Project Members



Professor, History Dept., Central European University and Director Religious Studies Program

Research interests: Socio-cultural and religious history of the early modern Arab World;

Other Research projects if of relevance: President of al-Dhakira al-Arabiyya – Center for Private Arab Papers , Beirut [link]

Relevant Publications:

  • "The Cultural Function of Fiction: From Bible Translation to Libertine Literature - Social Critique and historical Criticism in Ahmad Faris ash-Shidyaq", Arabica XLVI (1999): 375-401.
  •  "Print, Script and Free-thinking in Arabic Lettres of the 19th century. The case of al-Shidyaq", al-Abhath 48-49 (2000-2001): 99-122.
  • “Retracing Fâris Ahmad al-Shidyâq between evidence and disguise, textual and biographical indications, 1850s and 1860” in Barbara Winckler and Fawwaz Trabulsi (eds), The Life and Work of Ahmad Faris al-Shidyâq, Wiesbaden: Ludwig Reichert Verlag, (forthcoming)
  • Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq and the Advent of Modernity, Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, forthcoming.




Artist / Researcher living and working between Paris and Beirut

Research interests:


Relevant Publications:

“Penser le moderne par le post moderne : autour des récits Nahdawi sur la guerre civile au Liban” in From Bagdad to Beirut, Arab Islamic studies in honor of John J. Donohue s.j., collective book, edited by Leslie Tramontini and Chibli al Mallat ; Orient Institut Beirut, 2007, pp.136-168


2010, Conversations with Changes, 12’ mixed technique animation, Produced by Le Fresnoy Studio National des Arts Contemporains

2009, Hold on my Glamourous (Un Instant mon Glamour), 34’ creative documentary on Arab diva Wadad. Produced by Le Fresnoy. Best Film Award in Lebanese Film Festival in 2009 

2009, Walking Distance, 12’ mixed technique animation, Produced by Fuad Kurani & Shirin ‘Abali

2008, Baramil Sabra, 26’ creative documentary, Produced by Arab Film Institute


+ 33 6 42 64 54 97

+ 9613 888 225




Lecturer in Arabic, Tufts University

Research Interests:  

Arabic literature


My dissertation:  Ahmad Faris ash-Shidyaq and the West, Indiana University (1970) 

"The History and Publications of al-Jawa'ib Press." 

Middle East Library Association Notes, No. 11 (May 1975), pp.4-7.


(617) 718-0541




Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Ain Shams University, Cairo 
Research Interests:

English and Arabic Literatures, creative writing, translation


Al Hadatha al Mumkina: Al Shidyaq wal Saq 'ala-l Saq, Dar  al Shorouk, Cairo, 2009 (in Arabic). 

"The Road Not Taken: Shidyaq's the Life and Adventures of Faryaq", (in English) lecture at AUB, October 2006.
"Literary History and the Institution of Criticism: The Case of Shidyaq (presentatıon in English) at the Shidyaq Seminar, WIKO, 2008. trans into Turkish: "Edebiat Tarihi ve eleştri Kurumu: Şhidak Önergi in Kritik, 2 (2008).



Translator, American University in Cairo.

Research on Shidyaq:

Waiting for approval of a proposal to translate Shidyaq’s Al-Saq ‘ala al-Saq from the Library for Arabic Literature (New York University).

Relevant Publications: 

Yusuf al-Shirbini Brains Confounded by the Ode of Abu Shaduf Expounded (Hazz al-Quhuf bi-Sharh Qasid Abi Shaduf): Leuven, Peeters Editions (Vol. II: Translation, Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 160, 2007).





Professor of historical demography at the History Department, University of Malta.
Research Interests

Population growth and development amongst people living in coastal areas.

Other Research Projects 

Mercieca has co-ordinated EU projects related to maritime subjects in particular about the Mediterranean Arsenals

2007: - ‘The Scoglio Ingrato: Archaeology, History, and Mazzinian Beliefs in Malta through the views of Franesco Crispi’, Malta and Mazzini, Proceedings to History Week 2005, ed. Simon Mercieca (Malta, 2007), pp. 61- 94. 

2008 – ‘Faris al Shiqyad: Connections with Malta’, Gallerija, The Malta Independent on Sunday, 2008, p. 26.

2009 – ‘Spazi pubblici e controllo sociale: uno studio di alcuni aspetti demografici e urbanistici a La Valletta’, Istituzioni, assitenza e religiosita' nella societa' del Mezzogiorno d'Italia tra XVIII e XIX secolo, ed., Giovanna da Molin, Cacucci Editore, 2009, vol. II, pp. 103-121.

2010 – ‘Arabic Erotic Literature and Malta: Faris Al-Shidyaq’s Novel’, Treasures of Malta, No. 47, Easter 2010, Vol. XVI, No. 2. pp. 53-59.

Forthcoming Articles

Faris Al-Shidyaq in Malta: A Comfortable Livelihood or a Disappointing Experience?
Other Affiliations 

director of the Mediterranean Institute, Chairman of the history panel at the European Science Foundation.




Assistant Professor of Arabic Literature
Department of German, Russian and Asian Literatures
Tufts University
Research Interests:
Modern literary interactions between Arabic, Persian and English literatures, nineteenth century Arabic and Persian literatures, the representation of violence and social trauma in contemporary literature and visual culture, postcolonial theory, film studies of Arab and Iranian cinemas.


  • Literary Modernity Between the Middle East and Europe: Transactions in Nineteenth-Century Arabic, Persian and English Literatures. London: Routledge, 2007. ISBN 0415425654


  • "The Changing Value of Alf Laylah wa Laylah for Nineteenth-Century Arabic, Persian and English Readerships," Journal of Arabic Literature. 36: 3 (2005), 269-287. ISSN 0085-2376.
  • "Trauma and Maturation in Women's War Narratives: The Eye of the Mirror and Cracking India,"Journal of Middle East Women's Studies, Volume 2, Issue 3, November 2006, 22-47.
  • "The Unintended Gift: The Adventures of Hajji Baba Ispahani as Transactional Text Between English and Persian Literatures" Middle Eastern Literatures. 10: 3 2007, 251-271. ISSN 1475-2623
  • "Literary Modernity Between Arabic and Persian Prose: Jurji Zaydan’s Riwayat in Persian Translation." Comparative Critical Studies, 4:3, 2007. ISSN 1744-1854







Independent researcher and consultant

London, Great Britain

Research Interests 

My research on Fāris has mainly focused on his time in Malta and England (1826-28 and 1835-1850s), using archival documents; also some analysis of the nature of the books published by him at Al-Jawā'ib Press in Istanbul.

My main (but not exclusive) interest is in his activities as scribe, printer and publisher, and his rôle in the development of new Arab reading and communication cultures in the 19th century.

Other Research Projects 

Handbook on the history of printing, particularly of non-European languages, in Europe and the Mediterranean countries, under the auspices of the Don Juan Archiv, Vienna.

Publications on Fāris 

National awareness, civic rights and the rôle of the printing press in the 19th century: the careers and opinions of Fāris al-Shidyāq, his colleagues and patrons. Democracy in the Middle East: proceedings of the annual conference of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies ... 1992. St Andrews 1992, pp.180-188.

Fāris al-Shidyāq and the transition from scribal to print culture in the Middle East. The book in the Islamic world: the written word and communicationin the Middle East. Ed. G.N.Atiyeh. Albany (USA) 1995, pp.283-292.

Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq (d.1887) in Cambridge. Cambridge Bibliographical Society Newsletter, Summer 1996, pp.5-8.

Ahmad Fāris al-Shidyāq and the libraries of Europe and the Ottoman Empire. Libraries &
, 33 iii (1998), pp.233-248.

Ahmad Fâris al-Shidyaq (ö.1887) ve Avrupa ve Osmanlı imparatorluğu kütüphaneleri.
Kütüphanecilik Dergisi, 5 (1998), pp.111-130.
    Turkish tr. of “Ahmad Fāris al-Shidyāq and the libraries of Europe and the Ottoman Empire”.

فارس الشدياق والانتقالة من ثقافة النسخ إلى ثقافة الطباعة في الشرق الاوسطּ  الكتاب في العالم الإسلامي: الكلمة المكتوبة كوسيلة للاتصال في منطقة الشرق الأوسطּ تحرير: جورج عطيةּ  ﺗﺭﺟﻣﺔ ﻋﺑﺩ ﺍﻟﺴﺗﺎﺭ الحلوجي

(الكويت: المجلس الوطني للثقافة والفنون والآداب، ٢٠٠٣  (عالم  المعرفة، ۲٩۷ 

    189-209 صּ

    Arabic tr. of “Fāris al-Shidyāq and the transition from scribal to print culture in the Middle East”, 1995.

Faris, Ahmad (Ahmad Fāris; formerly Faris ibn Yusuf al-Shidyaq) (1805/6-1887). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. Vol.19, pp.47-48. Online at

Al-Jawā'ib Press and the edition and transmission of Arabic manuscript texts in the 19th century. Theoretical approaches to the transmission of Oriental manuscripts: proceedings of a symposium held in Istanbul, March 28-30,  2001, ed. Judith Pfeiffer, Manfred Kropp.  Beirut: Orient-Institut; Würzburg: Ergon-Verlag, in Kommission, 2007 (Beiruter Texte und Studien, 111), pp.237-247

Forthcoming: An autograph manuscript of Aḥmad Fāris al-Šidyāq, prepared by him for the press.  Festschrift for ***.  Edited by Robert Kerr. Leiden: Brill, 2010.

Other Affiliations 

Formerly head of the Islamic Bibliography Unit, Cambridge University Library, and Editor of Index Islamicus and the World Survey of islamic Manuscripts.

Historical and bibliographical adviser and contributor, Khatt Foundation (Centre for Arabic Typography) website & database, Amsterdam 





Assistant Professor, Department of History, Boston College

Research Interest

Early-Modern Ottoman History; Arabic Literature; First-Person Narratives, Chronicles, and Topographies; Urban History.


2009: “Print and its Discontents: A Case for Pre-Print Journalism and Other Sundry Print Matters,” The Translator, 15:1, 2009, 105-138. Special Issue “Nation and Translation in the Middle East” edited by Samah Selim


The Barber of Damascus: Nouveau Literacy in the 18th Century Ottoman Levant. A book with a chapter on Faris al-Shidyaq.






Associate professor of Political Science and History at the Lebanese American University and the American University of Beirut.

Research Interests:

History, Arab politics, social movements, political philosophy, folklore and art 



- With `Aziz al-`Azmeh, Al-Kitâbât al-Majhûlah li-Ahmad Fâris al-Shidyâq (an anthology of his writings), Riad el-Rayyes Books, London & Beirut, 1995. 

Chapters in conference proceedings:

 - “Fâris al-Shidyâq and his perception of the European”, Aissata Walbiner (ed.) Les Européens vus par les Libanais à l’époque ottomane, Orient Institute, Berlin-Beirut, 2002.

- “Ahmad Fâris al-Chidyâq”, in Farouk Mardam Bey (ed.) in Grandes figures du Liban contemporain. Paris, 1999. 


- “Muthaqqafun fi ‘Hawadith al-Sittin’ ” (Lebanese Intellectuals in the 1860 civil war), Al-Nahar Cultural Supplement, 19 December 2004

- “Ahmad Fares al-Chidyaq; De la modernité en tant que femme”, L’Orient-Express, Beirut, April 1996, pp.96-99. 


- ‘Ahmad Faris al Shidyaq: an Arab Traveler in 19th Century Europe’, Wissenshaftskolleg zu Berlin, Berlin, 6 May 2008.

- “Problems of research on Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq”, Bahithat, Tabbara Center, Beirut, 24 May 2006.

- "Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq- The Other Nahdah", The American University in Cairo, May 5, 2004. 

Book Review:

- Fares al-Chidiaq: La jambe sur la jambe, “Les tribulations d’un Arabe en Occident”, Le Monde, 5 April 1991, p. 25.  

Conference Papers:

- ‘Ahmad Fares Shidyaq, Social and Political Critic and Reformer’ in The Work and Life of Ahmad Fares Shidyaq workshop, Europa in Nahen Osten/Der Nahe Osten in Europa, Wissenschatskolleg zu Berlin, Berlin, 6-8 March 2008.

- “Voyages to the East”, in For a Critical Culture: a Tribute to Edward Said, Centre for Behavioral Research (A.U.B./ Thèatre de Beyrouth, Beirut, June 29- July 2, 1997.







PhD Candidate at New York University

Research Interests:

Arabic, Hispanic and Comparative literary and cultural studies of the 19th and 20th centuries


A presentation (Berlin) and a report (Beirut) on Faris al-Shidyaq in Egypt based on archival research in Dar al-kotob and the Harvard archives.