23 JANUARY 2018

RSAA Round-up

RSAA Lectures

Wednesday 24 January 1.15pm SCI, 14-15 Belgrave Square, London SW1

Mr Michael Stephens speaks on Prospects for Kurdish Independence in a changing Middle East


Wednesday 7 February 2018 1.15pm SCI, 14-15 Belgrave Square, London SW1.

Mr Jonathan Rider, former project manager for UNESCO at the Bamiyan World Heritage site and RSAA member speaks on:  The Bamiyan Buddha Statues: archaeology, conservation and…reconstruction?

Notice Board

The film of the lecture by Dr Christopher Phillips on The Syria Conflict Today (10 January)  is now on our website for members only.




 Reconsidering the Raj

A lecture series on British India presented by the British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia

Tuesday 6 February

With Havelock at Lucknow 1857: City, Siege and Resistance

Dr Rosie Llewellyn-Jones OBE and Sir Mark Havelock-Allan QC, 5th Baronet of Lucknow and great-great-grandson of General Sir Henry Havelock, analyse the Siege of Lucknow and the attempts to relieve the beleaguered garrison. One of the most dramatic episodes of the Indian Mutiny.

Dr Rosie Llewellyn-Jones is RSAA Archivist and author of The Uprising of 1857

Sir Mark Havelock-Allan is President of BACSA


Tuesday 6 March

Afghanistan: Britain’s Imperial Misadventures

It is often overlooked that Britain’s most recent military involvement in Afghanistan is the fourth in a string of conflicts dating back to the nineteenth century. Determined to safeguard British India’s borders, the British fought three campaigns on Afghan territory between 1838 and 1919. The Anglo-Afghan wars of the 19th and early 20th centuries resulted in some of the worst military calamities ever sustained by the Raj in this part of the world. In the first war alone, a column of 16,000 soldiers and civilians was annihilated on the retreat from Kabul. Jules Stewart’s talk looks at the lack of understanding of Afghanistan and its people that led to disaster and considers the lessons to be learnt.

Jules Stewart is author of On Afghanistan’s Plains, The Savage Border and five other books on Afghanistan and the North West Frontier.


6-8.30pm, Wolfson Conference Room 1, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU

Tickets £7.50 include wine reception (£5 BACSA members) 

Booking online:  http://www.history.ac.uk/events/event/14561


South Asia Institute events: https://us11.campaign-archive.com/?e=&u=4acb3a21a7dd1dca84b435ebc&id=7dc252ac93The Indian Railways and the Theatres of Gandhian Nationalism A talk tomorrow evening (Wednesday 24 January) by Arup K Chatterjee at B104, Brunei Building, SOAS, 5.00 – 7.00pm



Directorate S: The CIA and America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 2001-2016 by Steve Coll, Allen Lane, 784pp, £25

A sequel to Steve Coll’s Ghost Wars, he describes the four stages of America’s Afghan adventure (reviewed by Sherard Cowper-Coles in Saturday’s The Times)


For children, 13+

I Am Thunder and I Won’t Keep Quiet by Muhammad Khan, Macmillan, 304pp, £7.99.

Muhammad Khan, a maths teacher, has said he was inspired to write the book by news reports about 3 teenage girls leaving an east-London school to join Islamic State. He has created a powerful, sophisticated and intensely likeable female narrator in this thrilling novel.


Launch of Exceptional Encounters by Paul Sochaczewski.


“Can an army of orangutan guerillas save the Indonesian rainforest? Why is China creating a retirement haven in the South China Sea for rich despots? What happened when the descendant of the over-sexed first White Rajah of Borneo returned to claim his throne? How did Filipino “love sorcerers” help swing a U.S. election? Can an American pilgrim find enlightenment through carnal escapades? How can Asia’s first “shaman university” repel attacks by rogue black-magic wizards?  And why is Indonesia’s Mermaid Queen really angry and not going to take it anymore?

Exceptional Encounters takes the seeds of true stories and applies the classic fiction writer’s aerobic exercise by asking: What if? These enhanced-reality fabulations draw the reader into tales of just over-the-rainbow Asian kindness, greed, ambition, passion, and dreams.



Tarek Osman’s latest piece Iran – Looking beyond the Protests is at





Finishing on 29 January, an exhibition at the Supreme Court entitled Law and Nationhood: South Asia at 70

https://www.supremecourt.uk/visiting/law-and-nationhood.html for details.


The Collecting in the Clouds exhibition at the RHS Lindley Library, 80 Vincent Square, London SW1 –  this free exhibition closes on 2 March 2018


Plus a free talk entitled ‘Yours and a Crowd’, about George Forest, on the evening of Tuesday 13 February (6pm). Limited places so book your seat via library.london@rhs.org.uk or ring 020 7821 3050. https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/viewevent?EFID=742&ESRC=CMS



Jupiter’s Moon directed by Kornel Mundruczo.

Hungarian drama about a Syrian refugee who gains the ability to fly.




Tuesday 23 January, BBC Two, 9pm. Part 3 of 3. The House of Saud: A Family at War

Also at 9pm, on Viceland channel, the animated film Akira (1988) directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, and based on his best-selling manga comic.

Monty Don’s Paradise Gardens Part 2, BBC Two, Friday 26 January at 9pm. In Turkey, he is dazzled by tulips and in India discovers the spirituality of Indian tomb gardens. Catch up on Part 1, looking at the origins of Paradise Gardens in Spain, Morocco and Iran




Omani hummus and couscous tabbouleh [serves 4]



400g can of chickpeas

2 garlic cloves

¼ tsp ground cumin

2 shakes Tabasco

1 lemon

3 tbsp hot water


For the tabbouleh:

4 vine tomatoes

1 tbsp couscous

50g shallot

½ lemon

75g bunch flat-leaf parsley

25g bunch mint

Arab flatbread to serve


Rub the drained chickpeas in a tea towel to remove the skins (this helps make a really creamy hoummous). Place chickpeas, crushed garlic, cumin, Tabasco, juice from half the lemon, 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper in a food processor. Blitz.  With the motor running, add the rest of the oil and the hot water in a dribble until smooth like custard. Adjust the seasoning and transfer to a bowl.

Place couscous in a mixing bowl and moisten with 1 tbsp boiling water. Place tomatoes in a mixing bowl and cover with boiling water. Count to 30, drain, quarter, peel and scrape the seeds into a sieve over the mixing bowl. Crush the juice from the tomato debris. Add lemon juice. Finely dice the shallot. Add to the couscous with the finely diced tomato, chopped parsley and mint. Mix. Serve with the flat breads.

[Lindsay Bareham ‘Dinner Tonight’ in The Times]




15 JUL


Asia’s Newest Flashpoint? The China-India Line of Actual Control – Michael Kugelman

Where: Online

Tickets: Free

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