I studied Arabic and Persian during my undergraduate degree in Oriental Studies at Khorog State University in my home country, Tajikistan. Later, I joined the Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities at the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London, where I approached the topic of Islam and Muslim societies from a variety of analytical perspectives. After the completion of this interdisciplinary programme, I completed a two-year M.Phil. in Islamic Studies and History at the University of Oxford. I had a great time at the Oriental Institute in Oxford, where I read Islamic history and learned the Turkish language. I completed my M.Phil. dissertation on the subject of religious and political authority in the thought of Abd al-Karīm al-Shahrastānī.
Subject groups/Research projects
I am interested in the history of learning and knowledge transmission in medieval Islamicate Societies, and other aspects of learning in the pre-modern period. My current research focuses on the organisation of learning and institutionalisation of scholarship in 10th-11th century Egypt and Ifrīqiyya (modern Tunisia), roughly corresponding to the first phase of the Fatimid rule in North Africa (AD 900-1100).
Persian and Arabic poetry, philosophy and mysticism, Iranian and Turkic people in the Persianate world from AD 600 to AD 1500, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and plov (not a type of martial art). Outside academia, I have been organising tailor-made trips on the Silk Road.