Sufis from West Africa in Jerusalem: Dynamics of Religious Exchange during Colonial Times (107th KUASS: Kyoto University African Studies Seminar)


15:00-17:00 (JST)

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Jerusalem has been a site of Sufi pilgrimage and worship since early times. During the Umayyad period, Jerusalem was a part of the hajj circuit for many Muslim pilgrims, including West African Muslims, whose presence in Jerusalem there can be traced back to the thirteenth century. This lecture examines the interwoven connections between the performance of the hajj and Sufi affiliation among West Africans who arrived at Jerusalem and settled there in the British Mandate period (1917-1948), a period when they numbered several thousands. As their story has not yet attracted much research attention, by examining their Sufi affiliation, this lecture contributes to the body of knowledge of that community and adds another layer to our understanding of the role of Sufi affiliation in creating the Diaspora of West African Muslims during the colonial era. At the same time, this study integrates their story within the history of Sufi life in Jerusalem during the British Mandate period. As such, this lecture also reveals little-known chapters of the history of the diasporic community of West African Sufis during colonial times, and of the broader history of the vivid Sufi life in Mandatory Jerusalem.

Basic info

  • Yoshida Campus
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  • Online: via Zoom
  • Onsite: Room #318 (CAAS Seminar Room), Inamori Center (Inamori Foundation Memorial Hall) 3F, Kyoto University (京都大学稲盛財団記念館3階小会議室Ⅱ)
    Building 64 on the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences Campus Map
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Free of charge



Professor Irit Back, Head of African Studies, Tel Aviv University


English (no interpretation provided)



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Center for African Area Studies (CAAS)
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