Asad Zaman

Asad Zaman, Jennifer C. Groot Memorial Fellowship 2024-2025

Badia Epigraphic Project 2024

Jennifer C. Groot Memorial Fellowship

Ohio State University
Near East and South Asian Languages and Cultures

Asad Zaman is a nontraditional graduate student. He returned to academia in 2018 after graduating from law school and working in discovery services as a licensed attorney for close to a decade. He obtained an MA in Middle Eastern history in 2020 from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he wrote his thesis about how three ancient Arabian goddesses mentioned in the Qur’an (53:19–20) might be traced back to Ishtar. That same year, he decided to attend the Ohio State University to obtain a PhD in Near Eastern studies, where he is now studying the transition in pre-Islamic religious practices in the Arabian Peninsula up to the rise of Islam. Toward this end, he has taken courses with Prof. Ahmad Al Jallad on Safaitic and other ancient North Arabian inscriptions. As the winner of the 2024–2025 Jennifer C. Groot Memorial Fellowship, Asad looks forward to utilizing the skills he has learned in class and applying them to fieldwork during the Badia Epigraphic Survey 2024 (directed by Prof. Al Jallad and Dr. Ali Al Manaser), in which the team will be tasked with documenting epigraphic texts in northeastern Jordan and recording them with their associated GIS data in addition to working on the excavation of a burial installation.

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