The Hilali Epic Project


ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowships


Religious Studies


The primary goal of this proposal is to establish a permanent website to house recordings, texts, and translations of the Arabic oral epic poem, "Sirat Bani Hilal", along with secondary documentation such as photographs, maps, and links to relevant electronic publications. The goal of this project goes beyond the simple preservation of these materials, however, and seeks to use the internet's "secondary orality" to create "virtual performances" that will allow scholars, students and the general public to access synchronized displays of original sound recordings and the Arabic and/or English texts so that they can both listen to and comprehend traditional peformances of oral epic poetry. No other sizeable example of epic poetry in the world is available in this manner.