Shafique Virani receives Iran 's highest prize in the humanities - 2008-12-27
U of T Mississauga professor's book receives Iran 's highest prize in the humanities
Professor Shafique Virani of the Department of Historical Studies at U of T Mississauga and U of T’s Department and Centre for the Study of Religion has received a Farabi International Award for his book The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, A Search for Salvation.
The award, Iran ’s highest prize in the humanities, which recognizes “scholarly work in the humanities and Islamic culture,” was presented to Virani, Dec. 27 in Tehran by the president of the country Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Published by Oxford University Press, The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, A Search for Salvation traces the history of the Ismaili Shi'is, an intellectually and politically significant Muslim community in medieval Islamdom. The book covers the period from 1256-1500, from the days when the Ismaili fortresses in Iran fell before the marauding Mongol hordes of Genghis Khan until the emergence at Anjudan of the Ismaili Imams who provided a spiritual centre to the by-then scattered community. Drawing on Arabic, Persian and South Asian sources, it explores the motivations and presumptions of historical figures and gives an account of the history of both events and doctrines.
While in Iran , Virani gave a lecture at the Institute for Social and Cultural Studies in Tehran , delivered the Dr. Jamal Karim Rad Memorial lecture to the judiciary in Qazvin , and appeared on national radio and television.
His award-winning book is currently being translated into Arabic, Persian, and Portuguese, and plans are underway to release the English version as well as an Urdu translation in Pakistan .
The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, A Search for Salvation was a co-winner of the 2008 British-Kuwait Friendship Society Prize in Middle Eastern Studies from the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies. Funded through an endowment from the Abdullah Mubarak Charitable Foundation, the prize is awarded annually for the best scholarly work on the Middle East .
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