Based at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture (AKPIA) is dedicated to the study of Islamic art and architecture, urbanism, landscape design, and conservation - and the application of that knowledge to contemporary design projects.
The goals of the program are to improve the teaching of Islamic art and architecture - to promote excellence in advanced research - to enhance the understanding of Islamic architecture, urbanism, and visual culture in light of contemporary theoretical, historical, critical, and developmental issues - and to increase the visibility of Islamic cultural heritage in the modern Muslim world. Established in 1979, AKPIA is supported by an endowment from His Highness the Aga Khan. AKPIA's faculty, students, and alumni have played a substantial role in advancing the practice, analysis, and understanding of Islamic architecture as a discipline and cultural force.
The Aga Khan Documentation Center in the MIT Libaries (AKDC@MIT) is affiliated with AKPIA, and supports the program through collections acquisition and management, and research assistance.
Salam-Liebich, Hyatt. 1983. The Architecture of the Mamluk City of Tripoli. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture.
Salam-Liebich attempts to thoroughly study Mamluk Tripoli's building program through a systematic analysis of what remains in Tripoli considered in relation to the architectural and decorative elements of medieval monument found elsewhere. Primary and secondary historical materials dealing with the the Muslim world in general and the Fertile Crescent in particular, set the backdrop for this study. But the monuments themselves are the major source material for this study. The absence of coherent architectural descriptions of the caliber found for other cities, for example Cairo, Jerusalem, and Aleppo, archaeological findings are a significant source of information.