MEFA has identified more than 60 manuscripts in Arabic alone, which contains texts on falconry written between the 8th and 16th centuries across the Middle East. Some of the famous passages were copied 20 times, while others were stored in a single copy. The manuscripts are preserved in libraries across the Middle East, Europe, the US and South Asia. MEFA is collaborating with these libraries to digitise or obtain digital copies of these manuscripts, allowing them to be brought together into a single digital home for the heritage of Arabic falconry literature. The digital records of each manuscript are supported by both technical information for academics and engaging educational information for all falconry heritage enthusiasts
MEFA is an ongoing initiative. Further digital manuscripts will be added progressively, where the goal is to have by 2023 digital records of the approximately 60 manuscripts identified thus far. Today, the digital archive contains six manuscripts and by year-end, it will have a total of ten.
On some day in Jumāda II 848 of the Islamic calendar, September or October 1444 of the Common Era, Aḥmad ibn al-Ḥājj Ḥasan, who described himself as ‘the copyist’, finished his work on a manuscript of 220 pages.READ
One day in April, on April 14th 1879, to be precise, an Algerian man by the name of Ḥassan ben Brimaht (in Arabic spelling: Brīhmāt) sent a gift to a friend. The recipient was the French Orientalist Charles Auguste Cherbonneau (1813-1882).READ
Zayn al-Dīn ʿAbd al-Qāhir al-Fākihī al-Makkī, author of a book on hunting and fighting, was born at the eve of a war that was going to change the political landscape of the Middle East profoundly.READ
The Arabic manuscript catalogued in Paris’ Bibliothèque Nationale with the number 2832 is in many ways representative of the history of Arabic falconry literature. The codex was written in the year 923 of the Islamic calendar, 1517 of the Common Era.READ
One of the most famous authors to write in Arabic about falconry was Usāma ibn Munqidh (1095-1188), a Syrian nobleman whose remarkable memoirs have survived in a single manuscript to the present day.READ
The manuscript catalogued as Huntington 348 in Oxford’s Bodleian Library documents that the career of texts in premodern societies with traditions of handwritten books was marked by different circumstances.READ