In 1329, the famous Moroccan traveler Ibn Battûta sailed to the East-African city of Kilwa (now in southern Tanzania). Kilwa was then one of the important harbors of the Indian Ocean sea trade dominated by Muslims and linking Arabia, Africa and India. Despite its destruction by the Portuguese at the beginning of the 16th century, it still has impressive architectural remains that testify to the vitality of its sultanate at the time of Ibn Battûta.
Based on a recent personal trip to Kilwa in the footsteps of the Moroccan traveler, this richly illustrated lecture by Professor Emeritus Yahya Michot explores the golden age, and the tragic destiny, of a too-often disregarded region of the pre-modern Islamic world.
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About the Speaker
Dr. Yahya Michot came to Hartford Seminary from Oxford (UK), where he taught Islamic theology and Arabic from 1998 to 2008. Previously, from 1983 to 1997, he taught Arabic philosophy, language, history and literature in Louvain (Belgium).
Dr. Michot has served as a consultant to various universities, international organizations and official bodies in the UK. From 1995 to 1998, he was president of the Higher Council of Muslims in Belgium.
He is an internationally recognized scholar who has published numerous articles and monographs, best known for his research on the Persian polymath Avincenna (d. 1037) and the Syrian theologian Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328).