Ahmed Y. AlMaazmi

6th-year Ph.D. student
Jones Hall

My dissertation “An Enchanted Sea: The Occult Sciences in the Early Modern Indian Ocean World,” traces the connected history of the occult sciences in the Western Indian Ocean, told through intellectual projects entwined with the expansion of the Omani Empires and their diasporic communities. My dissertation is the first to analyze how environmental knowledge, occult technologies, legal thought, and slavery intersected and were articulated in everyday life in the Arabian Peninsula, the Persianate Cosmopolis, and East Africa. At the core of my project, I examine how diverse free and enslaved communities developed and transformed a shared ecological and cosmological worldview across an Enchanted Sea.

In my public history practice, I am deeply committed to community-building. As an administrator for both the "Arabian Peninsula History" and "Occult & Weird Studies" groups, I work to create spaces where scholars and students can engage, learn, share ideas, and collaborate. I am also dedicated to increasing accessibility to scholarship through initiatives such as the Indian Ocean World Podcast, my active presence on social media platforms, organizing panels, and my endeavors in translating academic works for Arabic-speaking readership. For more details, please refer to my publications and talks below.

An Emirati born and raised in Sharjah, I graduated from Zayed University with a B.A. (Hons) in international studies. After studying cultural anthropology at Rutgers University as a Fulbright fellow, I enrolled at Princeton University to pursue a Ph.D. in the Department of Near Eastern Studies.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Ahmed Y. AlMaazmi, “My Slave Was Not With Me When I Wrote This Book”: Enslaved East African Intellectuals and the Occult Sciences across the Western Indian Ocean, 1834–1846.” Monsoon: Journal of the Indian Ocean Rim, Forthcoming.

Ahmed Y. AlMaazmi, “The Apocalyptic Hijab: Emirati Mediations of Pious Fashion.” Hawwa: Journal of Women of the Middle East and the Islamic World, 19(1), 5-27.


Ahmed Y. AlMaazmi, “Solomon’s Shadow: The Politics and Poetics of Baloch Genealogical Traditions.” In Genealogical History in the Persianate World, ed. Jo-Ann Gross and Daniel Beben (I.B. Tauris), Forthcoming.

Translated & Annotated Books (English ® Arabic)

Fahad A. Bishara, A Sea of Debt: Law and Economic Life in the Western Indian Ocean, 1780-1950 (Abu Dhabi: Kalima Project, 2023).

M. A. Talpur, The Baloch Awakening: Essays on the Baloch Question (Beirut: Arab Diffusion Co., 2015).

T. M. Breseeg, Baloch Nationalism Its Origin and Development (Beirut: Arab Diffusion Co., 2013).

Ahmed Y. AlMaazmi, The Baloch and Their Country in the Gulf Gazetteer 1515–1908. (Beirut: Arab Diffusion, 2012).

Public Scholarship and Engagement

Ahmed Y. AlMaazmi, Building Scholarly Communities in the Time of COVID: Fieldnotes from the Indian Ocean World Podcast, Toynbee Prize Foundation.

Ahmed Y. AlMaazmi, (2020 July-present) Indian Ocean World Podcast

Papers and Presentations

2023                  “Enslaved Bodies and Bodies of Texts: Slavery and Textual Production in Oman and East Africa,” Slavery and Post-Slavery in the Arabian Peninsula Conference, Université Libre de Bruxelles (October 2023).

2022                  “Enslaved East African Intellectuals and the Occult Sciences across the Western Indian Ocean, 1834–1846,” Reimagining Mobilities/Immobilities in the Indian Ocean, The Africa Institute, Sharjah (December 2022).

2021                  “The Politics and Poetics of Genealogical Traditions: Why Did the Baloch Genealogical Traditions Change in the Early Modern Period?” The International Symposium on Genealogical History in the Persianate World, Princeton University (April 2021).

2020                  “The Environmental Meaning of the Occult Across the Western Indian Ocean,” Middle East Studies Association Annual Meeting

2020                  “Exploring the Hinterlands of the Indian Ocean: The Baloch in Colonial Expeditions to Australia and Africa,” American Historical Association Annual Meeting, New York

2019                  “Redefining Indian Ocean Mobilities in Nationalist Times,” Arab Nationalism and its Legacy in the Gulf States Workshop, co-organizer and presenter, Transregional Institute (TRI), Princeton University

2019                  “Making Time Liquid: Inscribing Legal Rights in the Omani Environment,” Ordering the Anthropocene: Law & the Environment in the Indian Ocean World Workshop, Drexel University, Philadelphia

2019                  “Oman as an Empire: Transoceanic Mobilites and Legacies in the Western Indian Ocean,” co-organizer and presenter, Mobility as Method: Mapping Entanglements Between the Gulf and the Indian Ocean, Middle East Studies Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans

2019                  “Poetic Fieldnotes in the Battlefield: The Contours of Persianate Literary Culture in Balochistan through Nūrānī's Jang-nāma (1764),” Symposia Iranica’s Fourth Biennial Conference on Iranian Studies, University of St Andrews, U.K.

2018                  “Belonging Across the Omani Sea: De-soldiering Baloch History in the Arabian Peninsula,” Without Boundaries: The Global Middle East Then and Now, Middle East Studies Association Annual Meeting, San Antonio, T.X.

2017                  “The Production of Tsunamic Memory: The 1945 Makran Tsunami in the Omani Sea,” Our World of Water: Histories of the Hydrosphere Conference, Georgetown University, Washington, DC