Dear colleagues,

I am currently preparing a script for the final episode for our five part pilot. I am really excited to speak with Ian Morris about his Mecca and Macoraba article in which he challenges the long held assumption that name Macoraba in Ptolemy’s Geography refers to historical Mecca.

The article has generated a lot of responses on his blog, so I am going to do something for this episode that I haven’t done for the rest. I am going to invite questions from the forthcoming listeners of AHP. Send any questions in the replies below or email admin@abbasidhistorypodcast.com.

It has been a steep learning curve. I have had to acquaint myself with new technology. I am fortunate my house mate, Adam, is trained in sound engineering so his assistance and enthusiasm has been really welcomed. Ian will be our first online recording and we have spent a lot of time exploring best ways to do that. I am also becoming accustomed to using Audacity for editing and LibSyn for uploading the content.

The other four episodes:
1. Prof. Hugh Kennedy on a lifetime studying early Islam
2. Dr. Anees Lodhi on the theme of hijrah
3. Dr. Alex Strick van Linschoten on learning the Arabic language
4. Aziz Foundation scholar Yusuf Chaudhary on the Islamization of the Ilkhanate.

It doesn't help the new cats keep interrupting my work
It doesn’t help the new cats keep interrupting my work

My aim is to produce listening that can supplement a reading list. Episodes I have planned for the future are discussions with a senior peer of standard set texts for typical Early Islam history topics. This is a bonus for the diligent student as well as a crux for the less diligent student fitting in the podcast on his morning commute to lectures. I hope this extra level of pre-class analysis will make actual class discussions more informed and insightful, rather than the usual disappointing rehash or translations I have experienced during my own graduate education.

Please do send in through your feedback. This is after all your resource. I am grateful to those who have sent proposals for future episodes. Kindly be patient with me as I streamline procedures for this new venture. The Frontier heralds us.