The Simurgh—a mythical bird of the Middle East, often equated with the phoenix, represents the longevity and salience of the region’s cultural heritage. The Simurgh Initiative is a digital humanities project that intends to draw awareness to contemporary events and scholarship surrounding the preservation and destruction of cultural heritage in the Middle East and North Africa. Specifically, The Simurgh Initiative addresses the preservation, destruction, and looting of artifacts in Egypt, Syria and Iraq. 

13th Century Ceramic Tile, The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Islamic Art Collection

This website is a multimedia tool that streamlines research in the field, with essays and a resource database for scholars. A glossary of relevant terms and a timeline of the events addressed across these essays provide supplemental information to accommodate all levels of familiarity with these subjects. 

The Simurgh Initiative is the product of a 10-person, cross-departmental team of Susquehanna University students, under the direction of Assistant Professor of History and Adjunct Lecturer of Religious Studies, David Heayn-Menendez. 

Please complete our contact form if you are interested in contributing to The Simurgh Initiative.