Interview with Dr Alice Hunsberger

7th November 2007
Publication: Nasir Khusraw, The Ruby of Badakhshan: A Portrait of the Persian Poet, Traveller and Philosopher
Author: Dr Alice C Hunsberger
Questions addressed in the interview:
1. What prompted you to write a book on Nasir Khusraw? What aspect of his life and writings interest you the most?

2. What were the circumstances which prompted Nasir Khusraw’s journey to Cairo and conversion to the Ismaili way of Islam?

3. What is distinctive about Nasir Khusraw’s Safarnama as compared to the travelogues written by his contemporaries?

4. Your book provides readers with a good account of Ismaili thought during the Fatimid period. What do you think are the more interesting aspects of Nasir Khusraw’s philosophy?

5. Nasir Khusraw placed a lot of importance on knowledge and each person’s duty to strive to attain it. How did he convey this in his poetry and philosophical writings?

6. An important theme in your book is the way in which Nasir Khusraw’s inner life was manifested in his external life. How does this impact his writing?

7. What do you see as the legacy and significance of Nasir Khusraw’s writings and teachings for people today?
Are you conducting any further research work on Nasir Khusraw?