Yara completed her Ethnomusicology Masters dissertation entitled ‘Pioneers of Change: The Case of Munira al-Mahdiyya’ at SOAS, University of London in 2017. Her working doctoral title is 'Cultural Politics of Tarab: Music and Social Change during Egypt’s Nahda'. She is an Ertegun scholar working under the supervision of Professors Marilyn Booth and Walter Armbrust at the Oriental Institute, Oxford. She recently was awarded the 2020 British Forum of Ethnomusicology Fieldwork Prize.
Yara's research looks at music-making and listening practices of urban Egyptian society from the mid-19th to the early 20th century. Against the backdrop of the Nahda or 'Arab renaissance' and the early recording era, she investigates the musical 'wasla', the concept of tarab and its practitioners, asking how these both reflected and influenced social change and popular attitudes to nation and modernity. Her research focuses in particular on Munira al-Mahdiyya's contribution to the this transformational period through her life and music.
General interests: Arab musical practices- historic and contemporary; Arab cultural and intellectual history; Ottoman Egypt; the Nahda (Renaissance)
April 2019 - Research Seminar 'Oxford Maqam Project', Music Department, Australian National University
October 2017 - ‘The Oxford Maqam Project’, Postcolonial Seminar Series, English Department, University of Kent, UK
March 2017 - 'Egypt’s Living Heritage: Community Engagement in Recreating the Past’, Makan Egyptian Centre for Culture and Arts, Cairo, Egypt
November 2016 - ‘Recording with a Phonograph,’ Middle East and Central Asia Music Forum, City University, London
February 2016 - ‘Recording with a Phonograph’, Uludağ Üniversitesi Devlet Konservatuvarı, Bursa, Turkey