• Finalist, Random House Creative Writing Award, 2009-2010 and 2010-2011.
• Finalist, Marina Nemat Award 2012

Works in Progress

Drinking the Ocean. An excerpt from the piece was nominated for the 2009-2010 Random House Creative Writing Award as well as the 2012 Marina Nemat Award.

Literary Publications

Poetry in the UC Review 2003-2004, "Timid".

Short story: "Under Frozen Soil". Descant 162 ("Masala"). Fall 2013.

Academic Publications

"The 'Caliphate Question': British Views and Policy toward Pan-Islamic Politics and the End of the Ottoman Caliphate". The American Journal of the Islamic Social Sciences (24:4).

Abstract: This paper examines British approaches to the caliphate from the beginning of the First World War to its dissolution in 1924. Background will be given as to how the Islamic conception of the caliphate shifted over time. It also examines British use of the caliphate as a political tool in the nineteenth century. The primary focus will be on British suggestions of an Arab caliphate during the First World War, the support of which would later cause significant agitation and concern for imperial stability in India. Fear of Indo-Muslim opinion would greatly influence British policy on the Ottoman Empire in the post-bellum period. With the creation of the Turkish Republic and the subsequent disestablishment of the caliphate, Hussein ibn Ali, a key participant in the Arab revolt, would officially announce his claim to the title based on his interpretation of British support. The United Kingdom's foreign policy establishment, which strove to avoid suggestions of complicity lest further anti-British activity be encouraged in India, eventually contributed to Hussein's downfall. While historical, the paper does examine the contemporary relevance of imperialist pretensions in the Islamic world. The relationship between ideological Islamic movements and imperialist foreign policy concerns and the role of the West in creating unexpected political mobilization in the Islamic world was as significant in the first quarter of the twentieth century as it is now.


Article for the London School of Economics' student magazine, The Script entitled "Liberalism, Tolerance, and the Satanic Cartoons".

From the introduction: "The Danish cartoons incident is probably one which most people would understandably want to forget. It seemed to have brought out nothing but mutual hostility between Muslims and the West, and was certainly considered an international relations disaster for Denmark. For many in the West, time seemed to be repeating itself: like the Satanic Verses controversy,
Muslims seemed once again at odds with Western values and freedoms. For many Muslims, the cartoons seemed to show nothing more than a bigoted, anti-Islamic streak in Western society. It may seem that bringing up old wounds might be inappropriate; yet in a continent constantly trying to fixate the position of Muslims as either intrinsically foreign or capable of integration, discussing the crisis is necessary as it showcases a flaw in European liberalism that may preclude any meaningful dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslims. As deplorable as the angry, intemperate, and often violent attitudes of many Muslims were, the cartoons and their supporters did not display any greater sophistication. Despite the claims of the many of the cartoon’s supporters that they were fighting against a form of religious totalitarianism, they were, either consciously or unconsciously, supporting an all-toghether different form of narrow-mindedness."


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© Saad Omar Khan, 2008-2012