About Us

Map of Mecca from c. 1700. Courtesy Mirza Meraj.

Map of Mecca from c. 1700. Courtesy Mirza Meraj.

The Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University is dedicated to furthering the scholarly study of Islam and the Muslim world in a broadly interdisciplinary context and offers incomparable resources in its world-class faculty, extensive and multiple libraries, on-line resources, museums, area studies centers and research initiatives.

Through its College, graduate, and professional Schools, Harvard offers undergraduate and graduate coursework in arts and literature, art and architecture, anthropology and sociology, comparative literature, economics, environmental and developmental issues, geography, government and political science, history and the history of science, international relations, law, medieval studies, music, philosophy and the study of religion, and women, gender and sexuality studies. Area studies’ centers and programs provide outstanding programming and resources on Muslim cultures and societies from Europe and the West to sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

nowruz slider photoOutside the classroom, AISP’s lectures series, conferences, workshops, arts performances and other events encourage an understanding of the broader Islamic world in its global and transnational context and advances interdisciplinary studies that are crossnational and comparative.  It seeks to promote the diffusion, exchange and discussion of a wide body of research, and to encourage interaction among academics—at Harvard and beyond—from various traditions of learning.

Central to its academic and scholarly objectives, the Alwaleed Program seeks to bridge gaps in understanding between the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds and ensure that Harvard’s capacity in Islamic Studies fully represents the depth of Islam’s rich historical and geographically diverse cultures.

The Alwaleed Program at Harvard was established with a generous donation from Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, who is known for a wide range of philanthropic activities around the globe. He seeks to promote change through mutual cultural understanding. At the same time that Prince Alwaleed gave his gift to Harvard, he also gave a gift to The Alwaleed Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World at the University of Edinburgh, The Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, for the HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies at Cambridge University, the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Center for American Studies and Research at the American University of Beirut, the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Center for American Studies and Research at the American University in Cairo.