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Launch Leiden | Islam interview series

Why is Arabic poetry relevant for our understanding of the Arabic-speaking world? Arabist James Montgomery explains this in the first video interview of the Leiden | Islam interview series produced by Leiden Islam Centre LUCIS. 'If there is anything which is going to make the situation worse, it is a continued inability to communicate.'

The video contains flashes of an interview with James Montgomery. 'I think of maybe the three out of the six hundred words that I understood, they got me really excited (...) It was one of those moments of revelation,' he says in the interview.

He continues: 'I think that Arabic poetry can offer us just a different way of thinking of how important communication is.'

James Montgomery

James Montgomery, an internationally acclaimed specialist on Classical Arabic, is the Sir Thomas Adams Professor of Arabic at Cambridge University. He delivered the second Leiden-Aramco Lecture on Arabic Language and Culture on 12 February 2015.

Leiden | Islam interview series 

This is the first video in the Leiden | Islam interview series, which contains short documentary-style videos including interview flashes with leading scholars in the field of Islam and Muslim societies. With this series, LUCIS (Leiden University Centre for the Study of Islam and Society) aims to show the value of unconventional insights connected to Islam and Muslim societies.

In the second video of the series, Michael Macdonald, a world-renowned expert in ancient Arabian languages, explains the relevance of uncovering the thousands of inscriptions of ancient Arabia. The series will soon also include interviews with Driss Moussaoui about his work as a psychiatrist in Morocco, and with Arabist Petra Sijpesteijn about her fascination for papyri.

The videos in this series are produced by Faithful to the Subject. The production of this series is made possible by a donation of Aramco, a Saudi Arabian oil company.