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Archives and Special Collections: Abbas Hilmi II Papers: Fellowship programme

Mohamed Ali Foundation Fellowship programme

The Mohamed Ali Foundation Fellowship is hosted by Durham University and is awarded to early career (post-doctoral) or established scholars. The Mohamed Ali Foundation is a UK charity whose aims include advancing the education of the public in the history of the Islamic World, of Egypt and of the Mohamed Ali Family in particular, especially the period of reign of Khedive Abbas Hilmi II (1892-1914).

In June 2018 the Mohamed Ali Foundation announced the launch of this Fellowship Programme, and which is established to devote scholarly attention to the Abbas Hilmi II Papers held at Durham University and to make the collection’s strengths more widely known to scholars. It is hoped that the fellows’ work will foster deeper understanding of an important period of Egyptian history, and of a transformative era in East -West relations.

The fellowship programme is based at Durham University and managed by an international Advisory Panel comprising academic subject specialists. The programme began in 2019 with the residency of the first fellow Dr Pascale Ghazaleh of the American University in Cairo: her inaugural lecture is now available online. The 2022 fellows will be Dr Hussein Omar and Dr Karim Malak. More fellowships will be awarded over the following 5 years. An Advisory Panel, chaired by Professor Anoush Ehteshami, Director of the Institute for Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies, will appoint one or two fellows each year.

Fellows will be early career (post-doctoral) or established scholars. The nature of the collection will often require good reading knowledge of Arabic, Ottoman Turkish, French, and English. The online catalogue of the collection indicates the languages of each file of material.

Fellows will research the Abbas Hilmi II Papers, on an agreed topic, and deliver a lecture at Durham University. Each lecture will ultimately form a chapter in a volume of high quality and original research to be edited by Dr Ghazaleh. In the interim the lectures will be published in the university’s Middle East Papers series. The breadth of material in the Abbas Hilmi II Papers will reward an interdisciplinary approach. In order to guide candidate fellows an outline plan of this volume is now provided in the fellowship application documentation. This is not intended to be prescriptive and the Advisory Panel will consider alternative suggestions so long as they are well-grounded in the Abbas Hilmi II Papers and this is evidenced in the application proposal.

The Fellowship, tenable jointly in IMEIS and Grey College, entitles the holder to full access during their residency to departmental and other University facilities such as Computing and Information Services and the University Library. Accommodation is provided at Durham during the Epiphany term (January-March), but there is flexibility to arrange residencies in different terms to suit fellows’ availability, and fellows may be permitted to reside in Cairo or Istanbul for the duration of the fellowship where digitised copies of the archive have been deposited. All fellows will visit Durham, if only briefly, in order to deliver their lecture. Lectures and other activities elsewhere during the fellowship will be encouraged.

Fellows who do reside at Durham will also be encouraged to take a full part in academic and collegiate life, delivering the already mentioned lecture and perhaps also contributing to seminars.

Fellows will be awarded an honorarium upon completion of their fellowship, and accommodation and all meals will be provided for the duration of the fellowship; a research travel grant is also available to each fellow.

Applicants are advised to familiarise themselves with the online catalogue of the Abbas Hilmi II Papers, or the collection itself, and to review the outline plan of the edited volume provided below. More detailed information on the fellowship programme is also provided.

Due to the covid-19 pandemic the 2020 and 2021 fellows’ residencies have been put forward to 2022. The application period for the 2023 fellowship will begin in June 2022 and run to a date that autumn that will be announced on this page. Enquiries in the meantime may be directed to:

The Secretary

The Mohamed Ali Foundation Fellowship Programme

Durham University Library

Palace Green

Durham DH1 3RN

United Kingdom


Availability online (digital images)

These collections have not been digitised, so that only the catalogues are currently available online.

If you would like to purchase digital copies of specific items from any of our collections, please get in touch.

If you are a member of teaching staff at Durham University and would like to use material from Archives and Special Collections within your lectures or seminars, we may be able to scan or photograph items for this purpose.  Please contact us as early as possible with any teaching digitisation requests.

See also our guide to Digitised Collections Online for further information on our digital resources.

Access to original sources

The collections mentioned above are located at Palace Green Library.  Our current opening hours are below.

  • Monday to Friday: 10am to 5pm
  • Saturday: closed
  • Sunday: closed

At the moment, we offer a limited appointment-only service at Palace Green Library and need at least 3 days' notice of your intended visit.  Please contact us using our online booking form if you would like to book a research slot.

See separate Libraries and Site Information guide for further information on Palace Green Library.

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