Why Shiite clerics are studying Jewish scripture in Iran

Published August 29th, 2015 - 04:35 GMT
Students study at a religious school in Iran's Shiite clerical capital Qom.  (AFP/Behrouz Mehri)
Students study at a religious school in Iran's Shiite clerical capital Qom. (AFP/Behrouz Mehri)

Reading the Talmud in a most unlikely place - Iran's holy city  

The Shia holy city of Qom teems with mosques, mullahs and madrassas. So, it was a little surprising to hear Qom religious scholar Hossein Soleimani’s response when I asked him to name his favorite writers.

“Adin Steinsaltz, for his translation of the Talmud,” he responded promptly. “And also Martin Buber.”

Soleimani was one of several senior faculty members from Qom’s University of Religions and Denominations whom I met during my recent visit to Iran. Soleimani’s field is comparative religions, and he is affiliated with the school’s center devoted entirely to Judaic studies.

Continue reading at Forward


The forgotten history of Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese in Latin America  

Arab immigration to Latin America has overwhelmingly been made up of Palestinians, Syrians, and Lebanese, and took place in three major waves between the late nineteenth century and the 1970s. The first two waves – from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century, and the period in between the two world wars – were largely driven by economic factors, while dramatic geopolitical changes in the Middle East after the Second World War resulted in a third wave of immigration, from 1948 to the 1970s.

 Continue reading on Muftah


Ten great Arab short stories  

Novelist Rabih Alameddine recently asked, on Twitter, for short-story suggestions for a course he’ll be teaching. They must be “by writers from Middle East/North Africa region? Or maybe about the area?” And Alameddine must want to teach them.

Continue reading on Your Middle East

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