Friday, August 11, 2017

Scribes of the Cairo Geniza Crowdsource Project

Scribes of the Cairo Geniza
The purpose of phase I of Scribes of the Cairo Geniza is to sort Cairo Geniza fragments in order to prepare them for transcription in phase II (launching Spring 2018). In this phase, you will sort fragments into different categories based on their script types: whether they are written in Hebrew or Arabic scripts and formal or informal scripts, and whether they contain specific visual characteristics.
This information offers clues to the type of text a fragment contains. Having this information for the entire corpus will allow us to sort the fragments into workflows for the transcription tasks in phase II. For more on the characteristics you’ll be looking for and what they can tell us, see the Field Guide.
The results from Scribes of the Cairo Geniza have the potential to rewrite the history of the premodern Middle East, Mediterranean and Indian Ocean trade, and the Jewish diaspora. Until now, most of the information has remained locked away in undeciphered manuscript fragments; less than one-third of the 350,000 items have been catalogued in the 120 years that the cache has been known to exist. Virtually all scholars who have studied these texts have come away with a transformed sense of the history of the region and the long ties of intimacy among its people. Students and the general public will have the opportunity to benefit from encountering these fragments online and from learning how to sort and eventually transcribe them as members of this citizen scientist community. We see this project as a way for people with shared interests and different skill levels from around the world to meet in a common endeavor and unlock this storage chamber of ancient fragments.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Open Access Books from Brill Publishers

Tense and Text in Classical Arabic : A Discourse-oriented Study of the Classical Arabic Tense System
Author: Michal Marmorstein

Publisher:     Leiden ; Boston : Brill, 2017.
Series: Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics , vol. 85
eISBN:     9789004310483

Islamic Reformism and Christianity : A Critical Reading of the Works of Muḥammad Rashīd Riḍā and His Associates (1898-1935)
Author: U. Ryad
Publisher:     Leiden ; Boston : Brill, 2009.
Series:  The History of Christian-Muslim Relations , vol. 12
E - ISBN : 9789047441465

The Mongols and the Armenians (1220-1335)
Author: Bayarsaikhan Dashdondog
Publisher:     Leiden ; Boston : Brill, 2010.
Series:  Brill's Inner Asian Library, vol. 24
E-ISBN : 9789004192119

The Ottoman Crimean War (1853-1856)
Author: C. Badem
Publisher:     Leiden ; Boston : Brill, 2010.
Series:  The Ottoman Empire and its Heritage, v. 44
E - ISBN : 9789004190962

Principles of Islamic International Criminal Law : A Comparative Search
Author: F. Malekian
Publisher:     Leiden ; Boston : Brill, 2011
Series:  Brill's Arab and Islamic Laws Series, vol. 5
E - ISBN : 9789004203976

Monday, June 12, 2017

Crafts of Syria

Crafts of Syria

"... Many of the monuments and archaeological sites have been looted, with some deliberately destroyed during the conflict. The crafts are another significant component of the rich cultural heritage of Syria, and this site is intended to preserve information on aspects of traditional manufacturing practices of urban and rural areas. It is hoped that this will be a resource for students and researchers working on the material cultures and socio-economic life of Syria and the surrounding regions of the Middle East.
This site is organized according to the cities, towns, and other settlements of modern Syria. Within each of these you will find primary written sources, secondary historical studies, ethnographic and archaeological research, and photographs that provide evidence for craft activities conducted in these locations across Syria from the seventh century to the present. The site will also be complemented by a range of resources designed to aid in the study of the craft traditions of this region. Some are already available on the site, and others will be added soon. These comprise: essays dealing with specific aspects of the crafts of Islamic Syria, links to related archives and collections, maps, short biographies of major primary sources, a glossary of technical terms, and a bibliography."

Saturday, June 3, 2017

PAVONe: Platform of the Arabic Versions of the New Testament

PAVONe: Platform of the Arabic Versions of the New Testament
Since 2012 our Digital Humanities Centre at the University of Balamand has been developing an online database for the Arabic text of the Gospels. The database is accessible online and it's open for scholars.
The database contains the following sections/services:
  1. The "About" section: It includes a presentation of the project and the methodology used.
  2. The "Manuscripts" section: It allows the user to browse the Gospels manuscripts transcribed in the database. Two browsing modalities are offered: the first one allows the scholar to visualize the manuscripts in their geographical location using a geotagging feature; the second one allows the filtration of the manuscripts by a variety of parameters (date, language...). Both modalities lead to the same resources and give the researcher the possibility of displaying some codicological and paleographical properties of the manuscripts and their content as well.
  3. The "Lectionary" section: It gives the liturgical structure of the lectionary as used by the Rum Orthodox Church and allows the researcher to browse the corresponding pericopes in the lectionary manuscripts. All the transcribed texts are published with a copy of the manuscript containing the reading. This allows the scholar to examine the original digital photo of the text and to compare it with our reading.
  4. The "Citations" section: In this section, we identified all the citations and allusions of the Gospels verses in the literature produced by Christians and Muslims in the first millennium. We limited our sources to the works mentioned in  the monumental work: "Christian-Muslim Relations. A Bibliographical History". This section enables the researchers to browse all these citations and allusions and to compare them with their parallels in the lectionaries and/or continuous texts of the Gospels.
  5. The "Search" section: this module allows the researcher to look for a specific verse in all the contents of the database regardless of the type of the source. The user can search, for example, for a verse in the "Muslim-Christian citations" and lectionaries at the same time...

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Photorientalist: A website dedicated to exhibiting 19th and 20th century photographs of the Middle East and North Africa

Photorientalist: A website dedicated to exhibiting 19th and 20th century photographs of the Middle East and North Africa is a website created by Norbert Schiller to exhibit 19th and 20th century photography from the Middle East and North Africa. The site is not limited to his collection, but open as a venue for other collectors to share their treasures.

Photographic exhibitions will be regularly displayed on the website. These exhibitions are open for contributions from parties who share a similar interest in historic images from the Middle East. 
Contributions may be submitted in the form of information or photographs that complement featured themes or topics. All submissions will be appropriately credited. The website’s success depends on valuable contributions by interested parties.

If you want to share photographs that are relevant to exhibitions on or have exhibition ideas, please contact me at

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Open Access Records from the Library of Congress

Library Offers Largest Release of Digital Catalog Records in History 25 Million Free Records of Bibliographic Metadata

"The Library of Congress announced today that it is making 25 million records in its online catalog available for free bulk download at This is the largest release of digital records in the Library’s history.
The records also will be easily accessible at, the open-government website hosted by the General Services Administration (GSA). Until now, these bibliographic records have only been available individually or through a paid subscription."

A combined LC bibliographic set is available from

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Open Access Newspaper Archive: الشورى = al-Shūrá = Ashoura (1924-1931)

الشورى = al-Shūrá = Ashoura  (1924-1931)

Edited by: Ṭāhir, Muḥammad ʻAlī.

"Published from October 1924 to August 1931, when Egyptian authorities acting on behalf of the British colonial administration cancelled its license, the “Ashoura” newspaper, which means “consultation” in Arabic, became the flagship of Eltaher’s national and intellectual activism, whence his office came to be called “Dar Ashoura”, or Ashoura House.
Two issues of “Ashoura” were published under a completely different name, possibly following a short ban on the newspaper. On March 26 and April 5, 1928 “Ashoura” appeared under the name “Al-Nas” (The people), with a license belonging to the Egyptian journalist Hussein Shafiq Al-Masri."

Open Access Newspaper Archive: الشباب = al-Shabāb (1937 - 1939)

 الشباب = al-Shabāb  (1937 - 1939)
Edited by: Ṭāhir, Muḥammad ʻAlī.

"The “Ashoura” newspaper license was suspended by the Government of Egypt from August 1931 until January 1937. That same year Dr. Mahmoud Azmi, offered his newspaper, “Al-Shabab”, i.e. Youth, to Eltaher free of charge “... so that he could resume publishing his nationalist views”. Eltaher published “Al-Shabab” from February 1937 until April 1939 when its license was again suspended by Egyptian authorities acting on behalf of the British colonial administration."

Open Access Newspaper Archive: العلم المصري = al-ʻAlam al-Miṣrī = Al-Alam Al-Masri (1939)

 العلم المصري = al-ʻAlam al-Miṣrī = Al-Alam Al-Masri (1939)
Edited by: Ṭāhir, Muḥammad ʻAlī.

"After “Al-Shabab” was suspended, the Egyptian journalist Abdelqader El-Toumi offered his newspaper, “Al-Alam Al-Masri”, i.e. The Egyptian Flag, to Eltaher free of charge so that he could resume publishing his nationalist views.
Al-Alam Al-Masri” was published from April 1939 until August 1939, when Eltaher stopped publishing it on the eve of World War II and the imposition of emergency measures in Egypt.
In 1953 the Government of Egypt under General Mohamed Naguib reinstated the publication license of “Ashoura”, but the Ministry of the Interior, which was under Colonel Gamal Abdel-Nasser, who was also Deputy Prime Minister, still prohibited Eltaher from publishing it. He never published any newspaper after that."

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Open Access Newspaper Archive: القدس = al-Quds = al-Kouds (1908-1914)

القدس = al-Quds = al-Kouds (1908-1914)

"The Center for Palestine Studies (CPS) at Columbia is proud to launch, in conjunction with the Institute for Palestine Studies in Ramallah, the archives of this forgotten gem over a century after its birth in Jerusalem. Established in 1908 by Jurji Habib Hanania (1864-1920), al-Quds became the first privately owned public daily newspaper in Palestine."

See also: Jurji Habib Hanania: History of the Earliest Press in Palestine, 1908-1914

Monday, May 8, 2017

Open Access E-book: Galeni in Hippocratis Epidemiarum Librum II Commentariorum I-VI Versio Arabica

Title: Galeni in Hippocratis Epidemiarum Librum II Commentariorum I-VI Versio Arabica
Published: Boston : Walter De Gruyter Incorporated June 2016
Editor: Vagelpohl, Uwe.
611 pages.
ISBN: 9783110463989

This volume offers the first critical edition of the Arabic translation of Galen's Commentary on Book 2 of the Hippocratic Epidemics. It follows the edition of Galen's Commentary on Book 1 published previously in this series. The Arabic text is accompanied by an English translation and extensive indices. The introduction outlines the history of the Greek and Arabic text and discusses the authorship, dating, and style of the Arabic translation.

See also: Galeni In Hippocratis Epidemiarum librum I commentariorum I-III versio Arabica

Open Access E-book: Water security in the Middle East : essays in scientific and social cooperation

Title: Water security in the Middle East : essays in scientific and social cooperation
Edited by Cahan, Jean Axelrad.
Published: London ; New York, NY : Anthem Press, 2016.
215 pages.
ISBN: 9781783085668

Open Access E-book: The Qur'an seminar = Le Qur'an seminar

Title: The Qur'an seminar = Le Qur'an seminar : commentary a collaborative study of 50 Qur'anic passages = commentaire collaboratif de 50 passages coraniques
Published : Berlin, [Germany] ; Boston, [Massachusetts] : De Gruyter, 2016.
487 pages

ISBN:  9783110445909

The work includes commentary on fifty Qurʾānic passages including:

– Q 1, al-Fatiha
– Q 2:30-39, the angelic prostration before Adam
– Q 2:255, the “Throne Verse”
– Q 3:7, the muhkamat and mutashabihat
– Q 4:3, polygamy and monogamy
– Q 5:112-15, the table (al-ma’ida) from heaven
– Q 9:29, fighting the People of the Book and the jizya
– Q 12, the story of Joseph
– Q 24:45, the “Light Verse”
– Q 33:40, the “seal of the prophets”
– Q 53, the “satanic verses”
– Q 96, including the passage often described as the “first revelation”
– Q 97, the “night of qadr”
– Q 105, the “Companions of the Elephant”
– Q 112, on God and the denial of a divine son

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Open Access Journal Archive: Hespéris Tamuda (1921-2009)

Title: Hespéris Tamuda
Published : Rabat : Editions techniques nord-africaines, 1960-
Frequency : Annual
ISSN : 0018-1005
Text in: Arabic, Spanish, French, English

Hespéris began in 1921 as a merger between two older serials, "Archives Berberes" and the Bulletin of l'Institut des Hautes-Études Marocaines. In 1960, it merged with another serial, "Tamuda", to become "Hespéris-Tamuda",

See also: Alphabetical List of Open Access Historical Newspapers and Other Periodicals in Middle East & Islamic Studies

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Bavarian Air Force World War I Aerial Photography of Palestine = Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv: Bildsammlung Palästina

The Bavarian Air Force World War I Aerial Photography of Palestine = Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv: Bildsammlung Palästina

"The 2,872 photographs, comprising both aerial and ground photographs that are
now available on the website of the Central State Archive of the Bavarian State Office
for Surveying, constitute an important resource for the study of many aspects of the
landscape of Palestine and other territories at the end of Ottoman rule in the region.
These photographs offer an overview of the region’s topography as it was almost one
hundred years ago, and as such are of great significance to geographers, historians, and
researchers working on urban cultural history "

See also: Mapping Palestine: The Bavarian Air Force WWI Aerial Photography

Friday, March 31, 2017

Arabic Almanac App

Arabic Almanac App
By Omar Jahangir
iPhone Screenshot 1
Arabic Almanac is a digital version of the famous Hans Wehr dictionary. You can search through the dictionary by using the root letter of the word and the app will display the corresponding page from the Hans Wehr dictionary. This app was developed to aid students of the Arabic Language in their noble pursuit. The app will remove the need of carrying around a bulky dictionary and replace it with the convenience of your smartphone. Now you have access to all the same information, but at the comfort of your fingertips. The dictionary can be searched using an Arabic keyboard, or if you do not have an Arabic keyboard the dictionary can be searched using Roman (English) letters which have an Arabic equivalent. Feel free to add any comments/improvements by emailing This app could not have been made without the immense contribution from E.Taal and U.Iqbal. I pray that Allah (swt) reward them and their families for their contribution to this app. Please also remember this developer and his family in your duas. ...More Arabic Almanac Support 

What's New in Version 1.3
Salaams all! A few updates for Arabic Almanac. •Removed the “loading” that would appear at the end of the pag
  • Free
  • Category: Education
  • Updated:
  • Version: 1.3
  • Size: 82.6 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller:
Compatibility: Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

Open Access Repository of the Katedra Arabistyki i Islamistyki Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego

Open Access Repository of the Katedra Arabistyki i Islamistyki Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Katedra Arabistyki i Islamistyki Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego jest największym centrum badań w zakresie arabistyki i islamistyki w Polsce. Z początku arabistyka w Instytucie Orientalistycznym UW była połączona z pokrewnymi dziedzinami – turkologią i iranistyką. Dzięki staraniom J. Bielawskiego w 1964 roku została powołana Katedra Arabistyki, a co za tym idzie, arabistyka uzyskała samodzielny byt. Po licznych przekształceniach jednostka została ponownie przemianowana na Katedrę Arabistyki i Islamistyki w 2009 roku i obecnie jest jedną z trzech największych jednostek naukowych Wydziału Orientalistycznego UW.

Przy Katedrze działa największa biblioteka arabistyczno-islamoznawcza w Polsce, która gromadzi publikacje nie tylko z zakresu arabistyki i islamistyki, ale również pokrewnych specjalizacji orientalistycznych oraz nauk pomocniczych. Katedra prowadzi studia w zakresie arabistyki i islamistyki. Nabór odbywa się rokrocznie, a od roku 2007/2008 wprowadzony został podział na studia pierwszego i drugiego stopnia. W następnym roku rozpoczęto również nabór na studia niestacjonarne (wieczorowe) pierwszego stopnia. W Katedrze Arabistyki i Islamistyki studiują także doktoranci Wydziału Orientalistycznego UW, którzy prowadzą badania literaturoznawcze oraz językoznawcze z zakresu arabistyki i islamistyki.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Open Access E-book: The Teaching and Learning of Arabic in Early Modern Europe

Title: The teaching and learning of Arabic in early modern Europe
Author:     Jan Loop; Alastair Hamilton; Charles Burnett
Publisher:     Leiden ; Boston : Brill, 2017.
Series:     The history of Oriental studies, volume 3
ISBN:     9789004338623

Introduction / Jan Loop --
Arabic studies in the Netherlands and the prerequisite of social impact: a survey / Arnoud Vrolijk --
Learning Arabic in early-modern England / Mordechai Feingold --
Johann Zechendorff (1580-1662) and Arabic studies in Zwickau's Latin school / Asaph Ben-Tov --
Arabia in the light of the midnight sun: Arabic studies in Sweden: between Gustaf Peringer Lillieblad and Jonas Hallenber / Bernd Roling --
Sacred history, sacred languages: the question of Arabic in early modern Spain / Mercedes Garcia-Arenal and Fernando Rodriguez Mediano --
The teaching and learning of Arabic in Salamanca in the early modern period / Nuria Martinez-de-Castilla-Munoz --
Teaching and learning Arabic in early modern Rome: shaping a missionary language / Aurelien Girard --
The Qur'an as chrestomathy in early modern Europe / Alastair Hamilton --
Arabic poetry as teaching material in early modern grammars and textbooks / Jan Loop --
Learning to write, read and speak Arabic outside of early modern universities / Sonja Brentjes --
Learning Arabic in the overseas factories: the case of the English / Simon Mills --
Learning oriental languages in the Ottoman Empire: Johannes Heyman (1667-1737) between Izmir and Damascus / Maurits H. van den Boogert --
The life and hard times of Solomon Negri: an Arabic teacher in early modern Europe / John-Paul Ghobrial.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Newly Open Access Journal: Anatoli: De l’Adriatique à la Caspienne. Territoires, Politique, Sociétés

Anatoli: De l’Adriatique à la Caspienne. Territoires, Politique, Sociétés
ISSN électronique 2498-0730
Couverture Anatoli N°6 - 2015
Anatoli est une publication annuelle consacrée à l’étude pluridisciplinaire de l’espace qui s’étend de l’Adriatique à la Caspienne. Elle s’intéresse aux cultures - grecque, latine, slave, turque, persane, géorgienne, arménienne, juive, etc. - qui l’ont habité et façonné. Les territoires de cet espace, aujourd’hui fragmenté, furent jadis unifiés, au moins partiellement, par les pouvoirs impériaux, dont le dernier fut l’empire ottoman. Ils en gardent bien des traits communs, souvent sous forme latente. L’importance de cet espace pour l’Union européenne est une évidence.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Open Access Atlas: Middle East & North Africa

Atlas: Middle East & North Africa

Published by: Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior,
50 pages
Year: 2017
ISBN: 9780903109032

Table of contents:
Regional overview................8

North Africa 1.........................10
North Africa 2.........................12
Middle East 1..........................14
Middle East 2..........................16
Arabian Peninsula...................18

Religious groups
North Africa 1.........................20
North Africa 2.........................12
Middle East 1..........................24
Middle East 2..........................26
Arabian Peninsula...................28

Ethnic groups
North Africa 1.........................30
North Africa 2.........................32
Middle East 1..........................34
Middle East 2..........................36
Arabian Peninsula...................38

Oil and gas fields
North Africa 1.........................40
North Africa 2.........................42
Middle East 1..........................44
Middle East 2..........................46
Arabian Peninsula...................48

See also: Open Access Atlas: Syria & Iraq

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus
Project icon: lavishly furnished initial letter with a painting of Ptolemy using an astrolab.
Welcome to the homepage of the project Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus (PAL). The website has now been implemented with a beta-version of the database and with samples of transcriptions and images.
The database currently includes the following:
  • Works: 120 entries giving cursory descriptions of Latin Ptolemaic works, that is, works by Ptolemy or attributed to him and commentaries thereupon.
  • Manuscripts: over 250 entries for Latin manuscripts containing Ptolemaic works.  
  • Glossary: nearly 2000 Greek and Arabic technical terms from selected texts (Almagest I-II, Planetary Hypotheses, Planispherium, Tetrabiblos).    
Two Transcriptions are available:
  • Almagest, Latin translation by Gerard of Cremona
  • Almagestum parvum
HD Images of a rapidly increasing number of Ptolemaic works can be accessed through the menu item Reproductions.
Implementation will continue over the coming months and it is anticipated that the alpha-version of the database will be available by the end of 2017. Feedback and comments are welcome at

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Open Access E-book: Western Arabia in the Leiden collections : traces of a colourful past

Title: Western Arabia in the Leiden Collections: Traces of a Colourful Past.
Authors: Mols, Luitgard E. M., and Arnoud Vrolijk.
Published: Leiden : Leiden University Press, 2016
"In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century Dutch diplomats, scholars and travellers assembled unique collections in Jeddah, Mecca and Medina. The Dutch presence in Arabia, where they established a consulate in Jeddah, was intimately connected with the supervision of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca from the Netherlands East Indies, present-day Indonesia. Notable guests at this consulate included the formidable Dutch Islamicist Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje, visiting Arabia in 1884-1885. With the invaluable help of local Muslims, Dutch collectors tried to capture the essence of what they regarded as an 'authentic' Oriental culture in a period when Arabia was already looking towards modernity. These extensive collections are now preserved at the Leiden Museum of Ethnology (Museum Volkenkunde, est. 1837) and Leiden University (founded 1575). Together, they allow a glimpse into a colourful and vibrant society, one virtually vanished today under ever-growing numbers of pilgrims, changing political and religious allegiances and sudden economic prosperity."

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Open Access Maps: Cultural Heritage Map of Turkey (Hrant Dink Foundation)

 Cultural Heritage Map of Turkey (Hrant Dink Foundation)

"Cultural Heritage Map of Turkey is a product of Hrant Dink Foundation’s cultural heritage inventory project. The map records Armenian, Greek, Syriac, and Jewish cultural heritage in order to make visible the multiple cultures and facets of different communities in Anatolia. Information on public buildings such as churches, schools, monasteries, cemeteries, synagogues, and hospitals has been gathered from primary and secondary sources, as well as from various archives, and has been shared through this online map. Cultural Heritage Map of Turkey is a work in progress; it will live and flourish, first and foremost, by way of the contribution and feedback of its users."

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Open Access Journal: Tarih Okulu Dergisi / Journal Of History School

Tarih Okulu Dergisi / Journal Of History School
ISSN (print): 1308-5298
ISSN (online): 2148-  4260
Editörden… Değerli bilim insanları; Tarih Okulu Dergisi yeni sayısıyla bilim dünyasının karşısına çıkmanın mutluluğunu yaşamaktadır. Size Aralık 2016 tarihli 9/XXVIII numaralı sayımızı sunmanın kıvancını yaşıyoruz. Tarih Okulu Dergisi’nin bu sayısında çeşitli alanlardan 35 makale ve 1 çeviri bulunmaktadır. Dergimizin 9/XXVIII sayısına destek vererek onurlandıran yazarlarımıza, değerlendirme aşamasında kıymetli vakitlerini ayıran hakemlerimize ve derginin sizlere ulaşmasını sağlayan çalışma arkadaşlarımıza ayrıca müteşekkiriz. Yeni sayımızın bilim dünyasına katkı sağlaması temennisiyle… Yrd. Doç. Dr. Gökhan KAĞNICI