Dr. Shainool Jiwa
Head of Constituency Studies Research Unit
Area of focus:
  1. Ismaili History and Thought
  2. Fatimids


Dr Shainool Jiwa is the Head of Constituency Studies at The Institute of Ismaili Studies. Prior to this, she was the Head of the Department of Community Relations from 2005 to 2012. She was also the founding coordinator of the Qur’anic Studies Project at the IIS (2002-2005). Dr Jiwa is a specialist in Fatimid history, having completed her Master’s degree from McGill University and her doctorate from the University of Edinburgh. As a senior faculty member, Dr Jiwa teaches on the IIS graduate programmes (GPISH & STEP) and contributes to the development of the IIS Secondary Curriculum.

Dr Jiwa is a member of the Board of Governors for Edinburgh Napier University. She has been involved with the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) since 1998 and has been their Chief Examiner for Islamic History since 2001. Prior to joining the IIS, she worked as a counsellor and manager for Saheliya, a mental health project for Edinburgh’s ethnic minority women. She was appointed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1998 as a part-time Commissioner for the Mental Welfare Commission in Scotland, leading to a listing in Who’s Who in Scotland, where she continues to be noted since its 2000 publication.

Dr Jiwa has written several journal articles, chapters and books. Her latest publication, The Fatimids: The Rise of a Muslim Empire, is a World of Islam series title, for which she also serves as the series General Editor. She is also the co-editor of The Shi‘i World: Pathways in Tradition and Modernity (2015), and The Fatimid Caliphate: Diversity of Traditions (2017). She has also edited and translated key medieval Arabic texts relating to Fatimid history, including Towards a Shi‘i Mediterranean Empire (2009) and The Founder of Cairo (2013).