Join Matt Saba for a fascinating conversation about the magnificent palaces built by the Abbasid Caliphs of Iraq.  This dynasty realised that kingdoms invariably rose and fell, and that the longest lasting legacy of their reign would be literature.


Matt Saba is Visual Resources Librarian for Islamic Architecture at the Aga Khan Documentation Center (AKDC) at MIT. He is responsible for researching, digitizing, and cataloging the collections, as well as facilitating reproduction of AKDC materials for educational and scholarly purposes.

Before joining the AKDC, Matt studied Near Eastern Languages and Civilisations and Art History at the University of Chicago where he wrote a dissertation examining the palaces of the Abbasid caliphs in Iraq. He has also worked as a curatorial fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and taught courses in Islamic art and architecture at The University of Chicago, Columbia University, and Marymount Manhattan College. His research interests include imperial building practices in late antiquity and early Islam as well as the history of Islamic art as a discipline. As a librarian he is involved in projects to create more robust and representative metadata schema for describing cultural heritage from the Middle East and Muslim world more broadly.

This podcast is part of Converging Paths, an initiative organised by Asia House and the Barakat Trust exploring the arts and cultures of the Islamic World.

Converging Paths is generously supported by the Altajir Trust and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture’s Education Programme.