Michael Christopher Low earns prestigious 2021 Albert Hourani Book Award


Michael Christopher Low, assistant professor in the Department of History, has earned the Albert Hourani Book Award from the Middle East Studies Association. Low earned the award for his book “Imperial Mecca: Ottoman Arabia and the Indian Ocean Hajj.”

The Albert Hourani Book Award award is the most prestigious book prize in the field of Middle East history. It was established in 1991 to recognize oustanding publishing in Middle East studies

The award committee called the book “a fascinating account of the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca amid the transformations wrought by Ottoman modernity and European colonial ambitions.”

Noting how Low draws on an impressive range of archival sources from three continents, the committee applauded how the book “delves into bureaucratic practices, surveillance, disease control, and global transportation in rich and engaging detail,” providing readers with “a local history of Mecca and a global history that foregrounds non-Western institutions and actors.” Characterizing Imperial Mecca as “a page-turner,” earning the award is an impressive achievement.

For additional information about the Albert Hourani Book award or to see a full listing of this year’s winners, please visit here.