Professor Abd Al-Aziz Al-Duri was a prominent Arab scholar of Islamic history, especially Islamic economic history. He authored or co-authored around 20 books and numerous scholarly articles dealing with various economic, cultural and historic aspects of the Islamic civilization. His erudition, originality and clarity of thought gained him wide recognition throughout the Arab and Islamic worlds. Some of his keynote books, such as his illustrious book: The Economic History of Iraq During the 7th Century A.H., were translated into English, German, Turkish and other languages.
Born in Baghdad in 1919 and educated in London, Al-Duri had been teaching Islamic history in Iraq and Jordan for more than half a century. During his tenure in Iraq he became the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Baghdad University, President of the University and subsequently President of the Higher Council of Iraqi Universities. He was also the President of the Iraqi Association of Writers and Authors, and a visiting professor at the American University in Beirut and the School of African and Oriental Studies in London. He was a member of the Iraqi Academy of Science, the Royal Jordanian Academy for Islamic Civilization Research (Aal-Al-Bait Foundation for Islamic Thought) and the Council of Custodians of the Library of Alexandria; he was also an honorary member of the Jordanian Arabic language Academy and a corresponding member of the Arab Language Academies in Cairo and Damascus.
Professor Al-Duri’s distinguished contributions to Islamic economic history were recognized by a number of prestigious awards and honors. In addition to the King Faisal International Prize for Islamic Studies, he was awarded both the Order of Independence (First Class) and the Distinguished Order of Education in Jordan, as well as an Honorary Doctorate degree from Halle-Wittenburg University in Germany, and prizes from the Iraqi Academy of Science, the Center of Islamic History, Arts and Culture, and the Arab League Education, Science and Culture Organization (ALESCO).
A special symposium was organized in his honor by Abdul Hamid Shuman Foundation in Jordan, and his biography was chronicled by the renowned Arab scholar, Ihsan Abbas in a book titled: Abd Al Aziz Al-Duri: A Human, a Historian and a Thinker. Professor Al-Duri died in November, 2010 in Amman, Jordan.