Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Open Access Book: The Musical Heritage of Al-Andalus


Title: The Musical Heritage of Al-Andalus
Author: Reynolds, Dwight
Routledge, 2023
ISBN 9780367653613


"The Musical Heritage of Al-Andalus is a critical account of the history of Andalusian music in Iberia from the Islamic conquest of 711 to the final expulsion of the Moriscos (Spanish Muslims converted to Christianity) in the early 17th century. This volume presents the documentation that has come down to us, accompanied by critical and detailed analyses of the sources written in Arabic, Old Catalan, Castilian, Hebrew, and Latin. It is also informed by research the author has conducted on modern Andalusian musical traditions in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria..."

Saturday, February 17, 2024


 Museum for Islamic Art in Berlin
 متحف الفن الإسلامي في برلين
Edited by Dima Dayoub, Zoya Masoud & Hiba Bizreh

Aleppo is probably the world’s oldest continuously inhabited urban centre, and its Old City is among the most important in the eastern Mediterranean region. Partially destroyed, in some quarters razed, the city is threatened by further deterioration and ad hoc reconstruction works. In response to these threats, the Museum for Islamic Art – Berlin State Museums is creating a catalogue documenting the Old City’s most prominent monuments. The built heritage of the city, whose importance is recognized worldwide, is being recorded for posterity and attested to as worthy of preservation in the present. This multifaceted documentation will also provide concrete help with the reconstruction.

The Aleppo Heritage Catalogue is an important part of the Syrian Heritage Archive Project at the Museum for Islamic Art in the Pergamon Museum. Since 2017, it has been financed by the Gerda Henkel Stiftung. Each catalogue entry focuses on the following elements of a major historic building:

  • Photos, showing the monument before 2011, based on the digital databank of the “Syrian Heritage Archive Project”
  • Reports and materials concerning damage, carried out by the “Aleppo Built Heritage Documentation Project”, being part of the “Syrian Heritage Archive Project” (which is also financed by the Gerda Henkel Foundation)
  • Art and architectural history of the buildings, written by Aleppine and international researchers and art historians.
  • Endowment history: the social history/urban historical background of the structures.
  • Memories of Aleppine people in relation to these buildings and its neighbourhoods in the form of texts, voice records and films.
  • Detailed drawings and plans of the buildings.

The Aleppo Heritage Catalogue aims to raise awareness. This means communicating with Aleppines and other Syrians about the cultural heritage of their city and country in their mother language, regardless of their political affiliation or economic and social status. Such communication could help launch a discussion among the inhabitants of Aleppo, groups with different interests, and experts. This also entails raising awareness of the Old City’s value, especially as regards its social and historical worth, responsible preservation and reconstruction.


Friday, February 9, 2024

Collection of Ottoman censuses on the website of the Hungarian National Archives


"„Oszmán összeírások gyűjteménye” a Magyar Nemzeti Levéltár honlapján"

by Szepesiné Simon Éva, National a Hungary

The database "Collection of Ottoman censuses", available at Adatbázisok Online of the National Archives of Hungary, provides an insight into the Ottoman period and the struggling daily life of the Ottoman-Hungarian border region. The database, which currently contains some 26 300 records, primarily focuses on income and property records obtained from the Ottoman tax registers (tapu defterleri) covering the territory of the Kingdom of Hungary and makes them accessible to all, but the structure of the database is suitable for displaying all administrative units of the Ottoman Empire in the future. The collection, which offers both easy and quick access and comparative research, is recommended not only for historians, but for those interested in military history or the past of their localities, too."

Ottoman Censuses

Thursday, February 8, 2024

The Kingdom and the Qur’an: Translating the Holy Book of Islam in Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom and the Qur’an: Translating the Holy Book of Islam in Saudi Arabia - cover image
This book presents a detailed analysis of the translation of the Qur’an in Saudi Arabia, the most important global actor in the promotion, production and dissemination of Qur’an translations.

From the first attempts at translation in the mid-twentieth century to more recent state-driven efforts concerned with international impact, The Kingdom and the Qur’an adeptly elucidates the link between contemporary Islamic theology and the advent of modern print culture. It investigates this critical juncture in both Middle Eastern political history and the intellectual evolution of the Muslim world, interweaving literary, socio-historical, and socio-anthropological threads to depict the intricate backdrop of the Saudi ‘Qur'an translation movement’.

Mykhaylo Yakubovych provides a comprehensive historical overview of the debates surrounding the translatability of the Qur'an, as well as exploring the impact of the burgeoning translation and dissemination of the holy book upon Wahhabi and Salafi interpretations of Islam. Backed by meticulous research and drawing on a wealth of sources, this work illuminates an essential facet of global Islamic culture and scholarly discourse.

Book Series


Mykhaylo Yakubovych

Published On






Monday, February 5, 2024

Israeli Damage to Archives, Libraries, and Museums in Gaza, October 2023–January 2024

A Preliminary Report from Librarians and Archivists with Palestine

Download a PDF of the report here.

The destruction of cultural heritage in Gaza impoverishes the collective identity of the Palestinian people, irrevocably denies them their history, and violates their sovereignty. In this report, we offer a partial list of archives, libraries, and museums in Gaza that have been destroyed, damaged, or looted by Israeli armed forces since October 7, 2023. This report is necessarily incomplete. It is very difficult to determine the status of archives, libraries, and museums in Gaza during the ongoing Israeli bombardment. Current conditions in Gaza, such as the targeting of journalists, frequent communication blackouts, and extensive damage to the built environment pose an immediate threat to safety. Moreover, archivists and librarians have been repeatedly displaced, injured, or killed, making it even more difficult to take stock of the damage to cultural heritage. As a result, it should be assumed that this report represents only a fraction of the extent of damage and death, not a complete picture.

We compile and offer this information with the understanding that the erasure of Palestinian culture and history has long been an Israeli tactic of war and occupation, a means to further limit the self-determination of the Palestinian people. In 1948, during the Nakba, 30,000 books and manuscripts were looted from Palestinian homes; in 1982, during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, Israel looted and confiscated the library and archives of the Palestine Liberation Organization; libraries and archives were damaged during the Second Intifada, and have been repeatedly targeted in Gaza. Furthermore, the intentional destruction of cultural heritage has been recognized as a war crime and prosecuted in the International Criminal Court.

This report joins those issued by Heritage for Peace (November 7, 2023), the Palestinian Ministry of  Culture (December 6, 2023), the Arab Regional Group at the International Council of Monuments and Sites (January 9, 2024), and others. These reports document the destruction of religious sites, archaeological evidence, cultural institutions, and more. We bring a focus on libraries, archives, and museums as sites of knowledge, community spaces, and repositories of cultural heritage. Irreplaceable historic materials have been lost in the destruction of institutions such as the Central Archives of Gaza City and the Rafah Museum. The destruction of libraries represents the loss of not only book collections, but the efforts of Gaza’s librarians to acquire, care for, and provide access to reading materials, despite Israel’s ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip. 

Finally, we include information about the librarians and archivists who have been killed in the ongoing Israeli bombardment. We mourn the deaths of our colleagues and their families.

February 1, 2024
Librarians and Archivists with Palestine



Saturday, February 3, 2024

Open Access Books from the Centre d’études et de documentation économiques, juridiques et sociales

CEDEJ - Égypte/Soudan: Centre d’études et de documentation économiques, juridiques et sociales
Le Centre d’études et de documentation économiques, juridiques et sociales (Cedej) est un centre de recherche pluridisciplinaire, dont les travaux portent principalement sur l’Égypte et le Soudan contemporains. Il publie également, depuis 1990, la revue Égypte/Monde arabe, en ligne sur

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