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

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


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Join us as we will travel to Uzbekistan to explore the city of Samarqand. In this seminar, learners will travel to this famed Central Asian city, which was an important hub along the Silk Road in the medieval era. We will learn about its history as a significant trading center as well as its remarkable monuments.

Samarqand is an ancient city with a vibrant history and robust architectural monuments to highlight this past. Over the years, it has been home to various dynasties, including the Abbasids, Mongols, and Timurids. These dynasties brought a unique set of traditions and ideas, and the history of Samarqand is a testament to this lively past. Once a part of the Soviet Union, Samarqand is now in Uzbekistan, a country focused on preserving its past history.

Samarqand is home to a number of important palatial sites, mausolea, and even scientific observatories, all of which we will explore during this seminar. Given its location, Samarqand is a particularly fruitful city to visit to familiarize ourselves with how so many different traditions can impact a single place. In this case, religious beliefs such as Zoroastrianism and Islam came together in Samarqand, as did different styles of political leadership, artistry, and more.

Led by an expert on Mediterranean and Islamic history and culture, Sabahat Adil, this interactive seminar will explore Samarqand’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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