Projects such as the present one, which involve a collaboration of scholars coming from different fields to fill in a new niche in the study of the Arabian Peninsula, an area that has only recently gained scholarly attention, are only possible through sustained and generous support from a variety of stakeholders. We are therefore indebted, first and foremost, to our institution, and particularly the Office of Research at Zayed University, which generously supported this project through a two-year Research Incentive Fund grant that allowed us to conduct research both nationally and internationally, acquire the resources needed for completing this project, and cover the costs of publishing the book in Open Access. We are particularly thankful to Dr. Michael Allen, Assistant Provost for Faculty Affairs and Research, and to Dr. Fares Howari, Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, for their timely support and encouragement.
Ileana Baird is also grateful for the extraordinary opportunity she had to conduct research as a Visiting Research Fellow at The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, in the spring of 2019. I would like to thank Nicole Bouché, the Executive Director of the library, for being so accommodating and supportive of my research, Susan Walker, head of Public Services, whose extraordinary expertise helped me unearth superb resources, both visual and textual, from the library’s outstanding collections, Cynthia Roman, curator of Prints, Drawings and Paintings, whose insightful questions and comments made me think in new ways about my work, and Kristen McDonald and Scott Poglitsch, catalogue assistants, for their prompt and professional help in accessing the resources I needed during my fellowship and beyond. I also owe special thanks to Robin Dougherty, expert librarian in Middle East Studies at Sterling Memorial Library, for her useful guidance in the library’s resources.
Our work has benefitted immensely from the expert knowledge of our readers, who contributed their time, ideas, and expertise to make the chapters included in this collection the best they could be. We would like to thank Dr. Ian Almond, from Georgetown University in Qatar, Dr. Keireine Canavan, from Cardiff University, UK, Dr. Kevin McGeough, from University of Lethbridge, Canada, Dr. Emily West, from University of Hawaii Manoa, USA, Dr. John Thabiti Willis, from Carleton College, USA, Dr. Sarina Wakefield, from University of Leicester, UK, and our own colleagues, Dr. Sabrina DeTurk and Dr. Szidonia Haragos, from Zayed University, UAE. Their insightful comments and suggestions for improvement have been invaluable to our contributors during the revision process. Special thanks are owed as well to the two anonymous readers commissioned by Brill to evaluate our book for their attentive, knowledgeable, and very specific feedback on our manuscript.
We would also like to thank Dr. Arnould J.M. Vrolijk, curator at the Oriental Manuscripts and Rare Books Special Collections at the Leiden University Library, who helped us trace the illustration on the cover of this book, and Mohammed Yousif Al Zarouni, curator at The Sharjah Archeology Museum, for his assistance in obtaining permissions for the images used in two of our chapters. The help of our colleagues from Zayed University Library, Dr. Mary Sengati-Zimba, Dr. Judith Mavodza, Mary Jean Bernabe, and Hanin Abueida, has allowed us to promptly acquire the publications we needed and make rapid progress on our work. Their unabated support is highly appreciated.
Last but not least, we would like to express our gratitude to our series editors, Marcus Milwright, Mariam Rosser-Owen, and Margaret Graves, for their prompt guidance during the revision process and for accepting our book in Brill’s Arts and Archeology of the Islamic World series. We also thank Dr. Maurits van den Boogert, Brill’s Publishing Director, for his genuine interest in our work, and Teddi Dols, Brill’s Middle East, Islamic, and African Studies Editor, for her expert and continued help in navigating the complex process of turning our manuscript into a book.