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SOAS scholars contribute to major series for BBC Radio 3 on the Islamic Golden Age

Islamic Golden Age pic

6 December 2013

Professor Hugh Kennedy, Professor of Arabic and Narguess Farzad, Senior Fellow in Persian, have contributed to a major series by BBC Radio 3 on The Islamic Golden Age.

Within the twenty essays, exploring architecture, invention, medicine, mathematics, innovation, philosophy and literature, the scholars rediscover some of the key thinkers and achievements from this period, ranging from 750 to 1258 CE.

Professor Kennedy, who starts the series, chronicles the life and times of the great historian of early Islam, Al-Tabari who studied in Iraq, Syria, and Egypt, but spent most of his life in Baghdad teaching and writing.

Ms Farzad recounts the tale of two remarkable and influential women poets, Rabia Balki, a great beauty of royal birth who died a tragic death, and Mahsati Ganjavi, an eminent Iranian poetess and composer of quatrain, in her essay.

Ms Farzad said: "It is wonderful that the BBC were keen to make these programmes and introduce the principle characters of the early Islamic age to a wider audience. It was a privilege for me to contribute to the prestigious Essay series on BBC Radio 3.”

The Islamic Golden Age is broadcast daily on BBC Radio 3 at 22.45pm.