What matters most: Arabic and Islamic studies are
often influenced by agendas and ideologies that do not allow a
historical, academic, and intellectually honest approach to the sources.
At AUB we try to avoid such biases and narratives, reviving Arabic’s
huge but frequently neglected literary heritage. Sufi texts in
particular present an outstanding richness, with their refined prose and
poetry, theological and philosophical questionings, and mystical
intuitions. They provide deep insights that allow a better understanding
of the development of the Arabic language and the Islamic cultural and
Research: I am in the process of defining the focus
of my doctoral research. During my first year, I studied emotions in
Ascetic and Early Sufi texts, concentrating on huzn, sadness, as a
possible virtuous feeling. I am currently working on al-Thaālibī’s
geographical and adab worldview, exploring how our understanding of
space and the world is shaped—and influenced—by literature. I am deeply
interested in anything concerning Islamic mysticism, especially the
so-called formative period of Sufism. Old manuscripts fascinate me.
10 am Tuesday, 10 am Saturday: On Tuesday, I am most
likely racking my brain on some Sufi text without understanding much.
On Saturday, I am probably racking my body on rock climbing routes in
Most admires: I admire great scholars who share
their knowledge and wisdom with everyone who asks—and do it with
humility and passion. I also admire people, like Miro, my grandfather’s
uncle, who live blissfully. Their profound joy seems to affirm:
“Wallahi, I found my place in this world!”
Why this topic interests him:
It is in the
mystical experiences and speculations of Sufi texts that I find what I
believe matters most: the will and effort to progress in our humanity
and divineness through an unescapable quest for meaning and love.