Writings of the Badia: Biography of the Bedouins

CBRL Amman
12 June 2024

Writings of the Badia: Biography of the Bedouins by Prof. Omar al-Ghul

Date: Wednesday, 12 June 2024 

Time: 6:00 pm (Amman time), 4:00 pm (London time). 

Format: Hybrid.

Language: The lecture will be delivered in Arabic with translation to English available on Zoom.

The CBRL Amman Institute is delighted to announce an exciting new lecture series titled ‘The Badia’, dedicated to exploring the rich cultural and environmental heritage of Jordan’s Eastern Desert. Scheduled throughout May and June 2024, this series offers a journey through four hybrid lectures presented by experts in the field.

The third lecture in this series will be presented by Prof. Omar al-Ghul who was born in Silwan (Jerusalem) 1959 and studied languages of the Ancient Near East at Tübingen University (PhD 1991). Prof. Omar teaches Semitic Epigraphy at the Department of Epigraphy at the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology (Yarmouk University). He is interested in Northwest Semitic Epigraphy, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Old North Arabian Epigraphy, the history of Arabic, and the social history of Jordan and Palestine in the 19th and early 20th century. Prof. Omar was the senior investigator in two projects on the Dead Sea Scrolls and is the chairperson for Mahmoud Ghul Chair for the Studies of the Arab Peninsula and Epigraphy. He published 30 academic papers and edited and translated 18 books.

Hundreds of thousands of graffiti are scattered all over the Badia, mainly written in Old North Arabian languages and scripts (but also in Nabataean, Greek, Latin, Syriac, and Arabic), delivering a kaleidoscopic picture of the lives of the people who inscribed them over the past 2500 years. Although mostly personal, short, and rarely mentioning political events or historical figures, the inscriptions of the Badia tackle a variety of daily life activities, such as herding, transhumance, hunting, and agriculture. Furthermore, the authors of these short texts often express their personal emotions, including longing for relatives and loved ones, sorrow for losing them, and feelings of anger or fear towards their enemies.

To register, please click here.