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Shuqi Jia

PhD candidate

S. Jia Ph.D.
+31 71 527 2171

Shuqi Jia is a PhD candidate at LIAS

More information about Shuqi Jia

Fields of interest

  • Middle Eastern history, politics, cultures and religions

  • International relations of the Middle East

  • Arab-Islamic culture

  • Central Asian Islamic studies


PhD research

The Long Arab Conquest of Central Asia: Urban Change in Merv, Paikent, Balkh and Samarkand (651-821) 

Supervisor: Prof. dr. Petra Sijpesteijn 
Co-supervisor: Prof. Hugh N. Kennedy, SOAS, University of London 

When the Arabs appeared in Central Asia in the mid-seventh century C.E., they encountered a mixed religious, linguistic and ethnic population with extensive and prolonged contacts extending into the Turkic, Chinese and Persian worlds. Moving from raids and short term encounters with resulting treaties to permanent settlement, the Arabs eventually took control and settled in the political centers of the area. The regime change had an immediate impact on the political, military and administrative life in the area, but even more importantly are the profound and structural changes that took place in the following centuries. Yet such long term processes of change, their paste, character and interconnectedness as well as the nature and impact of Muslim rule in the region remain insufficiently understood. 

My PhD research aims to trace the impact of the Arab conquest, both immediate and long-term, on the material and social organization of Central Asia from 651 to 821 through an “urban change” perspective in four cities: Merv, Paikent, Balkh and Samarkand. Using Arabic, Persian and Chinese written sources as well as the archeological and material cultural studies available, this research will study the Arab conquerors, their objectives and aims through the impact they had on the people and the urban environment they conquered. Furthermore, by focusing on changes in the urban fabric and organization, both in material and human terms, in a comparative perspective, this research is expected to give new insights into the long Arab conquest of Central Asia which had such a profound impact on the area.



2007-2011: BA Arabic Language and Culture, Ningxia University: School of Foreign Languages and Cultures, China. 
2011-2014: MA International Relations, Yunnan University: Institute of International Studies, China.


Grants & Awards

  • Four-year full PhD funding from China Scholarship Council (2014-2018).

  • China National Scholarship for Postgraduate Student, Yunnan University, 2013.

  • Chinese Muslim Cultural & Fraternal Association Postgraduate Student Scholarship, Yunnan University, 2012.

  • China National Scholarship for Undergraduate Student, Ningxia University, 2008.

  • First-class Academic Scholarship, Ningxia University (2008, 2011).


Related Experiences

  • Coordinator of the “Sino-Israel Global Network & Academic Leadership” delegation’s visit to Yunnan University and the “ Israel, Jewish and China” Academic Week, 2013.

  • Member of the “2013 India-China Knowledge and Capacity Building Initiative” Summer Program, and the topic of our research group focused on the migrant women among the urban poor in Kunming and Kolkata, 2013.
  • Coordinator of the Department of Commerce in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region for the First “China-Arab National Economic and Trade Forum”, Ningxia, China, 2010.



Mandarin (native), English, Arabic



  • JIA Shuqi, XIAO Xian, “India-Saudi Arabia Relationship in the Beginning of the 21 st Century and its Impact on China”,  Asia & Africa Review , 2013, 01: 42-49, 60-62.

PhD candidate

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies

Education and research staff member

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies
  • No relevant ancillary activities
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