Short Course on “Cities of the Muslim World(s)”

Short Course on "Cities of the Muslim World(s)"

About The Event

Short Course on “Cities of the Muslim World(s)”

Date: July 3-5, 2024 @ 13:00-17:00
Venue: Ismaili Center, Av. Lusíada 1, 1600-001, Lisbon, Portugal
Organizer: Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, Aga Khan University (AKU-ISMC)

This three-day short course is organized by the Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim civilisations (AKU-ISMC) and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC).

This short course introduces learners to the specificities and diversities of cities across the Muslim World—past and present. It provides participants an understanding of how cities have been centers of political, economic, and cultural power in the Muslim world and will answer the following questions:

  • Why are cities important sites of cultural, political, and historical action?
  • Is there such a thing as a “Muslim” or “Islamic city”?
  • What differences and commonalities, historical and contemporary, do we find among major cities in the Muslim world?
  • What role does Islamic architecture have in shaping the “Muslim” identity of a city?
  • How were port cities indicative of the links between trade and Islam in the early modern world?
  • How do non-Muslim minorities create an imprint in the city?
  • Urban rehabilitation in the Muslim world: challenges and opportunities.



  • Sanaa Alimia is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the Aga Khan University, Institute for the Study of Muslim civilizations. Her teaching centers on political decolonization, cities, migration, and global politics. She is a recipient of the British Academy/ Leverhulme Small Grants Award for her research project, ‘Digital Borders, Bodies, and Mobility in South Asia’. Alimia has previously held positions at the Leibniz Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin (2014-2019), Department of Political Science, University of Peshawar (2013-2017), and SOAS, London (2011-2014).
    Dr. Alimia is the author of Refugee Cities: How Afghans Changed Pakistan (Penn Press 2022).
  • Seif el-Rashidi is an architectural historian with 20 years of expertise working on heritage preservation and managing projects related to promoting public engagement with heritage and culture. He is currently the director of The Barakat Trust, a UK charity that has supported the preservation of the heritage of the Islamic world since 1987. Seif was formerly the Project Manager of Layers of London (2016-2020), developed by the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London; Project Manager at the Guildhall Library (2016-2018); Magna Carta Program Manager for Salisbury Cathedral (2014-2016); the coordinator of Durham’s UNESCO World Heritage Site (2008-2014); a team member of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture’s Darb Al-Ahmar Revitalization Project in Cairo (1997-2008) and at Ahmad Hamid Architects (1995-1997). Seif has been a technical reviewer for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture’s heritage projects since 2013, and on the World Monuments Fund Project Selection Committee in 2021 and 2019.
    He studied City Design and Social Science at the London School of Economics (Msc), History of Art and Architecture (MA) and Economics (BA) at the American University in Cairo.
    He is the co-author (with Sam Bowker) of The Tentmakers of Cairo: Egypt’s Medieval and Modern Applique Craft (AUC Press, 2018).


More information on: Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations

  • Cost: Free
  • Total Slot: 0
  • Booked Slot: 0


Ismaili Center

Av. Lusíada 1, 1600-001 Lisboa, Portugal
Phone Number +351 21 722 9000

Our Speakers

Sanaa Alimia
Seif el-Rashidi
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