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April 2024

Dr Simonetta Calderini: An Arab Queen for All Seasons: Queen Arwa bint Ahmad al-Sulayhi (d. 1138), her legacy and reception

Simonetta Calderini Dr Simonetta Calderini is an Associate Professor in Islamic Studies at the Roehampton University London, UK, where she is also a convenor for several programmes. Her research focuses on Women and Islam; Religion and Gender, Women in Islamic ritual, classical and modern Islamic exegesis (tafsir); Islamic and Ismaili medieval cosmology. The author of many books and articles, her recent book, Women as Imams: Classical Islamic sources and modern debates on leading prayer, has earned recognition in Europe and the US. An Arab Queen for All Seasons: Queen Arwa bint Ahmad al-Sulayhi (d. 1138), her legacy and reception From being mentioned in a recent Nobel prize speech to being an avatar in a video game, Queen Arwa of Yemen is one of those rare female figures from medieval Islamic history whose fame and prestige have surpassed the boundaries of time and space. In this lecture, I will retrace the events in her life and the kingdom she ruled over, for more than 60 years, in South West Yemen. Her power and charisma have caught the attention of historiographers past and present and so secured her legacy up to the present day. For Muslims, especially among some minorities, she is a champion of piety and female empowerment. For Arabs in various parts of the world, she is a reference point as the longest-serving Arab queen.   ...
22 Apr
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Yarmouk Cultural Centre

Dr Jérôme Rohmer: The Ancient Caravan City of Thāj and the Archaeology of Ancient North-eastern Arabia: From the Iron Age to the eve of Islam (7th/6th cent. BCE – 6th/7th cent. CE)

Jérôme Rohmer Dr Jérôme Rohmer is a researcher with the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), specialising in the archaeology of the Southern Levant and North Arabia from the Iron Age to Late Antiquity. Since 2008, he has been doing research on North Arabia, where he participated in the Mada’in Salih Archaeological Project (2008-2017) and co-directed the excavations of the pre-Islamic caravan city of Thāj, in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia (2016-2023). Recently, he co-launched a multidisciplinary archaeological project at the ancient city of Dadan, in north-western Arabia (2019-ongoing). The Ancient Caravan City of Thāj and the Archaeology of Ancient North-eastern Arabia: From the Iron Age to the eve of Islam (7th/6th cent. BCE – 6th/7th cent. CE) Located in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, 90 km off the coast of the Arabian Gulf and c. 180 km south of the Saudi- Kuwaiti border, Thaj is by far the largest known pre-Islamic settlement in Eastern Arabia. Between 2016 and 2023, five large-scale excavation seasons were carried out at Thaj, co-led by the French CNRS and the Saudi Heritage Commission. They have shed critical new light on the site’s evolution through time, from its emergence in the Late Iron Age, through its heyday in the ‘Hellenistic’ period, to its gradual decline in Late Antiquity. This lecture will present an overview of these results and put them into perspective within the wider history of East Arabia in the ‘Late Pre-Islamic’ Period. ...
29 Apr
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Yarmouk Cultural Centre
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