MESA, established in 1966 with 50 founding members, today has a membership of more than 2,600. Its annual meetings attract scholars from a variety of disciplines and fields interested in the study of the Middle East, North Africa, and the larger Muslim world. In addition to its annual meetings, MESA also publishes the International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies in association with Cambridge University Press and the MESA Bulletin.

This year the Institute contributing a panel presentation as well as three papers on other panels. See also the Institute’s participation in 2000 and in previous years.

Panel: Ismaili Literary History


Dr Farhad Daftary, Head, Department of Academic Research and Publications, The Institute of Ismaili Studies


“Qur’anic Quotations in the Rasa’il Ikhwan al-Safa” Omar Ali de Unzaga Doctoral Candidate, University of Cambridge

“Sufi Symbolism and Ismaili Doctrine in the Persian Poetry of Nizari Quhistani” Dr Leonard LewisohnResearch Associate, The Institute of Ismaili Studies

“The Poetics of Nasir Khusraw in Classical Persian Literature” Dr Alice C Hunsberger Visiting Fellow, The Institute of Ismaili Studies

“The Oral Poetry of the Ismailis of Tajik Badakhshan” Dr Gabrielle van den BergEG Browne Lecturer in Persian, University of Cambridge


Professor Nargis Virani Assistant Professor, Department of Jewish and Near Eastern Studies, Washington University in St Louis


Panel: Fatimid History

Chair and Discussant:

Dr Paul E. WalkerIndependent Scholar


“Self, Sect and Society: Autobiography in the Fatimid Period”Professor Sumaiya A Hamdani Assistant Professor of History, George Mason University

“Religious Pluralism in Egypt: The Ahl al-Kitab in Early Fatimid Times” Dr Shainool Jiwa Research Associate, The Institute of Ismaili Studies

“Church Building, Repair and Destruction in Fatimid Egypt” Dr Marlis J Saleh Assistant Bibliographer for Middle Eastern Studies, University of Chicago Library

“The Political Factions of the Court of al-Mustansir, 436-448/1045-1056”Rachel T HowesDoctoral Candidate, University of California, Santa Barbara

“The Multiple Messages on Lustre Pottery from Fatimid Egypt”Fahmida SulemanDoctoral Candidate, University of Oxford

“The Birth of New Messianic and Prophetic Movements under the Fatimids”Dr Paul E. WalkerIndependent Scholar

Individual Papers

Panel: Medieval Islamic Law and Theology

“Affirming the Imamate: A Treatise of Ahmad b. Ibrahim al-Naysaburi” Dr Arzina R LalaniResearch Associate, The Institute of Ismaili Studies

Panel: Communities in Cyberspace

“The Ismaili Community and the Internet: Exploring the Encounter”Rizwan Mawani Website Content Editor, The Institute of Ismaili Studies