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Religious Cultural Heritage: Concepts and Issues in the Modern Middle East

Tickets (Students & AKU alumni| RA members| AKU & RA Staff £45; Professionals £75) here [1].

A two-day short course (11 and 18 December) on the theme of religious cultural heritage (RCH) in the Middle East.

This is a two-day introductory course on the theme of religious cultural heritage (RCH) in the Middle East. It aims to contextualise RCH as the living cultural heritage of its community of users. In addition, the course attempts to present RCH as a contemporary construct of its socio-political and religious context through its connections to ethnicity, gender, nationalism, as much as religion.

Download the course structure [2].

Learning Objectives


Professor Dick Douwes holds the chair of Global History at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. He studied the languages and cultures of the Middle East at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. From 1994 to 1998 he was coordinator of the program Indonesian-Netherlands’ Cooperation in Islamic Studies (INIS) at Leiden University. From 1998 onwards, he was academic coordinator – later executive director – of the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM) and editor of the ISIM Newsletter/Review and ISIM Paper Series. He has published on late Ottoman history in Syria and on religious plurality in the Middle East, as well as on Muslims in Western Europe. Currently, he researches changes in shrine culture and politics in Syria and Lebanon, including the destruction of shrines.

Mohamad Meqdad is a Ph.D. student at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication, Erasmus University Rotterdam. His main research focuses on religious cultural heritage at times of crisis. In 2006, Mohamad received his BA in Archaeology and Museum Studies from Aleppo University, Syria. He also took part in several national and international archaeological expeditions in Syria (2002-2008), where he worked on discovering its rich cultural heritage and preserving it for future generations. In 2010, Mohamad received an MA in Muslim Cultures from the Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilizations, London, with a focus on researching the display of Muslim material culture in international museums, specifically at the British Museum’s John Addis Islamic Gallery. Between 2011-2019, he was the Arabic editor, and later the acting manager, of the Muslim Civilizations Abstracts Project (MCA) at AKU-ISMC.

Tickets and Booking

Tickets: £75 professionals | £45 students, AKU alumni and staff.

*The course will be delivered via Zoom. Readings and further details will be provided later upon registration.

*This course will not be recorded.