About the Project

Ustadh Mau Digital Archive (UMADA)
Project Grant

Mahmoud Ahmed Abdulkadir, locally known as Ustadh Mau, is an eminent poet and imam from Lamu island, Kenya. His private library houses Swahili Muslim manuscript poetry in ajami, and booklets and memoirs from the Middle East and India. Besides manuscript and print material, his library treasures include audio cassettes of his Friday sermons, delivered since 1986 from the oldest surviving mosque on Lamu. Mau’s Swahili poetry and sermons reflect on education, social justice, morality and piety; his memoirs narrate his thirst for knowledge and his social commitment. The project will enhance accessibility to an important Islamic heritage hub of Swahili intellectual history and poetic production.

Project Leads

  • Annachiara Raia, Leiden University (Netherlands)
  • Mahmoud Ahmed Abdulkadir (Kenya)

Host Institution

Leiden University African Studies Center

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