Arezou Azad: The Bamiyan Papers aka. the Afghan Geniza



Arezou Azad


In this episode, join host Yasamin Jameh, in learning about the Bamiyan Papers which contain some of the oldest writings in New Persian ever recorded.  

The 32nd episode of Parse is an excerpt from a lecture given by Arezou Azad on the Bamiyan Papers, a series of unpublished documents from the Bamiyan area in central Afghanistan made publicly available only in the last decade. Dr. Azad’s team at the University of Oxford, named the Invisible East, has been using these documents to provide a completely new discourse about the eastern Islamic and Iranian world focused on social history. By using primary source documentation of landholdings, taxation, family relationships, and economic affairs, the Invisible East team can draw a new interpretation of the history of the Eastern Iranian world where the common folk are at the forefront, rather than the elites as commonly done before.  
Arezou Azad is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford and was Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Birmingham.  She is a historian of the medieval Islamicate East, and has previously worked on the staff of international charities and the United Nations in strategy development and fundraising. As an academic researcher, Dr Azad has authored a monograph and articles on the social, gender, landscape and topographic history of medieval Balkh (Afghanistan).  Azad leads the Invisible East Program at the University of Oxford which is funded by the European Research council and involves the study of documents, literary sources, and material culture from Medieval Afghanistan and Central Asia.  
To watch the full talk, click here: ⁠Rethinking History Return to Archives and Documents – 20 July 2023⁠