Al-Saidy holds a PhD degree in manuscript editing from Abdelmalek Essaâdi University, Tetouan, and teaches at the Faculty of Sharia, Ibn Zohr University, Agadir, Morocco. He published a number of books, including: Ibn Nasser Catalogue, introduction and editing, Beirut, 2005; Hadith Licenses and Connected Narrations, Ahmad bin Mohammad Shaeri, introduction and referencing, Beirut, 2007; Sous: History, Culture and Society, Casablanca, 2011; Cataloguing of Sheikh Mohammad bin Ali Al-Werzazi, introduction and editing, Tetouan, 2012; Anthology of Sous Writers, by Mohammad Al-Mukhtar Al-Soussi, study and editing, Beirut, 2017; and Mamluk Manuscripts in Moroccan Libraries, Arab Institute of Manuscripts, Cairo, 2018.
Al-Saidy published articles and papers in refereed journals and participated in conferences in Morocco and abroad, including: the “Manuscripts and Conflict” Conference, organized by the Islamic Manuscript Association at Magdalene College, University of Cambridge, 31 August – 2 September 2014; a symposium titled “Nazwa: History and Civilization” National Records and Archives Authority, Muscat, 2-4 November 2015; a symposium titled “Arabian Nights: Sources, Evolution, and Relation to Literature, Arts and Sciences”, INALCO, Paris 9-11 December 2015; and a conference titled “the Problem of Methodology in Literature, Criticism and Linguistic Studies”, University of Yarmouk, Jordan, 18-20 July 2017.
He is a member in academic associations such as the History of Thought in Islamic Disciplines Lab, Faculty of Sharia, Agadir; the Islamic Manuscript Association (TIMA) in Cambridge; and the Moroccan Association for Andalusian Studies, Tetouan.
Paper Abstract: Arabic-Script Berber Manuscripts in Morocco: Cataloguing and Publication
This paper will cover two important aspects:
- Cataloguing: this includes cataloguing Berber manuscripts in Morocco, analysing outputs and methods of completed catalogues, and commenting on them. Covered catalogues include the Arabic and Berber Manuscripts Catalogue of King Abdulaziz Al Saud Foundation, Casablanca (2005), the Berber Manuscripts Catalogue of the National Library in Rabat (2015), the Guidebook to Berber Manuscripts and Documents, Royal Institute of Berber Culture (2015), and the Catalogue of the Berber Manuscripts in the Library of Leiden by Nico van den BOOGERT, Leiden, (2002).
- Publication: due to academic and cultural reasons, the recent years saw a surge in the publication of Berber manuscripts in Morocco. Many books were edited, using contemporary methods of editing, and published in the fields of theology (Quran interpretation, Hadiths, faith, jurisprudence, Sufism, etc.), literature (poetry, travel journals, stories, proverbs, etc.), languages (dictionaries), and history (news bulletins and periodicals). The paper will shed light on these Berber publications both quantitatively, by counting and evaluating them, and qualitatively, by analysing the methods in which they were edited and studied. These manuscripts can be divided into two categories: 1) original Berber works, and 2) translated works from Arabic to Berber. The second category includes many works, and is referred to by Sous scholars in southern Morocco as “Mushallahat”, meaning works written in Sous Berber.
It is to be noted that a lot needs to be done in terms of cataloguing Arabic-script Berber manuscripts in Morocco, as the catalogues mentioned above cover only a small part of Berber works, and the larger part of those works are unknown, lost or hidden in private libraries (individuals, scholar families, schools, zawiyas, etc.). In addition, in terms of editing, no guidebook or manual is available yet to guide editors on how to edit and publish these works or study their codicology. These are issues that need to be considered to come up with suitable solutions.