Students at Cairo University study writings of Adj. Prof. H. Masud Taj

February 11, 2022

Master’s students in the Department of English Language and Literature at Cairo University in Egypt studied the architectural writings of Adjunct Professor H. Masud Taj last fall. 


The course, taught by Professor Dalia Elshayal, was Literature and the Arts, with Literature and Architecture as one segment. 


“Masud Taj is a multi-talented human being with a very sharp vision,” said Elshayal. “Being an architect and a poet as well as a calligrapher fitted perfectly well the aim of my course through  which literature meets other art forms. Students found his work to be challenging yet enjoyable, and it opened a whole new world to them.”

The writings studied by the ten students were: 

1.  Window 

2. Three Shores of the Cube 

3. Domain Of Inbetween 

4. Rectangles are Relationships 

5.  Embassy of Liminal Spaces 

6. Jalebi & The Knot Of Sacred Architecture 

7. Dragonfly 

8. The Cockroach of Memory 

9. Father Taught Me To Teach 


The seminar culminated with a three-hour Zoom session with Taj on December 29, 2021, during which the students focused on his essay, Three Shores of the Cube. 


“Having read Masud Taj’s work, the students naturally felt the need to hear some responses from the author himself,” said Elshayal. “They have tremendously enjoyed the exchange and described their meeting with him as illuminating and intense.”  


The essay appears in the preface of Three Cubes of Perception, a 2015 book by Jason Freedman, an alumnus of the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism. 


It was also featured in Building 22 Edition 15 and can be accessed here: 


The Domain of Inbetween is in Taj’s book Nari Gandhi, available in the Special Collections at Carleton University’s MacOdrum Library and in the Barbara A. Humphreys Reading Room in the Architecture Building.