The event is both an opportunity to launch a book and honor an Alexandrian for who the book is dedicated, Professor Doris Behrens-Abouseif. Professor Abouseif is the former Nasser D. Khalili Professor of Islamic Art and Archaeology at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.
The title of the book is Art, Trade and Culture in the Islamic World and Beyond: From the Fatimids to the Mughals. This volume brings to light artistic exchanges that occurred between successive Islamic dynasties in the central regions of the Middle East and further afield in China, India and Europe from the twelfth to the nineteenth century.The event is also an opportunity for Professor Doris to give a lecture in the city of her birth and at the prestigious BA. The title of the lecture is “Antiquity in Medieval Egypt: The Testimony in Texts and Stone”. It will focus on the different ways Islamic Egypt dealt with the monuments of the past (Ancient Egypt and the Greco-Roman period): the statements in literature, popular beliefs, and the facts about spoliation, demolition or reuse of ancient monuments. The lecture presents an image of Antiquity as it was perceived in Arabic pre-modern texts, and reports at the same time about the practices of dealing with the monuments and the believes associated to them in medieval Egyptian society. It refers to Ancient Egypt as well as late Antiquity, discussing the different perceptions and attitudes they incited.