Since receiving his PhD from New
York University in 1982, Yasser Tabbaa has taught Islamic art and architecture
for more than 30 years at several research universities in the US and the
Middle East. Working at the juncture of architecture,
social history, religion, and aesthetics, Tabbaa has written books and articles
on Islamic architecture, ornament, and calligraphy, including Constructions of Power and Piety in Medieval
Aleppo (Penn State Press, 1997) and The
Transformation of Islamic Art during the Sunni Revival (U. Washington Press, 2001). He has also published several articles on
Islamic gardens and poetics. His most recent book is Najaf: The Gate of Wisdom (UNESCO, 2014), and he is currently directing
a similar project on the city and monuments
of Samarra and preparing a book on Shiʿi
In July 2015, Dr. Tabbaa donated his teaching archive to the Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT. The collection can be found here.
Tabbaa, Yasser. 1988. Geometry and Memory in the Design of the Madrasat al-Firdows in Aleppo. In Theories and Principles of Design in the Architecture of Islamic Societies. Margaret Bentley Sevcenko (ed). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture.