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The Life and Times of Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq

The Life and Times of Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq

Date and time: Tuesday, June 23, 2020, 4 to 5 pm British Summer Time (UTC+1)

Tickets (£4) here.

This is one of a series of six one-hour lectures by Dr. Janet Starkey (ASTENE) and Paul Starkey, Professor emeritus, Durham University, which will be delivered online. They replace the lectures that were canceled earlier in the year. No previous knowledge is assumed and you do not need to have attended the earlier lectures.

Egypt and the Middle East have enchanted many travelers over the centuries, and these lectures provide a fascinating array of accounts and perceptions. From the earliest epic of Gilgamesh, to early Christian, Jewish and Muslim pilgrims, to medieval merchants, missionaries and fictional travel narratives; artist-travelers who influenced European images of the Middle East; and travelers from the Middle East in Europe, they traveled in pursuit of knowledge, power, diplomacy and trade, for pleasure and adventure, on pilgrimage, and to discover and plunder the exotic.

Part C. The life and times of Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq (1804–1887). Al-Shidyaq was a Lebanese Christian by birth who worked and traveled at various times during his life in Egypt, Malta, Tunisia, France and England, before dying in 1887 in Constantinople (Istanbul). His adventurous life – recorded in several works – provides a unique introduction to travel in the region and to contacts between Europe and the Middle East in the nineteenth century.

Tuesday, June 23: Al-Shidyaq in the service of the missionaries

The lecture will be delivered via Zoom. If you haven’t used Zoom before, please go to and look at the tutorials. An invitation to the lecture will be emailed to you.

If you book this course online, we will hold your personal data in accordance with our privacy policy. If you do not wish us to hold your personal data, please book by post (see and do not supply an email address.

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