Hermann von Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik

Zentralinstitut der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Alia Mossallam


Guest researcher Sound Archive
Phone: –
Email: aliamossallam@gmail.com

Alia Mossallam is interested in songs that tell stories and stories that tell of popular struggles behind the better-known events that shape world history. For her PhD she researched a popular history of Nasserist Egypt through the stories and experiences of the popular resistance in Port Said (1956) and Suez (1967-1974) and the construction of the Aswan High Dam through the experiences of its builders and the Nubian communities displaced by it. She makes an argument for the significance of songs as both history and historiography.
In her interest to making her research accessible to wider publics in various formats (visual, lyrical and musical), she has tried her hand at playwriting with David Grieg, Hassan El-Geretly, Laila Soliman and has written her first short-story “Rawi” with 60 Pages. She strove to create more spaces for history-telling through the site-specific public history project “Ihky ya Tarikh”, in Aswan, Port Said, Alexandria and historical neighborhoods in Cairo. Within institutional (but no less experimental) frameworks, she has taught at the American University in Cairo, CILAS, and the Freie Universität in Berlin.
Alia Mossallam is currently a EUME Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. As a Visiting Scholar at the Lautarchiv, she has also started a new project researching the experiences of Egyptian workers on the various fronts of World War I through the songs and memoires that recount their struggles. Some of her writings can be found in The Journal of Water History, The History Workshop Journal, Jadaliyya, Ma’azif, Bidayat and Mada Masr.
From August 2020 to March 2021 Alia Mossallam is a guest researcher at the Sound Archive.