Ground Floor Display – International Day of Happiness

Put a smile on your face with one of the items from our new themed display for the International Day of Happiness.

The display is located outside the library elevators on the ground floor.

Featured Researcher – Dr. Matteo Salvadore, CAS

The library is pleased to feature the influential and cutting-edge work of our AUS faculty researchers. In a newly launched library series, faculty from across the schools discuss their work and areas of research focus.

AUS Featured Researcher: Dr. Matteo Salvadore, Assistant Professor – International Studies, CAS

image of Dr. Matteo SalvadoreMy long-lasting passion for history can be traced back to growing up around my father’s vast home library and to a remarkable high school history teacher. My specific interest in African history developed during both my undergraduate years at the Università di Bologna and an eye-opening volunteering experience in Zimbabwe. Later, in graduate school, I initially pursued modern Ethiopia and Italian Colonialism, but I quickly redirected my focus to the early modern period. I spent the last decade contributing to the study of African-European exchanges by writing accounts of Ethiopian travelers to Renaissance Europe, and the European presence in early modern Ethiopia.

The protagonists of these transcultural exchanges are what some scholars call elite Africans as a way of contrasting their experience of freedom, and in some cases of power and privilege, with that of millions of Africans victimized by the slave trade. The historiography of the African diaspora has seen tremendous growth in the past decades, but development is uneven, and there is a lot more work to be done on elite Africans. Most of my work spans from the first contacts between Ethiopians and Europeans, in the early 1400s, to the disastrous Jesuit mission to Ethiopia in the early 1600s.

What binds together the stories I have told are two fundamental contentions. While skin color was emerging as a paramount marker of otherness used to justify ignominious practices, in Renaissance Europe, Ethiopians related to their interlocutors as peers by virtue of a shared religious identity, and in some cases gained positions of considerable power. Furthermore, as Ethiopians ventured into Europe and shared valuable geopolitical knowledge with their hosts, they contributed to what is known as the Age of Exploration. With my work, and my monograph in particular, I joined a growing group of historians who have been arguing that the Age of Exploration should be regarded as a composite rather than an exclusively European phenomenon.

Writing history is about telling a story, and good history can be more engaging than fiction: when I write, I strive to contribute to the scholarly debate, but also keep the reader awake! Historians are lonely world-builders: they spend most of their time in solitude, having imaginary conversations with people who are long dead, trying to figure out what they did and thought, while seeking to recreate worlds that no longer exist.

It takes quite a bit of imagination, but also confidence and discipline. The first I’ve always had, and the second I owe to my advisor who barely supervised me, claiming that I was better off finding out right away whether I could be a scholar capable of self-direct research. That’s not what most graduate students want to hear, but I can see how it was a turning point as he forced me to come to terms with my insecurities. The third I developed in Kuwait shortly after graduating, courtesy of a remarkable colleague and a tiny little book: they made me realize that writing is no different than exercising. Every day you can find a boundless list of excuses not to write, but if you persist, it becomes a habit first, and eventually a physiological need. So far, I have single-authored about four hundred thousand words worth of scholarship: I cannot wait to reach a million!

Library tour iPad mini winner announced!

Congratulations to Eleen Diabat! She is the lucky winner of a new iPad mini from the new student library tour prize drawing.

Thank you to all who participated.

Good luck to the new AUS students!

Featured Researcher – Dr. Nuha Alshaar, CAS

The library is pleased to feature the influential and cutting-edge work of our AUS faculty researchers. In a newly launched library series, faculty from across the schools discuss their work and areas of research focus.

AUS Featured Researcher: Dr. Nuha Alshaar, Assistant Professor – Arabic & Translation Studies, CAS

Ideas often take on a life of their own and crystallize in ways that we do not always anticipate. This is equally true of future plans, books, and life! I came to academia and to Arabic studies out of interest in having a degree that will allow me to become a journalist, but my interest in Arabic literature grew during my undergraduate days and I found myself wanting to pursue postgraduate studies in classical Arabic literature in order to explore further its richness and humanistic depth.

image of Dr. Nuha Alshaar studying a manuscript in Bibliothèque Nationale de France in ParisAfter finishing my BA in Arabic Literature, I moved to the UK as a fresh graduate to continue my academic journey. I found myself diving in a sea of knowledge when I began my Post Graduate Program in Islamic Studies and Humanities at the Institute of Isma‘ili Studies in London. This led me to do an MA in Asian and African History at SOAS, University of London, followed by an MPhil and a PhD from the University of Cambridge in Arabic Studies.

So far, I have been interested in looking at the system of knowledge that shaped the development of Arabic thought, and in exploring its relation to religion and the Qurʾan, theology, and Greek philosophical traditions. Although, some scholars tend to think that most Arabic thought in the classical period is a reproduction of Greek ideas, my research shows the originality of Arabic thought and the tendency of Muslim scholars, especially in the fourth/tenth century of Islam to embrace different forms of knowledge. In my book, Ethics in Islam: Friendship in the Political Thought of Abu Hayyan al-Tawḥīdī and his Contemporaries (Routledge 2015), I discussed the complex influences that shaped ethical and socio-political thought in the early period of Islam. Using various disciplines (history, literary criticism and sociology), I analyzed the concept of ṣadāqa (friendship) of al-Tawḥīdī, an important litterateur and philosopher of the fourth century of Islam.

I was fascinated by al-Tawḥīdī’s definition of friendship, which has four key components: affinity of the soul (mumāzaja nafsiyya), intellectual friendship (sadāqa ‘aqliyya), natural assistance (musā‘ada tabī‘iyya), and moral unanimity (muwātāt khuluqiyya). Trust is also a fundamental component in forming friendship. It triggers emotional and rational attention in the friends to love the good for each other, and secures tranquility. Attention, in this context, plays a major part in the formation of this form of loyalty, since ṣadāqa includes the meanings of ‘to listen attentively’, and ‘to be truthful’ to a friend, which are essential parts of a process of peace and healing of the soul of the friends. This is why al-Tawḥīdī attempted to promote the value of friendship in politics and as a virtue that transcends religious zeal in society.

My book has been reviewed by Professor Eric Ormsby from Freie Universitȁt Berlin who highlighted the excellence and originality of the research in this book (appeared in Journal of Philosophy East and West).

2016-2017 was a good year for me. I received the College of Arts and Sciences, AUS, Award for Excellence in Research [Humanities and Social Sciences], and my edited volume “the Qur’an and Adab: the Shaping of Literary Traditions in Classical Islam” to which I contributed two lengthy chapters was published (Oxford University Press, 2017). For a long time I have felt the need to explore how the Qur’an has been received in a broader context. Too often, the scholarly focus is on Qur’anic commentaries, which has prevented the Qur’an from being examined more fully in other forms of literature and cultural media. This made me aware of the need to rethink the relation of scripture (the Qur’an) to humanistic traditions in classical Islam, in this case adab. Adab has generally been classified as belles-lettres, but this disconnects it from the body of religious literature/its inherent religiosity. This volume demonstrates how the Qur’an in fact shaped the concept of adab and illustrates the religious aesthetic found in different types of adab works – poetry, literary criticism, epistles, oratory, anthologies, ‘mirrors for princes’, folklore and mystical/Sufi literature.

I am happy that this book is well received and scholars in the field, such as Professor Asma Afsaruddin of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at Indiana University describes it as “a rich and eminently readable collection of articles. The volume will be a welcome addition to Qur’anic studies as well as literary studies….”

I like to travel and stay active in research. In the last five years, I presented my research at various international conferences, including, the AUS and the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies collaborative conference; the British Association of Islamic Studies, the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales of Paris, the American University of Beirut, and the American Oriental Society.

In 2014, I was elected to the Arab-German Young Academy of Science and Humanities (AGYA), and since then I continue to be an active member of this academy. I obtained funding from the academy and organized conferences in Palermo, Italy, and in Salala, Oman. I also take part in other conferences organized by my colleagues in AGYA.

Honoring AUS Library’s Student Assistants – Fall 2017

This year the library recognizes five graduating library student assistants who have worked tirelessly to provide ongoing support to you our users working throughout the semester, in the evenings and on weekends too.

Following tradition – as graduating student assistants having worked with us for 4 or more semesters, and honored recipients of the AUS Library’s Student Assistant Recognition Program, each has selected a book which now contains their name inscribed on a book-plate. This is only one small, but lasting reminder of the contribution each student has made to the AUS Library. We thank each of you for your service!

We asked each student to reflection on their time spent working in the library and the skills they each have gained.

Shadia Abdalla Salum

Book Selection: A Thousand Splendid Suns Call Number: PS3608.O832 T56 2007

“As a student assistant, I have learnt to communicate effectively with patrons. In addition, I learnt how to manage my time between studying and working. The experience has also taught me a lot about the work environment so that later on when I start working I will not be overwhelmed by the transition from the student world to the working world.”

Hamza Ahmed Badawy

Book Selection: The Secret Call Number: BF639 .B97 2006

“I decided to join the library as a Student Assistant, five semesters ago and can proudly say that, working in the library has helped me improve my time management skills. Working in the library has also improved my interpersonal skills such as communication, work ethics, etiquette, and team work.”

Md Shahrookh Shahid

Book Selection: Oliver Twist Call Number: PR4567 .A1 2008

“I have become punctual working in the library and I improved my interaction skills by communicating with patrons. Also, I have acquired goal-oriented skills to finish given tasks on time.”

Waleed Qureshi

Book Selection: Engineering Fundamentals of the Internal Combustion Engine Call Number: TJ785 .P78 2004

“Working in the library has taught me numerous things – from the attitude required in helping patrons, to troubleshooting technical issues. However, the best thing I believe this experience has taught me is that it is okay to not know everything; there will be a learning process and asking questions, whenever in doubt, is the initial step to excel. As I have learned, a positive attitude towards colleagues goes a long way.”

Alhassan Hamad

Book Selection: رحلة ابن بطوطة Call Number: G370 .I2 2010

“Working in the library has been very beneficial to me.  I have spent seven semesters assisting students with all of their technical issues. Interacting with different types of students, different cultures, nationalities and personalities has made me more patient and attentive.  I have also acquired time management skills. Lastly, I have got to know amazing people whether they were library staff or student assistants that I would not have befriended if I did not apply to work in this marvelous institution!”

Interested in working as a student assistant in the library?

You can find out more about the library’s Student Assistant Program here:

Pictured below with the University Librarian Daphne Flanagan are (from left to right):
Waleed Qureshi, Md Shahrookh Shahid, Shadia Abdall Salum, Alhassan Hamad and Hamza Badawy.

Waleed Qureshi, Md Shahrookh Shahid, University Librarian Daphne Flanagan, Shadia Abdall Salum, Alhassan Hamad and Hamza Badawy stand in front of a bookshelf in the library

Help! My links are broken!

Over the past year, the library has moved to a new ezproxy system and has replaced links using the old system with ones using the new system. The old system has now reached its end of life, so you may encounter a broken link or two in iLearn, EndNote Web or wherever else you have saved links. If you do, hopefully the steps in this post will help you get where you were trying to go.

Ultimately, links should NOT contain
Links SHOULD contain

If you’re having trouble with links in WorldCat that don’t link where they should, check out this libguide instead: Troubleshooting Broken Article Links.

If you have any trouble following the explanations in this post, please don’t hesitate to email the link you’re trying to access to with a note that it’s a broken link and where you got it from, and we will do our best to help you fix it.

To start fixing the link giving you trouble, bring up the URL you’re trying to access. Either right-click the link you’re trying to follow, select copy link, and paste the link somewhere you can read it; or, click on the link and look at the URL you land on.

Does your URL contain the word ezproxy anywhere?


If it does, it’s trying to use the old EZProxy and will likely break.

Fix: Replace with



* This specific link is likely still broken, read on to our next common issue to fix it.

Does your URL have the EZProxy embedded in the middle?


If it does, the new proxy service doesn’t recognize the link’s validity. The link may have been copied and pasted from a browser’s URL bar rather than finding the permalink on the webpage.

Fix: Take the or out from the middle of the URL and add to the beginning of your link. Be sure there are no spaces accidentally included in the final result before trying the link.



Does your URL contain a bunch of random letters or any of these: sid=, sessionmgr, sessionid, or the word session anywhere at all?


If so, this link was copied and pasted from the browser’s URL bar when there was a permalink available. Session IDs are single-use tokens that can’t be transferred between people, computers, or browsers. Always look for this icon on the page when you want to link to something that has a session ID in its URL:

Fix: There’s no easy fix for this one, but if the URL includes an “AN=” this can point you to the right item. In this case you could go to EBSCOHost directly and use advanced search to search for the AN (Accession Number) 48736757.

Otherwise, putting the database code and accession code from the broken link into this template should create a working version of the link:[DATABASE CODE]&AN=[ACCESSION NUMBER]&site=ehost-live

DATABASE CODE: In the broken URL, this follows “db=” and ends at the next &. It should be 3-5 lowercase letters. In the example provided, this would be “bth”. See where I’ve highlighted in blue?

ACCESSION NUMBER: In the broken URL, this follows “AN=” and is often the last variable in the URL. If it is not the last variable, it will also end at the next &. It should be an 8 digit number. In the example provided, this would be 48736757. See where I’ve highlighted in red?



I hope you’ve reached the book or article you were trying to link to. If not, please send your broken link and a small explanation of where you got it and where you were expecting it to go to and we will do our best to connect you with the resource you were trying to reach.

Featured Researcher – Seth Thompson, CAAD

The library is pleased to feature the influential and cutting-edge work of our AUS faculty researchers. In a newly launched library series, faculty from across the schools discuss their work and areas of research focus.

AUS Featured Researcher: Seth Thompson, Associate Professor – Art & Design, CAAD

Much of my research and practice focuses on the re-presentation and interpretation of visual culture and heritage using panoramic imaging and hypermedia systems. Media art history with special emphasis on the panorama plays a critical role in this investigation.

image of Seth Thompson smilingWhile the word “panorama” has become commonplace—evoking such ideas as sublime vistas—it should be noted that when the word was invented in the late 18th century, its usage was much more restricted, referring to a unique purpose-built structure containing a large 360-degree painting, constructed to create an illusion of standing in the middle of a place and/or event. The themes for the panorama have ranged from re-presenting locations such as Paris, Rome and Constantinople to events such as the Battle of Waterloo and the Battle of Gettysburg. Conceived as a commercial endeavor to both entertain and educate the general public, a goal of the painted panorama has been to create an immersive environment that reproduced the real world with such skill that viewers would have difficulty distinguishing between “reality” and illusion. In a sense, this invention by Robert Barker is a 19th century version of virtual reality, but using the technology and tools of its time.

Of particular interest to me is Virtual Reality (VR) Panoramic Photography, which I define as the science, art and practice of creating interactive and navigable immersive 360-degree screen-based images, usually depicting a place and/or event. As part of my endeavors, I am interested in creating a history for VR panoramic photography—establishing it as an artistic medium—not only in relation to the development of illusion and immersion, but its content, so that those who are working within VR panoramic photography are not “reinventing the wheel” and a greater critical discourse may take place as this medium develops.

Recently, I was elected President of the International Panorama Council (IPC), a Swiss-based non-government and not-for-profit international organization committed to supporting the heritage and conservation of the few existing panoramas dating from the 19th and early 20th centuries, and the promotion of knowledge and awareness of the panorama, including its current relevance and development. Since its founding in 1992, annual conferences have been held worldwide offering intense encounters that connect the past, present and future of the panorama phenomenon. IPC also publishes books, a journal and a newsletter.

The opportunity to serve as the President of the International Panorama Council allows me to not only facilitate efforts in the promotion, preservation and interpretation of the panorama and its related forms, but enables me to consider the future of panoramic imaging for cultural heritage purposes by looking at its past and present—empowering me to consider what changes, what doesn’t and what’s next in the quest for creating and delivering immersive narrative experiences that encourage enriching personal and cultural exchanges with the re-representation and interpretation of heritage.

Changes to ILLiad

A CAPTCHA has been added to the login page on the ILLiad (InterLibrary Loan) system. The CAPTCHA requires users to type a series of numbers to gain access to the ILLiad site.

CAPTCHA technology is used to block spammers and bots from attempting to bombard the ILLiad site with fake requests.

If you have any trouble with the new login page, let us know. We will continue to take Interlibrary loan requests via email at if you’re not able to use the form.

Vincent Mani – AUS Pioneer

Vincent Mani celebrates his 20th year with AUS

Vincent Mani celebrates his 20th year with AUS

Congratulations to AUS Library staff member Vincent Mani who this year, marks 20 years of service to the American University of Sharjah. Vincent and 18 other pioneers were presented with a certificate of appreciation and a gift from the Chancellor at the university’s recent 20th anniversary celebrations on October 4th.

Vincent began work at AUS as an Office Attendant and has worked for a number of departments over the years including Admissions and Registration. He joined the AUS Library in 2003 as Library Clerk and has been with us ever since. Vincent is recognized as an enthusiastic and committed member of the library team. He works closely with Student Assistants and is responsible for making sure all returned items make it back to the shelves as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Congratulations Vincent and thank you for all your hard work and years of service to AUS.

-AUS Library Team.

The Library wishes AUS a happy 20th Anniversary!

The librarians and staff of the library are happy to celebrate the 20th anniversary of AUS alongside the rest of the campus community.

Vincent, on the ground (center-left) in the picture below, was also honored as an AUS Pioneer at the Anniversary celebration kick-off on October 4th for having worked here since the beginning back in 1997.

Red carpet image of several AUS Librarians and Library Staff

Thank you one and all, and here’s to many more anniversaries to come!

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