The topic chosen for the first edition was Early Sufism between Baghdad and Khorasan and Later Developments in taṣawwuf. The activities of the school explored the foundations of core ideas and fundamental principles in Islamic Spirituality, as originally conceived within the schools of Baghdad and Khorasan, and their relevance for the understanding of subsequent conceptual developments throughout the history of Sufism. The school was hosted by the Tijani Zawiya in Tamacine, in the heart of the Algerian desert, local partner and co-organizer of the school.
Three kinds of activities were offered:
• Frontal lectures on the key topics of that year’s edition;
• Workshops based on readings and discussions of primary sources on different aspects ofearly Sufism. A selection of these texts was then forwarded to the participants.
• Presentations and discussions of students’ research projects.
The town of Tamacine is situated in South-East Algeria, about 20 km from Touggourt. Founded around 782 A.D. by the Righa families of the Berber tribes of Zenata, it developed around a ksar fortified around a palm grove of several hectares and – uniquely – on a bed of palm trees reaching a eight of eight metres in places. The Zawiya was founded at the end of the 19th century, under the leadership of Sidi Hadj Ali Tamacini. Today the Zawiya, held by Sidi Muhammed Laid Tidjani Tamacini, is considered to be one of the great spiritual centres of the Tijaniyya brotherhood. Thousands of pilgrims converge here every year.