In the future a section of this website will be populated with some information on research related projects. But for the moment I will briefly introduce a few of them .
- Currently the most prominent project both in regards to time and effort dedicated to it, is the writing (well, I still have to start with the actual writing) of a PhD thesis on the production of public places and public spaces through collective action in late Ottoman Damascus.
- Becoming a digital historian
- Persuading numerous libraries and archives around the world to engage in the crowd sourcing of Arabic newspapers from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The ultimate goal is to set up an online repository of these extremely valuable sources that is open to public access. Currently one has to fly thousands of miles to access microfilm copies and historians earn merit just for doing exactly that. Instead of posing interesting analytical questions one digs through thousands of newspaper pages without an index or any other search tool.
- Designing and developing a research database application that is tailored to the historians needs. This should include a fully relational database of events, persons, and places that plays nicely with reference managers such as zotero for referencing the still indispensable sources without organising and accessing the data solely through a source-based hierarchy. It should further provides graphical representations of densities (i.e. automatic timelines of whichever set of events you choose), tag clouds, geographical distribution etc.