global Decolonisation contributes to the theoretical debates around the re-shaping of the world brought about by the end of an empire. It considers not only the impact of global decolonization on movements and ideas within Iran but also how Iran’s own experiences of imperialism shaped how these ideas were received and developed.

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Iran, Islam and Democracy
The Politics of Managing Change
Ali M. Ansari
Gingko Library, 2019
The surprise election of Hasan Rouhani in 2013 has refocused attention on the dynamics between Islam and democracy in Iran after the hiatus of the Ahmadinejad presidency. With comparisons being drawn between Rouhani and his predecessor, the late Reformist President Mohammad Khatami, there has never been a better time for a close look at the rise and fall of the Reform movement in Iran, situating it within the context of the “politics of managing change.” This revised and updated edition incorporates recent work on the presidential election crisis of 2009, along with the election of Rouhani in 2013, and an additional essay on the idea of reformism in Iran in historical context. The study remains then most comprehensive account of the politics of reform and, in situating the Rouhani presidency within that context, it shines a clear light on the pressures and pitfalls Iran faces in politics and international relations.

front cover of Iran's Constitutional Revolution of 1906 and Narratives of the Enlightenment
Iran's Constitutional Revolution of 1906 and Narratives of the Enlightenment
Edited by Ali Ansari
Gingko Library, 2016
The Constitutional Revolution of 1906 opened the way for enormous change in Persia, heralding the modern era and creating a model for later political and cultural movements in the region. Broad in its scope, this multidisciplinary volume brings together essays from leading scholars in Iranian Studies to explore the significance of this revolution, its origins, and the people who made it happen.
As the authors show, this period was one of unprecedented debate within Iran’s burgeoning press. Many different groups fought to shape the course of the Revolution, which opened up seemingly boundless possibilities for the country’s future and affected nearly every segment of its society. Exploring themes such as the role of women, the use of photography, and the uniqueness of the Revolution as an Iranian experience, the authors tell a story of immense transition, as the old order of the Shah subsided and was replaced by new institutions, new forms of expression, and a new social and political order.

front cover of Iznik Ceramics at the Benaki Museum
Iznik Ceramics at the Benaki Museum
John Carswell, Mina Moraitou, and Melanie Gibson
Gingko Library, 2023
The first publication to feature the full collection of Iznik ceramics at the Benaki Museum in Athens.

The Benaki Museum of Islamic Art in Athens has a substantial collection of Iznik ceramics, intricate works created in the city of Iznik in Asia Minor that are decorated with vibrant colors and designs. Although well known to many who visit the museum, this collection—which includes tableware, tiles, and sherds—has never before been published in its entirety.
Archaeologist, scholar, and curator John Carswell first began studying and cataloging these objects in the 1980s. This project has since been revived and guided to fruition by the curator of the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art, Mina Moraitou, who has also contributed a chapter on the Museum’s founder Antonis Benakis and the formation of its Iznik collection. The catalog brings together these admired and sought-after ceramics, featuring over three hundred illustrations of pieces from the Museum’s collection.

front cover of Javanmardi
The Ethics and Practice of Persianate Perfection
Edited by Lloyd Ridgeon
Gingko Library, 2018
Javanmardi is one of those Persian terms that is frequently mentions in discussions of Persian identity, and yet its precise meaning is difficult to comprehend. A number of equivalents have been offered, including chivalry and manliness, and while these terms are not incorrect, javanmardi transcends them. The concept encompasses character traits of generosity, selflessness, hospitality, bravery, courage, honesty, truthfulness and justice--and yet there are occasions when the exact opposite of these is required for one to be a javanmard. At times it would seem that being a javanmard is about knowing and doing the right thing, although this definition, too, falls short of the term's full meaning.
The present collection is the product of a three-year project financed by the British Institute of Persian Studies on the theme of "Javanmardi in the Persianate world." The articles in this volume represent the sheer range, influence, and importance that the concept has had in creating and contributing to Persianate identities over the past one hundred and fifty years. The contributions are intentionally broad in scope. Rather than focus, for example, on medieval Sufi manifestations of javanmardi, both medieval and modern studies were encouraged, as were literary, artistic, archaeological, and sociological studies among others. The opening essays examine the concept’s origin in medieval history and legends throughout a geographical background that spans from modern Iran to Turkey, Armenia, and Bosnia, among both Muslim and Christian communities. Subsequent articles explore modern implications of javanmardi within such contexts as sportsmanship, political heroism, gender fluidity, cinematic representations, and the advent of digitalization.

front cover of Making the Modern Middle East
Making the Modern Middle East
Second Edition
T.G. Fraser, Andrew Mango, and Robert McNamara
Gingko Library, 2015
A century ago, as World War I got underway, the Middle East was dominated, as it had been for centuries, by the Ottoman Empire. But by 1923, its political shape had changed beyond recognition, as the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the insistent claims of Arab and Turkish nationalism and Zionism led to a redrawing of borders and shuffling of alliances—a transformation whose consequences are still felt today.
This fully revised and updated second edition of Making the Modern Middle East traces those changes and the ensuing history of the region through the rest of the twentieth century and on to the present. Focusing in particular on three leaders—Emir Feisal, Mustafa Kemal, and Chaim Weizmann—the book offers a clear, authoritative account of the region seen from a transnational perspective, one that enables readers to understand its complex history and the way it affects present-day events.

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Mary in the Qur'an
Friend of God, Virgin, Mother
Muna Tatari and Klaus von Stosch
Gingko Library, 2021
A sensitive consideration of Mary, mother of Jesus, in the Qur’an.

An entire chapter (surah) is dedicated to her, and she is the only woman mentioned by name in the Qur’an—indeed, her name appears more frequently than that of either Muhammad or Jesus. From the earliest times to the present day, Mary, the mother of Jesus, continues to be held in high regard by Christians and Muslims alike, yet she has also been the cause of much tension between these two religions.
In this groundbreaking study, Muna Tatari and Klaus von Stosch painstakingly reconstruct the picture of Mary that is presented in the Qur’an and show how veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Roman Catholic Church intersects and interacts with the testimony of the Qur’an. This sensitive and scholarly treatise offers a significant contribution to contemporary interfaith dialogue.

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Memories of a Bygone Age
Qajar Persia and Imperial Russia 1853-1902
Prince Arfa
Gingko Library, 2016
Set against the backdrop of Iran’s struggle against the rising powers of Russia and Britain, the memoirs of Mirza Riza Khan Arfa’-ed-Dowleh—otherwise known as Prince Arfa (1853–1902)—are packed with picaresque adventures as the prince tells the story of his rise from humble provincial beginnings to the heights of the Iranian state. With this translation, his incredible story is brought to life for the first time in English.

Prince Arfa writes with arresting wit about the deadly intrigues of the Qajar court. Lamentingly, but resolutely, he chronicles the decline of Iran from a once great empire to an almost bankrupt, lawless state, in which social unrest is channelled and exploited by the clergy. He describes the complex interactions between Iran and Europe, including an account of Naser-od-Din Shah’s profligate visits to Britain and France; the splendor and eccentricities of the doomed Tsar Nicholas II’s court; the Tsar’s omen-laden coronation; and his own favor with the Tsarina, who would grant him concessions on matters of vital importance to his country. The result is a memoir of extraordinary political intrigue.

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The Mercantile Effect
Art and Exchange in the Islamicate World During the 17th and 18th Centuries
Edited by Sussan Babaie and Melanie Gibson
Gingko Library, 2017
This lavishly illustrated volume of essays introduces a fascinating array of subjects, each exploring an aspect of the far-reaching “mercantile effect” and its impact across western Asia in the early modern era. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the increased movement of merchants and goods from China to Europe brought desirable commodities to new markets, but also spread ideas, tastes, and technologies across western Asia as never before. Through the newly-established Dutch, English, and French East India companies, as well as much older mercantile networks, commodities including silk, ivory, books, and glazed porcelains were transported both east and west. The Mercantile Effect shows a fascinating array of trade objects and the customs and traditions of traders that brought about a period of intense cultural interchange.

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The Moulids of Egypt
Egyptian Saint’s Day Festivals
Edited and Annotated by J.W. McPherson
Gingko Library, 2022
A fascinating and highly original contribution to the study of Egypt’s religious folklore.

First published in Cairo during World War II, The Moulids of Egypt is a study of moulids, the popular Egyptian religious festivals celebrated by both Muslims and Christians in the first half of the twentieth century. The book talks in detail about the secular side of moulids, where sports, games, theatres, dancing, and laughter were as much part of the festivals as the religious processions and the whirling of dervishes. Some of the rites and customs analyzed here date from as far back as the Pharaonic period, but the moulids are gradually dying out; many of the 126 festivals described in Moulids of Egypt have since faded away, making the book of lasting interest.

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Nationalism in Architecture of Modern Iran
Niloofar Kakhi
Gingko Library, 2023
A historical account of the development of nationalism in Iranian architecture between 1905 and 2015.

Nationalism in Architecture of Modern Iran is the first comprehensive book on modern architecture in Iran to be published in English. It addresses the relationship between nationalism and architecture in Iran and discusses the role Western architects played in the development of modern architecture in the country while introducing some of the most significant and recent projects in Iran. It investigates what it means to design a building that bears an Iranian or Islamic-Iranian identity and how to construct a conceptual platform for critically assessing representations of national identity in contemporary architecture. This book will directly help practicing architects and policymakers of the built environment, especially in Iran, as well as give a comprehensive understanding of the modern history of architecture in Iran to art historians and a broader audience. It introduces some of the most significant and recent projects in Iran for the first time.

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A New Divan
A Lyrical Dialogue between East and West
Edited by Barbara Schwepcke and Bill Swainson
Gingko Library, 2019
Now reaching its 200th anniversary, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s sequence of poems, the West-Eastern Divan serves as the inspiration for this new collection poems by twenty-four international poets. Goethe’s original work shows the poet looking east from his homeland of Germany to build a collection of writing inspired by the poetic traditions of Persia. In twelve books, Goethe writes on a variety of great poetic themes, including love, humor, parables, and paradise. Over the years since its original publication in 1819, the Divan has served as inspiration for a variety of literary, theoretical, and musical responses. A New Divan revisits Goethe’s work in a lively celebration of cross-cultural exchange. Works by twelve poets from the East and twelve from the West respond to the themes laid out in Goethe’s Divan and build bridges between cultures, nationalities, and languages. The poets have been paired to write in response to each of the twelve books of the Divan, and here present their multi-lingual works in eleven different languages, each with a poetic interpretation written in English. Three pairs of essays complement and shed further light on the series of poetic exchanges. These writings mirror the original notes that Goethe included in his West-Eastern Divan.

Reaching through time, language, and poetic history, A New Divan offers a lyrical conversation and opens paths of connection across cultures.

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New Thinking in Islam
The Jihad for Democracy, Freedom and Women’s Rights
Katajun Amirpur
Gingko Library, 2015
In Rethinking Islam, Katajun Amirpur argues that the West’s impression of Islam as a backward-looking faith, resistant to post-Enlightenment thinking, is misleading and—due to its effects on political discourse—damaging. Introducing readers to key thinkers and activists—such as Abu Zaid, a free-thinking Egyptian Qur’an scholar; Abdolkarim Soroush, an academic and former member of Khomeini’s Cultural Revolution Committee; and Amina Wadud, an American feminist who was the first woman to lead the faithful in Friday Prayer—Amirpur reveals a powerful yet lesser-known tradition of inquiry and dissent within Islam, one that is committed to democracy and human rights. By examining these and many other similar figures’ ideas, she reveals the many ways they reject fundamentalist assertions and instead call for a diversity of opinion, greater freedom, and equality of the sexes. 

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Off Limits
New Writings on Fear and Sin
Nawal El Saadawi
Gingko Library, 2018
Nawal El Saadawi is a significant and broadly influential feminist writer, activist, physician, and psychiatrist. Born in 1931 in Egypt, her writings focus on women in Islam. Well beyond the Arab world, from Woman at Point Zero to The Fall of the Imam and her prison memoirs, El Saadawi’s fiction and nonfiction works have earned her a reputation as an author who has provided a powerful voice in feminist debates centering on the Middle East.

Off Limits presents a selection of El Saadawi’s most recent recollections and reflections in which she considers the role of women in Egyptian and wider Islamic society, the inextricability of imperialism from patriarchy, and the meeting points of East and West. These thoughtful and wide-reaching pieces leave no stone unturned and no view unchallenged, and the essays collected here offer further insight into this profound author’s ideas about women, society, religion, and national identity.

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On Literature and Philosophy
The Non-Fiction Writing of Naguib Mahfouz: Volume 1
Naguib Mahfouz
Gingko Library, 2015
Naguib Mahfouz is one of the most important writers in contemporary Arabic literature. Winner of the Nobel Prize in 1988 (the only Arab writer to win the prize thus far), his novels helped bring Arabic literature onto the international stage. Far fewer people know his nonfiction works, however—a gap that this book fills. Bringing together Mahfouz’s early nonfiction writings (most penned during the 1930s) which have not previously been available in English, this volume offers a rare glimpse into the early development of the renowned author.
            As these pieces show, Mahfouz was deeply interested in literature and philosophy, and his early writings engage with the origins of philosophy, its development and place in the history of thought, as well its meaning writ large. In his literary essays, he discusses a wide range of authors, from Anton Chekov to his own Arab contemporaries like Taha Hussein. He also ventures into a host of important contemporary issues, including science and modernity, the growing movement for women’s rights in the Arab world, and emerging ideologies like socialism—all of which outline the growing challenges to traditional modes of living that we saw all around him.
            Together, these essays offer a fascinating window not just into the mind of Mahfouz himself but the changing landscape of Egypt during that time, from the development of Islam to the struggles between tradition, modernity, and the influences of the West. 

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The Other Prophet
Jesus in the Qur’an
Mouhanad Khorchide and Klaus von Stosch
Gingko Library, 2019
The Qur’an identifies Jesus as a sign of God, and he holds a place as one of the most important prophets in Islam. Looking at Jesus in Islam also reveals both deep differences from and rich connections to the view of Jesus in Christianity. In The Other Prophet, Mouhanad Khorchide and Klaus von Stosch explore and explain the position of the Qur’anic Jesus, with one scholar working from the Muslim and the other from the Christian theological perspective. Their combined research presents a history of Jesus’ presence in the Qur’an and provides astute observations to deepen the understanding of both Christians and Muslims. Here we find that a common view of Jesus from the Muslim and Christian sides is not only possible, but also expands our understanding of Jesus and his message.

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Ottoman Explorations of the Nile
Evliya Çelebi’s Map of the Nile and The Nile Journeys in the Book of Travels (Seyahatname)
Robert Dankoff, Nuran Tezcan, and Michael D. Sheridan
Gingko Library, 2018
Before the time of Napoleon, the most ambitious effort to explore and map the Nile was undertaken by the Ottomans, as attested by two monumental documents: an elaborate map, with 475 rubrics, and a lengthy travel account. Both were achieved at about the same time—c. 1685—and both by the same man.

Evliya Çelebi’s account of his Nile journeys, in the tenth volume of his Book of Travels (Seyahatname), has been known to the scholarly world since 1938, when that volume was first published. The map, held in the Vatican Library, has been studied since at least 1949. Numerous new critical editions of both the map and the text have been published over the years, each expounding upon the last in an attempt to reach a definitive version. The Ottoman Explorations of the Nile provides a more accurate translation of the original travel account. Furthermore, the maps themselves are reproduced in greater detail and vivid color, and there are more cross-references to the text than in any previous edition. This volume gives equal weight and attention to the two parts that make up this extraordinary historical document, allowing readers to study the map or the text independently, while also using each to elucidate and accentuate the details of the other. 

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Pagan Christmas
Winter Feasts of the Kalasha of the Hindu Kush
Augusto S. Cacopardo
Gingko Library, 2017
This authoritative work sheds light on the religious world of the Kalasha people of the Birir valley in the Chitral district of Pakistan, focusing on their winter feasts, which culminate every year in a great winter solstice festival. The Kalasha are not only the last example of a pre-Islamic culture in the Hindu Kush and Karakorum mountains but also practice the last observable example anywhere in the world of an archaic Indo-European religion. In this book, Augusto S. Cacopardo takes readers inside the world of the Kalasha people.
Cacopardo outlines the history and culture of this ancient but still extant people. Exploring an array of relevant literature, he enriches our understanding of their practices and beliefs through illuminating comparisons with both the Indian religious world and the religious folklore of Europe. Bringing together several disciplinary approaches and drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, this book offers the first extended study of this little-known but fascinating Kalasha community. It will take its place as a standard international reference source on the anthropology, ethnography, and history of religions in Pakistan and Central South Asia.

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The Phoenix Mosque and the Persians of Medieval Hangzhou
Edited by George Lane
Gingko Library, 2018
In the early 1250s, Möngke Khan, grandson and successor of the mighty Mongol emperor, Genghis Khan, sent out his younger brothers Qubilai and Hulegu to consolidate his power. Hulegu was welcomed into Iran while his older brother, Qubilai, continued to erode the power of the Song emperors of southern China. In 1276, he finally forced their submission and peacefully occupied the Song capital, Hangzhou. The city enjoyed a revival as the cultural capital of a united China and was soon filled with traders, adventurers, artists, entrepreneurs, and artisans from throughout the great Mongol Empire—including a prosperous, influential, and seemingly welcome community of Persians. In 1281, one of the Persian settlers, Ala al-Din, built the Phoenix Mosque in the heart of the city where it still stands today. This study of the mosque and the Ju-jing Yuan cemetery, which today is a lake-side public park, casts light on an important and transformative period in Chinese history, and perhaps the most important period in Chinese-Islamic history. The book is published in the Persian Studies Series of the British Institute of Persian Studies (BIPS) edited by Charles Melville.

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Poet and Businessman
Abd al-Aziz al-Babtain and the Formation of Modern Kuwait
Leif Stenberg
Gingko Library, 2022
A history of contemporary Kuwait as seen through the life of an individual Kuwaiti.
This book reviews and analyzes the modern history of Kuwait through the life of Abd al-Aziz Sa‘ud al-Babtain, a wealthy businessman, philanthropist, and poet. He is the head of a large, influential international cultural foundation based in Kuwait City. Abd al-Aziz’s life story tightly interweaves with modern discussions on the history of the state of Kuwait. There are very few books taking a collective grip on the history of the state of Kuwait. Likewise, there are very few studies about the generation of Gulf individuals who experienced, benefitted from, and even suffered from the discovery of oil, and who has been a crucial part of socioeconomic and cultural developments in countries like Kuwait in recent history. By constructing a cohesive overview of the modern history of Kuwait enriched by the life of an individual that has lived through the better part of that particular history, this book fills a lacuna in contemporary scholarship on the Middle East, and especially the Arabian or the Persian Gulf.

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Religious Imaginations
How Narratives of Faith are Shaping Today’s World
Edited by James Walters
Gingko Library, 2018
Market globalization, technology, climate change, and postcolonial political forces are together forging a new, more modern world. However, caught up in the mix are some powerful religious narratives that are galvanizing peoples and reimagining – and sometimes stifling – the political and social order. Some are repressive, fundamentalist imaginations, such as the so-called Islamic Caliphate. Others could be described as post-religious, such as the evolution of universal human rights out of the European Christian tradition. But the question of the compatibility of these religious worldviews, particularly those that have emerged out of the Abrahamic faith traditions, is perhaps the most pressing issue in global stability today. What scope for dialogue is there between the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian ways of imagining the future? How can we engage with these multiple imaginations to create a shared and peaceful global society? Religious Imaginations is an interdisciplinary volume of both new and well-known scholars exploring how religious narratives interact with the contemporary geopolitical climate.

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Revealing the Unseen
New Perspectives on Qajar Art
Edited by Melanie Gibson and Gwenaëlle Fellinger
Gingko Library, 2022
Collected articles on Iranian art from the Qajar dynasty.

The thirteen articles in this volume were originally given as presentations at the symposium of the same name organized in June 2018 by the Musée du Louvre and the Musée du Louvre-Lens in conjunction with the exhibition The Empire of Roses: Masterpieces of 19th Century Persian Art. The exhibition explored the art of Iran in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, while the nation was under the rule of the Qajar dynasty. The symposium set out to present research on previously unknown and unpublished objects from this rich period of art history.
This volume, published with the Louvre Museum in France, is divided into four sections. The first, “Transitions and Transmissions,” is dedicated to the arts of painting, illumination, and lithography. The focus of the second section, entitled “The Image Revealed,” also considers works on paper, looking at new themes and techniques. “The Material World” examines the use of materials such as textiles, carpets, and armor. The articles in the final section discuss the history of two groups of artifacts acquired by their respective museums.

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They All Made Peace – What Is Peace?
The 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and the New Imperial Order
Edited by Jonathan Conlin and Ozan Ozavci
Gingko Library, 2023
An analysis of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne from multiple historical, economic, and social perspectives.
The last of the post-World War One peace settlements, the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne departed from methods used in the Treaty of Versailles and took on a new peace-making initiative: a forced population exchange that affected one and a half million people. Like its German and Austro-Hungarian allies, the defeated Ottoman Empire had initially been presented with a dictated peace in 1920. In just two years, however, the Kemalist insurgency enabled Turkey to become the first sovereign state in the Middle East, while the Greeks, Armenians, Arabs, Egyptians, Kurds, and other communities previously under the Ottoman Empire sought their own forms of sovereignty.

Featuring historical analysis from multiple perspectives, They All Made Peace, What is Peace? considers the Lausanne Treaty and its legacy. Chapters investigate British, Turkish, and Soviet designs in the post-Ottoman world, situate the population exchanges relative to other peacemaking efforts, and discuss the economic factors behind the reallocation of Ottoman debt and the management of refugee flows. Further chapters examine Kurdish, Arab, Iranian, Armenian, and other communities that were refused formal accreditation at Lausanne, but which were still forced to live with the consequences, consequences that are still emerging, one hundred years on.

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Treasures of Herat
Two Manuscripts of the Khamsah of Nizami in the British Library
Barbara Brend
Gingko Library, 2021
An illustrated reference book for students and scholars of Persian art, poetry, and literature.

With this book, Barbara Brend provides thorough consideration of two celebrated Persian manuscripts housed in the British Library. These two copies of the Khamsah (Quintet) a set of five narrative poems by twelfth-century poet Nizami, a master of allegorical poetry in Persian literature, were produced in Herat in the fifteenth century, one of the greatest periods of Persian painting. Although well known, the manuscripts have never before been written about in relation to each other. Brend tells the story of each poem and the painting that illustrates it, and she formally analyzes the images, placing them in their historical and artistic context.
The images from both highly prized manuscripts are beautifully reproduced in color, and the ownership history of one of the manuscripts—recorded in the form of seal impressions and inscriptions— is also included. Ursula Sims-Williams provides a translation and commentary of these important marks of ownership which identify the Mughal rulers Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangzeb, among many others.

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The Umayyad Mosque of Damascus
Art, Faith and Empire in Early Islam
Alain George
Gingko Library, 2020
An expansive illustrated history of the historic Umayyad Mosque in Damascus.

The Umayyad Mosque of Damascus is one of the oldest continuously used religious sites in the world. The mosque we see today was built in 705 CE by the Umayyad caliph al-Walid on top of a fourth-century Christian church that had been erected over a temple of Jupiter. Incredibly, despite the recent war, the mosque has remained almost unscathed, but over the centuries has been continuously rebuilt after damage from earthquakes and fires. In this comprehensive biography of the Umayyad Mosque, Alain George explores a wide range of sources to excavate the dense layers of the mosque’s history, also uncovering what the structure looked like when it was first built with its impressive marble and mosaic-clad walls. George incorporates a range of sources, including new information he found in three previously untranslated poems written at the time the mosque was built, as well as in descriptions left by medieval scholars. He also looks carefully at the many photographs and paintings made by nineteenth-century European travelers, particularly those who recorded the building before the catastrophic fire of 1893.

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The Unfinished Arab Spring
Micro-Dynamics of Revolts between Change and Continuity
Edited by Fatima El Issawi and Francesco Cavatorta
Gingko Library, 2020
The aim of this volume is to adopt an original analytical approach in explaining various dynamics at work behind the Arab Spring, through giving voice to local dynamics and legacies rather than concentrating on debates about paradigms. It highlights micro-perspectives of change and resistance—as well of contentious politics—that are often marginalized and left unexplored in favor of macro-analyses. First, the story of the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Morocco and Algeria is told through diverse and novel perspectives, looking at factors that have not yet been sufficiently underlined, but carry explanatory power for what has occurred. Second, rather than focusing on macro-comparative regional trends, the contributors to this book focus on the particularities of each country, highlighting distinctive micro-dynamics of change and continuity. The essays collected here are contributions from renowned writers and researchers from the Middle East and North Africa, along with Western experts, brought together to form a sophisticated dialogic exchange.


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Urban Histories of Rajasthan
Religion, Politics and Society (1550–1800)
Elizabeth M. Thelen
Gingko Library, 2022
An exploration of religious conflicts in premodern urban India.
Diverse peoples intermingled in the streets and markets of premodern Indian cities. This book considers how these diverse residents lived together and negotiated their differences. Which differences mattered, when and to whom? How did state actions and policies affect urban society and the lives of various communities? How and why did conflict occur in urban spaces? Through these questions, this book explores the histories of urban communities in the three cities of Ajmer, Nagaur, and Pushkar in Rajasthan, between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. The focus of this study is on everyday life, contextualizing religious practices and conflicts by considering patterns of patronage and broader conflict patterns within society. The book examines various archival documents, from family and institutional records to state registers, and uses these documents to demonstrate the complex and sometimes contradictory ways religion intersected with politics, economics, and society. The author shows how many patronage patterns and processes persisted in altered forms, and how the robustness of these structures contributed to the resilience of urban spaces and society in precolonial Rajasthan.

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West-Eastern Divan
Complete, annotated new translation (bilingual edition)
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Gingko Library, 2019
In 1814, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe read the poems of the great fourteenth-century Persian poet Hafiz in a newly published translation by Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall. For Goethe, the book was a revelation. He felt a deep connection with Hafiz and Persian poetic traditions, and was immediately inspired to create his own West-Eastern Divan as a lyrical conversation between the poetry and history of his native Germany and that of Persia. The resulting collection engages with the idea of the other and unearths lyrical connections between cultures.
The West-Eastern Divan is one of the world’s great works of literature, an inspired masterpiece, and a poetic linking of European and Persian traditions. This new bilingual edition expertly presents the wit, intelligence, humor, and technical mastery of the poetry in Goethe’s Divan. In order to preserve the work’s original power, Eric Ormsby has created this translation in clear contemporary prose rather than in rhymed verse, which tends to obscure the works sharpness. This edition is also accompanied by explanatory notes of the verse in German and in English and a translation of Goethe’s own commentary, the “Notes and Essays for a Better Understanding of the West-Eastern Divan.” This edition not only bring this classic collection to English-language readers, but also, at a time of renewed Western unease about the other, to open up the rich cultural world of Islam.

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You Can Crush the Flowers
A Visual Memoir of the Egyptian Revolution
Bahia Shehab
Gingko Library, 2021
Part visual history, part memoir, You Can Crush the Flowers is a chronicle of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution and its aftermath, as it manifested itself not only in the art on the streets of Cairo but also through the wider visual culture that emerged during the revolution. Marking the ten-year anniversary of the revolution, celebrated Egyptian-Lebanese artist Bahia Shehab tells the stories that inspired both her own artwork and the work of her fellow revolutionaries. Shehab narrates the events of the revolution as they unfolded, describing on one hand the tactics deployed by the regime to drive protesters from the street—from the use of tear gas and snipers to brute force, intimidation techniques, and virginity tests—and on the other hand the retaliation by the protesters online and on the street in marches, chants, street art, and memes. Throughout this powerful and moving account, which includes over one hundred images, Shehab responds to all these aspects of the revolution as both artist and activist. The result bears witness to the brutality of the regime and pays tribute to the protestors who bravely defied it.


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