Ula Zeir

Thesis title: Salamiyya: a City of the Ismailis in the Nineteenth and Early Twenties Century Ottoman Syria (1831- 1918)

Qualifications

Current: PhD Candidate, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

Turkish Language Course, Language Centre (Dil Merkezi), Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.

MSc in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.                                                  

Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities, the Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS), London, UK.

BA in English Language and Literature, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Al-Baath University, Hims, Syria.

 

Responsibilities & affiliations

Aug. 2015- present: Content Specialist/Arabic Language, The British Library, London, UK.

Dec. 2016- present: Guest Lecturer, the Ismaili Centre Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

Nov. 2016- Jun. 2017: Arabic Language Consultant, Department of English and Creative Writing, University of Chichester, Chichester, UK. 

2006- 2015 One to one Arabic teacher. 

  • Duties: teaching standard and colloquial Arabic to postgraduate students, and professionals.  

Mar. - Dec. 2011: Researcher at the Prime Ministry State Archives (Başbakanlık Devlet Arşivleri), Istanbul, Turkey.

Dec. 2009- Aug. 2010: Researcher at the Department of Community Relations (DCR), the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, UK. 

Undergraduate teaching

Sep. 2018: Guest Speaker, Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

  • Course: Modern Middle Eastern History A- Domestic Transformation and International Challenges.

Sep. 2012- Mar. 2015 Undergraduate Tutor, Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

Courses:

  • Modern Middle Eastern History: Emergence and Encounters.
  • Modern Middle Eastern History B: Post War Independence and Conflict.

Current research interests

Research topic: Salamiyya: a City of the Ismailis in the Nineteenth and Early Twenties Century Ottoman Syria (1831- 1918). The thesis focuses on the role played by the Ottomans and the Syrian Ismailis in articulating the identity of Salamiyya as the city of the Ismailis in the mid nineteenth and early twenties century Ottoman Syria. A number of issues are taken into account to approach this; these include but are not limited to: the impact of the Ottoman Tanzimat, the Ismailis’ socio-economic activities before and after their resettlement in Salamiyya, as well as the Ottoman administrative policy in Salamiyya. The project widely benefits of the Ottoman archival materials.

June 2019: The Relation between the Ismailis of Salamiyya and their Neighbouring Tribes in 19th Century Ottoman Syria: Speaking the Neighbour’s Language. Cambridge Graduate Middle East Conference 2019: Languages of Legitimation in the Middle East. https://www.woolf.cam.ac.uk/blog/languages-of-legitimation-in-the-middle-east

Apr. 2019: Gulf History: from the Annals of the British Library to the Digital Universe. IMES Seminar Series, Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, the University of Edinburgh, UK. https://www.ed.ac.uk/literatures-languages-cultures/islamic-middle-eastern/events/imes-seminar-series-spring-2019/imes-research-seminar-zeir-190401

Dec. 2018-Jan 2019: The History of Salamiyya and the Ismailis from Early Islam to the end of Mamluk Period. The History of Syrian Ismailis Lecture Series. The Ismaili Centre, Al-Ain, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the UAE.

Dec 2018: presentation titled “Kharita: Letter Dispatching at the Court of Amir Abdul Rahman Khan, Amir of Afghanistan.” Central Asian Seminar Group Meeting, Institute of Archaeology, UCL, London, UK. https://www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology/events/2018/dec/central-asian-seminar-group-meeting-2018

Aug. 2017:  presentations at the summer school on “Reading and analysing Ottoman manuscript sources,” organised by the Orient-Institut Beirut (OIB), The French Institute of the Near East (IFPO)… et al, Beirut, Lebanon.

Jul. 2017: The Syrian Ismailis under Sultan Abdülmecid I: A Voyage to Salamiyya- Majidabad, BRISMES 2017, Panel 5G "Movement and Migration in the Ottoman Empire II", Edinburgh, UK. (http://www.brismes.ac.uk/conference/sessions/panel-5g/)   

Dec. 2016- Jan. 2017: Exploring the Ottoman Account of the Trials of the Syrian Ismailis at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century: Causes & Consequences. The History of Syrian Ismailis Lecture Series. The Ismaili Centre, Al-Ain, Dubai & Abu Dhabi, UAE.

ألقيت المحاضرة باللغة العربية تحت عنوان: قراءة في الرواية العثمانية عن محاكمات الاسماعيليين السوريين في بدايات القرن العشرين: أسباب ونتائج

Dec. 2016: A History of Syrian Ismailis’ Settlement in Syria: from the Fatimid to the Ottomans. The History of Syrian Ismailis Lecture Series. The Ismaili Centre, Dubai, UAE.  

Mar. 2016: Salamiyya a City of the Ismailis in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Ottoman Syria (1831-1918): The Farman Story, IMES Seminar Series, Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK. (https://www.facebook.com/events/1653783801550053/)

Oct. 2015: Salamiyya a City of the Ismailis in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Ottoman Syria (1831-1918): Thesis Outlines, IIS PhD Seminar, The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, UK. (http://www.iis.ac.uk/news/phdseminar2015)

Aug. 2014: The Socio-political Dimensions of Ziad Rahbani’s Works: Nazl al-Surur (Inn of Happiness) and Film Amriki Tawil (The American Motion Picture), World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES) Conference, Ankara, Turkey.

Apr. 2019: Academic article “Kharita: the Royal Art of Letter Dispatching.” In Afghanistan, Volume II, issue 1 (April 2019), Edinburgh University Press. https://euppublishingblog.com/2019/05/01/the-art-of-kharita-dispatching-in-the-late-19th-century-afghanistan/

Sep. 2018: published blog 'Baghdad in British Occupation': the Story of Overprinted Stamps, Untold Lives Blog, the British Library Website. (https://blogs.bl.uk/untoldlives/2018/09/baghdad-in-british-occupation-the-story-of-overprinted-stamps.html)

Nov. 2017: published blog ‘Arabic or English: the Education of a Future Sultan of Muscat and Oman', Untold Lives Blog, the British Library Website. (http://blogs.bl.uk/untoldlives/2017/11/arabic-or-english-the-education-of-a-future-sultan-of-muscat-and-oman.html)

Sep. 2016: published blog ‘Recruiting an Iraqi Judge in Bahrain’s Shia Court’, Untold Lives Blog, the British Library Website. (http://blogs.bl.uk/untoldlives/2016/09/recruiting-an-iraqi-judge-in-bahrains-shia-court.html)

Dec. 2015: published blog ‘The Ancient Mosque of Manama’, Untold Lives Blog, the British Library Website. (http://blogs.bl.uk/untoldlives/2015/12/the-ancient-mosque-of-manama.html)