Cairo: Travels Through Medieval Islamic Cities with Dr. Sabahat Adil

Cairo: Travels Through Medieval Islamic Cities with Dr. Sabahat Adil


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Join us as we will travel to Egypt to explore the city of Cairo. This ancient city has evolved through countless historical periods and changes, yet it has endured through time. Our focus will be on medieval Cairo between the 7th and 15th centuries under Abbasid, Fatimid, Mamluk, and Ottoman rule.

Egypt's 2011 revolution was groundbreaking and covered widely in international news media. Yet, these events are only a small snippet of its incredibly long and broad history. Cairo’s more distant medieval past is illuminated by Abbasid, Fatimid, Mamluk, and Ottoman rule, and each of these dynasties left its distinct mark on the city. We will explore the city’s dynamically layered past through first-hand accounts, architectural monuments, artwork, and more through our visit to the city.

Cairo’s s monuments stand as an essential testament to the way in which its various rulers built upon—rather than utterly destroy—the past. Some of the sites that we will tour in the city include the Mosque of Sultan Hassan, Khan al-Khalili Market, and the Ben Ezra Synagogue. Citadels and caravanserais will also form an essential part of our tour and, hence, understanding of the Cairene cityscape.

Led by an expert on Mediterranean and Islamic history and culture, Dr. Sabahat Adil, this interactive seminar will explore Cairo’s dynamic history and culture in the medieval era. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the history of the city, particularly in terms of its robust role in cultural, intellectual, and economic life.

This conversation is part of a four-part series on Medieval Islamic cities with Dr. Sabahat Adil. Each seminar can be joined independently and in any order.

Passionate about the past and its connections with the present, Sabahat Adil, PhD has expertise on the history of the Mediterranean and Islamic worlds, particularly in terms of cultural history. She earned her PhD from the University of Chicago and has taught extensively at a variety of institutions, including the University of Colorado at Boulder and the Newberry Library. Her research and publications focus on the history of North Africa and medieval Iberia. Sabahat has also worked in museum settings, including the Freer and Sackler in Washington, D.C. and the Field Museum in Chicago.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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