Ali Gibran Siddiqui is the Leon B. Poullada Postdoctoral Research Associate in Central Asian Studies at the Department of Near Eastern Studies. As a historian of Islamic Central Asia, he is interested in the economic, political, and social lives of Naqshbandi Sufis in the Timurid and Mughal Empires. His PhD dissertation at The Ohio State University reappraised the role of the Naqshbandi Sufi ṭarīqa across fifteenth-, sixteenth-, and seventeen-century Central Asia and India as an example of a trust network that used ritualized notions of trust and exclusivity to monitor the trans-regional movement of goods and peoples. His current projects include articles on the Juybari Naqshbandi presence in Mughal India and the role of miraculous dreams and spiritual monopolies in jade production in sixteenth-century Kashghar. He is also collaborating with art historians at The Louvre to develop a typography of Mughal chilanum daggers.
Gibran has served as Assistant Professor and the Program Director for the Bachelor’s Program in Social Sciences and Liberal Arts at the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi where he introduced a new undergraduate history major. He has also held a visiting position at CERI, Sciences Po where he taught undergraduate courses in historical methods and South Asian history.
Gibran has been responsible for rescuing and rehousing the Anjuman Taraqqi-ye Urdu Pakistan’s sizable Arabic, Persian and Urdu language manuscript collection. Supported by the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library and the Roshan Institute of Persian Studies at the University of Maryland, he is currently overseeing a project to digitize, index, and catalog those rare manuscripts. He also serves as the co-chair for the Panel for Arts and Humanities with the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.
Besides being fluent in the Urdu, English, Persian, and Uzbek languages, Gibran is also proficient in Russian and French.