Meet the new researcher: Annachiara Raia

Her interest lies in the entanglement of African Studies and Arabic Studies from a literary perspective. Annachiara Raia recently started as a university lecturer and researcher, dividing her time between the African Studies Centre Leiden and the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS). In the Leiden University Libraries she found a special collection of 900 printed books from Eastern Africa (Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Mombasa), mostly on Islamic doctrines. The original texts were written for example in Urdu or Arabic, and were published in Teheran, Oman, Cairo. They have been translated mainly into Swahili and republished by local publishing houses in Kenya and Tanzania. 'This collection is a real gem’, she says. ‘Who wrote the original texts, how have these texts travelled?' Read the interview with Annachiara Raia!