The Cairo Genizah as a Treasury of Arabic Literature


WHEN Monday, February 27, 2023
6:30-8 PM WHERE NYUAD Campus, Conference Center WHO NYU Abu Dhabi Institute Open to the Public

The Cairo Genizah is a collection of Jewish manuscripts from the Middle Ages found in an ancient synagogue in Al-Fustat, Egypt. It is a valuable resource for understanding the history, culture, and everyday life of Jews in the medieval Islamic world, containing works from prominent thinkers and even shopping lists. Recently, it has been recognized for its significance in the study of Arabic literature and culture, as Jews in the Genizah also wrote and copied poetry in Arabic for both sacred and leisurely purposes. This talk discusses the Genizah Collection and its significance in understanding medieval culture. It highlights the collection's Arabic poetic literature, including early copies of works by major Islamic-Arabic writers and modern zajals written in Egyptian dialect, showcasing the enduring role of poetry in communal life.

  • Benjamin Outhwaite, Head of Genizah Research Unit, Cambridge University Library
  • Mohamed Ahmed, Al Maktoum Associate Professor, Near & Middle Eastern Studies, Trinity College Dublin
In conversation with
  • Nathaniel Miller, Humanities Research Fellow for the Study of the Arab World, NYUAD

In Collaboration with

Humanities Research Fellowship Program

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