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Pandemic Pilgrimage: Ottoman Arabia, the Indian Ocean Hajj, and the Global Crisis of Cholera
Humanities Research Fellowship for the Study of the Arab World program

Between 1831 and 1914, cholera spread from India to Mecca and the Hijaz on at least forty separate occasions. This talk traces the development of Ottoman and international quarantine and public health controls in the Hijaz, Red Sea, and Persian Gulf between 1865 and World War I. Low argues that pandemic cholera and the inter-imperial public health and travel regulations that its reign of terror spawned were foundational to the creation of the modern system of mass pilgrimage that we know today.

In light of our current global crisis with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its role in Saudi Arabia’s difficult decision to dramatically restrict hajj and umrah travel this year, the relevance of Mecca’s pandemic past raises urgent new questions for understanding the present and future of pilgrimage management and even wider questions of mass mobility, travel restrictions, and border management.

Presenter:
Michael Christopher Low - Senior Humanities Research Fellow, NYUAD

Moderator:
Suphan Kirmizialtin - Visiting Scholar, NYUAD

Timings:
5pm Abu Dhabi | 9am New York

*Open to the NYUAD community and by invitation
*This webinar will be recorded for institutional memory and a recording will be made available afterwards

Oct 11, 2020 05:00 PM in Dubai

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