This is a collaborative site where people can share and discuss historical texts from (or related to) South Asia. At the moment, we’re still getting going, but the hope is to have a friendly and active community of people working in a variety of languages and interested in a range of topics and eras.
Many of us have hard drives, bookshelves, and boxes full of texts that we’ve picked up here and there. When we finish writing, we’re left with big piles of delicious books that we’re ready to set free. Zer-o-Zabar is a place to share things that are in the public domain, talk about these texts, and learn from each other.
Zer and zabar are diacritical marks that go below and above letters in the Arabic script to change the vowel sounds. In Urdu, zer-o-zabar means “topsy-turvy” (o means “and”). Sometimes it can feel discombobulating, but also thrilling, to read things from a different time, or in a language that’s not our own. This site is meant to be a place where we can help each other feel that excitement—and maybe some disorientation, too!