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Gasim Zada - Researcher in Islamic Studies - Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Nariman Gasim Zada

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA


Researcher in Islamic Studies


In September 2012, Dr. Gasimoglu began a fellowship at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, where he is expanding his most recent work on “Commonalities between the Bible and the Koran from Ecotheological Perspectives”. He was previously awarded a fellowship in 2007 at the Central European University in Budapest that allowed him to conduct research on “The Koran in Non-Arabic Languages: Linguistic and Theological Challenges” and to revise the first-ever Azeri translation of the Qur’an.

After earning a Ph.D. in the Modern Political History of the Middle East from the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Oriental Sciences in 1986, Dr. Gasimoglu quickly established himself as a preeminent analyst on Islamic thought and practice in the post-Soviet states, publishing widely on topics ranging from comparative theology to Palestinian political history in books, academic journals, and magazines. A colleague at the University of Baku lauds him as “one of the best, if not the best, Koranic scholar in the former Soviet Union” and “one of the very few barriers preventing the spread of fundamentalism in southern Russia and in Central Asia.”

Dr. Gasimoglu has taught Arabic and Qur’anic studies at several Azerbaijani institutions of higher education, including Khazar University, the Higher Diplomatic College, and Baku State University. His international academic experience includes a Fulbright research fellowship at California State University Northridge, and a visiting professorship at Georgetown University’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, as well as participation in academic conferences in Europe, Central Asia, and North and South America.

Work History

Harvard University

From September 2012

Visiting Scholar

Harvard University, Cambridge, U.S.A.

From September 2012

Focus: Islam and Politics, eco-theology, Islam in post-soviet countries

Fulbright Research Fellow

California State University, Northridge, USA

January 2010 - June 2010

Focus:“Commonalities in Bible and Koran From Eco-Theology Perspectives”

Visiting Scholar

Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

January 2007 - June 2007

Focus: “The Koran in Non-Arabic Languages:Linguistic and Theological Challenges” and work on second version of Koranic translation in Azeri

Fulbright Research Fellow

Muslim-Christian Understanding Center, Georgetown University, USA

October 2003 - June 2004

Focus: “Muslim Nations Adaptation Challenges in the Globalization Processes”


Universities in Azerbaijan

Teaching Arabic language and Koranic studies - off and on

Qualifications & Certifications


Institute of Oriental Sciences, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow

Honor Master's degree,

Baku State University, Baku, Azerbaijan

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