Forthcoming Lectures 
Please note, lecture venues and starting times vary.

Dr. Ekaterina Pukhovaia,  Polonsky Fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, ‘The transformation of the Imamate in Yemen, 1200-1800: beyond the failed state paradigm.’ Hosted jointly with the British-Yemeni Society and the MBI Al Jaber Foundation. Registration available soon.

The Annual Beatrice de Cardi Lecture. Postponed to 2022.   Professor Hugh Kennedy FRSE FRAS FBA, SOAS University of London ‘Al-Baladhuri’s Account of the Muslim Conquest of Arabia

Past Lectures

14 December 2021 Todd Reisz ‘Showpiece City – How Architecture Made Dubai’

Todd Reisz’ work examines the global practice of architecture, specifically how the architect circulates technologies and cultural narratives. He will share with us how architecture has packaged Dubai for a global stage and how the 20th-century transformation of Dubai followed the work of a largely unknown British architect, John Harris. Reisz has also co-edited Building Sharjah (2021), an archival investigation of the Middle Eastern city’s vanishing twentieth-century landscape.

14 October 2021, 17.30 BST, online.
Professor Peter Magee, Director of Zayed National Museum and the Head of Archaeology with the Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi: ‘How Abu Dhabi’s archaeology is reshaping the understanding of the Global Neolithic’ The lecture may be viewed on our YouTube channel here.

9 July 2021 7pm BST, online, Seminar for Arabian Studies Keynote Lecture, hosted by Casa Árabe. Professor Maribel Fierro ‘Medina in al-Andalus and North Africa: representations, beliefs and practices’. Watch here (Facebook) or here (YouTube).

14 June 2021 17.30 BST Janet M. Purdy PhD, Carved Doors as Historical Documents in Zanzibar, Oman, and Beyond. Co-hosted with the Anglo-Omani Society. The lecture may be viewed on The IASA YouTube channel here.

1 April 2021 Michael Quentin Morton Masters of the Pearl: a history of Qatar  The lecture may be viewed on The IASA YouTube channel here.

21 January 2021 Michael Macdonald ‘Tweets from an ancient desert’  21st January 2021, at 17.30 to 19.00 (GMT). The lecture may be viewed on The IASA YouTube channel here.

30 November 2020 Panel Discussion on ‘Recent Archaeological Discoveries in Saudi Arabia’ hosted with the King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies. Panelists: Dr. Jassir bin Suleiman Al-Harbash, Dr. Abdullah M. Alsharekh, Professor Michael Petraglia. Moderator: Dr. Derek Kennet. The event may be watched here.

12 November 2020 Diana Darke on her recently published book Stealing from the Saracens: How Islamic Architecture Shaped Europe. The lecture took place on 12 November 2020 via Zoom.

28 September 2020 Dr Julian Jansen van RensburgSoqotra’s forgotten and endangered heritage  The talk is now available to view here on our YouTube channel.

11 June 2020   Exclusive showing ofArabian Renaissance, a new documentary film followed by a panel discussion (via Zoom) with  filmmaker Patrick Mark of Mark Stewart Productions and archaeologists featured in the film. 

18th February 2020The Birds of the Arabian Peninsula’ by Rob Sheldon, Chairman of OSME, at the Institute of Archaeology, Gordon Square, London.

11 February 2020 In conversation with Ian Black, Tim Mackintosh-Smith discussed his book: “Arabs: A 3,000-Year History of Peoples, Tribes, and Empires” at SOAS, London.

10th June 2019 The 3rd Beatrice de Cardi Lecture: Professor Dionisius Agiuson “Our days on the sea are gone but our stories remain: The Life of the Red Sea Dhow” Institute of Archaeology, London.

11 April 2019 Robert Bewley, Director of EAMENA Project, University of Oxford “Endangered Archaeology (with reference to Yemen and Oman)” MBI Al Jaber Building, SOAS, 21 Russell Square, London WC1B 5EA, 5.45 to 7pm.

21 February 2019 Carl Philips The Periplus, South Arabia and the Far-side Ports’MBI Al Jaber Building, SOAS, Russell Square, London W1, 5.45 to 7pm.

15 November 2018 Ella Al-Shamahi ‘Dragons Blood island; Socotra and our search for dragons’ (held jointly with the MBI Al Jaber Foundation and the British-Yemeni Society) MBI Al Jaber Building, SOAS, London.

4th August 2018 The MBI Al Jaber Foundation Public Lecture at the  Seminar for Arabian Studies: Robert Carter Neither the desert nor the sown: the towns of the Arabian Gulf from the 18th to the 20th centuries’  Robert Carter, Professorial Research Fellow in Arabian and Middle Eastern Archaeology at UCL Qatar and BFSA Trustee.The Clore Education Centre, The British Museum. 

13th June 2018 The 2nd Beatrice de Cardi Lecture: Dr Derek Kennet on ‘Remarkable new discoveries of Iron Age remains around Rustaq on the Batinah Coast of Oman’  Institute of Archaeology, London. Dr Derek Kennet is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology, University of Durham, BFSA Trustee and Chair of the organizing committee of the Seminar for Arabian Studies.​ A blog post on the lecture by Tony Walsh can be read here: https://www.tonywalsh.me/remarkable-new-discoveries-from-iron-age-rustaq-oman/

22nd February 2018 Dr. Shahina Ghazanfar onTravel and Plant Collections of Aucher-Eloy, Oman, 1938″ MBI Al Jaber Building, SOAS,  London WC1B 5EA Dr Shahina A. Ghazanfar is currently a Research Associate at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The lecture may be viewed here.

Thursday 19th October 2017 Dr. Sami de Giosa on “A return to Arabian art and architecture in Cairo at the beginning of the 20th century: the patronage of Prince Mohamed Ali Tewfik” MBI Al Jaber Building, SOAS London. Sami de Giosa is a Fellow at the Khalili Research Centre, University of Oxford.

Monday, 5 June 2017 Inaugural Beatrice de Cardi Lecture:  Carl Phillips on ‘Fifty years of Survey and Excavation in the UAE and Oman; Beatrice de Cardi’s background and legacy’. UCL, London. Carl Phillips conducted a number of projects throughout the 1980s in the United Arab Emirates. Throughout the 1990s he taught at UCL Institute of Archaeology, London, specializing in the Archaeology of pre-Islamic Arabia. During this time he established the first British archaeological excavations in north Yemen. From 2006 to 2014 was the field director of the archaeological project focused on the site of Salut, conducted by the University of Pisa’s ‘Italian Mission to Oman’ (IMTO) and the Office of the Adviser to His Majesty the Sultan for Cultural Affairs.

15 June 2017 Dr Nelida Fuccaro, ‘Iraq’s Oil cultures before the Revolution’ . MBI Al Jaber Building, SOAS, London. Dr Fuccaro is a Reader in Modern History of the Middle East at SOAS and is interested in interdisciplinary and cross-regional approaches to the study of the region.

Thursday, 18 May 2017 Sara Alhamad ‘Arabia on a Plate: Eating and Sailing on the Trade Routes from the Gulf to the Red Sea Ports and Beyond’ MBI Al Jaber Building, SOAS, London. Sara Alhamad, award-winning author of Cardamom and Lime: Recipes from the Arabian Gulf has an MA from SOAS and has worked for Saqi Books for many years. Jointly hosted with the MBI Al Jaber Foundation. The lecture can be viewed here.

Thursday, 20 April 2017 Dr Seth Priestman ‘Policing the Batinah? Late pre-Islamic Persian imperial expansion into the Arabian Peninsula: new evidence from Fulayj’. Dr Seth Priestman, University of Edinburgh. Anglo-Omani Society, London. Jointly hosted with the Anglo-Omani Society.

25 October 2016 Panel and Book Launch: The Emergence of the Gulf States (ed. J. Peterson) SOAS, London. The London book launch of John Peterson’s latest book The Emergence of the Gulf States, hosted by the London Middle East Institute and the Altajir Trust. Chaired by Charles Tripp, SOAS.

Wednesday, 22 June, 2016 Dr St John Simpson on Postcards from Arabia. Institute of Archaeology, London. BFSA Trustee and British Museum Curator St John Simpson talks about postcards from Arabia in the collection of the British Museum.

Thursday, 21 April, 2016 Carl Phillips on Oman’s unique position in the archaeology of pre-Islamic Arabia’.  A joint lecture with the Anglo-Omani Society, this will be held at the Anglo-Omani Headquarters, London.

Thursday 17 March 2016 Prof Trevor Marchand on ‘Architecture that ‘Fills my Eye: building traditions in Highland Yemen’. Prof. Trevor Marchand is Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology at SOAS. This talk will be hosted by the MBI Al Jaber Foundation. The lecture may be viewed here.

Thursday 15 October 2015 Louis Allday ‘Digitising British Imperialism in the Gulf : The British Library Qatar Foundation Partnership’. Louis Allday is a Gulf History and Arabic Language Specialist for the British Library-Qatar Foundation Partnership. This ongoing partnership has created the Qatar Digital Library (www.qdl.qa). This is a joint BFSA/MBI hosted talk.

Saturday, July 25, 2015  ProfessorPeter Magee, Turning the world upside down: the emergence of camel caravans and overland trade in the Ancient Near East. Peter Magee is Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology and Director of  Middle Eastern Studies at Bryn Mawr College. The Annual MBI Al Jaber Lecture at the Seminar for Arabian Studies, The British Museum, London.

Thursday, June 4, 2015 Dr. Lucy Wadeson, Recent work in and around Petra.  Dr Wadeson was until recently Editor of the Foundation’s Bulletin, while based in Amman as the G.A Wainwright Postdoctoral Fellow (University of Oxford). She is now based at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles as the Wiener Anspach Postdoctoral Fellow. Institute of Archaeology, London.

The Art of Collecting

Prof. Nasser D. Khalili
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 – 18:00
Corpus Christi College, Merton Street, Oxford, OX1 4JF
BFSA/MBI al Jaber Foundation. Please let the MBI al Jaber Foundation know if you are able to attend, on: info@mbifoundation.com

Prof. Khalili is a world-renowned scholar, collector and philanthropist. Since 1970 he has assembled eight of the world’s finest art collections, which include Islamic Art and art of the Hajj pilgrimage from 700 – 2000. These collections have contributed to more than 50 international exhibitions and items from the collections have been exhibited in museums worldwide including the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.  In 1989 Prof.Khalili founded the Nasser D. Khalili Chair of Islamic Art and Archaeology at SOAS. In 1995 he founded the Maimonides Interfaith Foundation, a charity which promotes peace and understanding between Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The Holy Land Lovingly Explored and Documented in the Late Ottoman Period

Dr. Hisham Khatib
Thursday, January 15, 2015 – 16:00
BP Lecture Theatre in the Clore Centre, British Museum.
Lecture hosted jointly by the BFSA, the PEF and the CBRL.

Dr Khatib explores the history of westerners’ observations of the Holy Land through his own remarkable collection of manuscripts, paintings, photographs and maps, which tell the story of a lasting fascination and a quest for understanding. Dr. Hisham Khatib was born in Acre, Palestine and spent his youth and early career in Jerusalem, where he was the city’s chief electrical engineer.  One of the world’s leading energy experts and Honorary Vice Chairman of the World Energy Council, Dr. Khatib has published widely on energy matters and the global environment.

The Greening of Arabia: Water, Fossils and Early Peoples

Professor Mike Petraglia
Thursday, November 20, 2014 – 17:45
MBI Al Jaber Building London Middle East Institute (LMEI), 21 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5EA
Part of the MBI Al Jaber Lecture series. BFSA members are invited to attend, but places are limited so please email info@mbfoundation.com as soon as possible to reserve a seat.

Professor Michael Petraglia is Co-director of the Centre for Asian Archaeology, Art, and Culture at the University of Oxford and a Senior Research Fellow of Linacre College, Oxford. He will present some of his team’s research in the Palaeodeserts Project, focusing upon environmental change in the Arabian Desert.

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