Kay Hardy Campbell


Selected Publications:

Kay has been writing feature articles for 25 years, both in Saudi Arabia and the U.S. While living in Saudi Arabia from 1978-1985, she was a frequent contributor to the Arab News, the Saudi Gazette and Saudi Business Magazine. She contributes features to AramcoWorld Magazine, writes academic articles and is also writing novels. The following is a sample of her work.


A Caravan of Brides: A Novel of Saudi Arabia - Kay's first novel, published in 2017, explores the unlikely friendship between a troubled college graduate and an elderly storyteller. Read more about her novel here.

Music and Folk Dance of the Arab World

"Tarab and the Art of Music " - Introduction and captions for the 2018 AramcoWorld calenar, focusing on Tarab and music across the Islamic world.

"Mehter Music Echoes Down the Centuries" - exploration of the influence of the colorful bandsmen of the Ottoman Empire on modern-day marching bands and orchestras, from the September-October issue of AramcoWorld Magazine.

"Listening for al-Andalus" - profile of Madrid musician Eduardo Paniagua in the July-August, 2011 issue of AramcoWorld Magazine.

"Boundary-Crossing Music" - profile of Boston-area composer Kareem Roustom, Tufts Journal, 2009.

"Music of the Gulf" - short piece for NPR's Marketplace radio program, 2008.

"Ottoman Musical Forms: The Sama`i, Bashraf and Longa in the Arab World and Beyond", The Arab Lands in the Ottoman Era: Papers in Honor of Caesar Farah, University of Minnesota, 2009.

Article on Music in A Land Transformed, The Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia and Saudi Aramco, 2007.

"Saudi Folk Music: Alive and Well", focusing on the music and musicians of Saudi Arabia, AramcoWorld Magazine, March-April 2007. Visit the audio streaming page where you can see the excellent photographs and hear the field recordings by Nicole LeCorgne.

Entries on the popular music of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, and Oman for the Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, 2005.

"Women's Music of the Arabian Peninsula", and "Music in Performance: A Saudi Women's Wedding Party", entries in Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Volume 6: The Middle East, Garland Press, 2002.

"Days of Song and Dance", Saudi Aramco World Magazine, January-February, 1999, (article focusing on the women-only days at the 1998 Saudi Janadriyyah Folk Festival). Illustrations by Judy Laertini. PDF version with full color illustrations.

"Folk Music and Dance in the Arabian Gulf and Saudi Arabia", a chapter in Images of Enchantment, Visual and Performing Arts of the Middle East. Ed. Sherifa Zuhur, American University in Cairo Press, 1998, pp. 57-69.

"Loosening Their Tresses - Women's Dances of the Arabian Gulf and Saudi Arabia"
- Habibi Magazine, 1997.

"A Heritage Without Boundaries", Saudi Aramco World Magazine, May-June, 1996, (profile of Arabic music composer/musician Simon Shaheen).

"Recent Recordings of Traditional Music from the Arabian Gulf and Saudi Arabia", Bulletin of the Middle Eastern Studies Association, July, 1996.

" Saudi Arabian Folk Music", Saudi Arabia Quarterly Magazine, Summer, 1988.

Saudi Arabian History and Culture

"The Gown that Steals Your Heart" an article about the "Thobe al-Nashal", a traditional ceremonial gown worn by Saudi and Gulf women. The story explores the varieties of this garment and traditions associated with it. From the March-April, 2016 issue of Aramco World Magazine. Illustrations by Leela Corman.

"Effat's New Roses", an article about Effat College, the first private college founded in Saudi Arabia, in the January-February 2007 issue of AramcoWorld Magazine. Click here for a PDF version of the article with photographs and illustrations.

"Quiet Adventurers Lauded for Craft Preservation", (profile of collector/author Jon Topham), Pleasant Days, Spring, 2006.

"Dhahran's American Consulate: The History of the U.S. Consulate General in Dhahran
, Saudi Arabia: Chiefton Publications, 1987.

" Folk Tales from Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province", Mundus Arabicus, August, 1985.

" Women in the Workforce", (ground-breaking cover story on women working), Saudi Business Magazine, March 14, 1980.

Other Publications

"Harvest Gold in Spring" - short story published in the Aroostook Review, 2009.

"Strolling for the Mail" - essay published in Downeast Magazine, September, 2009.

"At the Door" a poem in the January, 2006 issue of Mizna, an Arab-American literary journal.

"Shoma", Script for the storytelling and dance theater production of the Jawaahir Dance Company, 1998. For more information: Shoma

Selected Lecture and Radio Credits:

NYU-Abu Dhabi, March 2015,
presentation on the women's folkloric dances of the Arabian Peninsula in a symposium sponsored by NYU-Abu Dhabi.

Qatar Music Academy, Doha Qatar, April 2014, paper on Saudi Women Songstresses, a forthcoming chapter in a book related to the Symposium on Arabian Gulf Music, edited by Issa Boulos, Martin Stokes and Anne Rasmussen.

Tufts University, March, 2011 and 2013, presentation on Saudi folk music.

DePauw University
- 2011 and 2013, presentations on Moroccan Music

Idaho State University - March 2010, Frank Church Symposium, The Joseph Hearst Memorial Lecture, "The Life and Legacy of Saudi Arabia's Queen Effat"

Harvard University, 2009, 2010, and 2015, presentation on Dance in the Middle East

Notre Dame Academy, Hingham, MA, Veils and Voices, A special program on the Women of Saudi Arabia for the Junior Scholars, January, 2006 - 2015.

Eastern Nazarene College, Lecture-demonstration on Arab Music for a world music survey course, 2009.

Bowdoin College, Guest Lecturer on Women in Arab music, for Dr. Mary Hunter's music course, 2007.

Harvard University, Guest Lecturer on Saudi and Gulf women's music, for Dr. Virginia Danielson's ethnomusicology seminar, 2000.

American Association of University Women, Massachusetts State Convention, Presentation on Saudi women's philanthropy, Spring 1999.

Wellesley College, Presentation on Gulf women's music at Conference on Women in World Music, 1997.

Wellesley College, Lecture/Demonstration of Classical Arabic Music and Gulf Women's Folk Dance, 1997.

Agnes Scott College, Atlanta, Georgia, Seminar and special class on Saudi and Gulf women's folk music and folk dance as part of the "The Right to Write" Conference, chaired by Princess Wijdan bin Ali of Jordan, 1996.

Middle East Studies Association, panel presentation on Women in Middle Eastern Performance Arts, 1993.

Harvard University, Seminar on Folk Music of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf for Music Study Group, 1994.

Exeter Academy, Summer School Lecture on traditional Gulf Music, 1994.

The Mecca Program, radio show on Saudi and Gulf music with host Wafaa Salman, 1993.

Caravans, WGBH-FM, program on Middle Easern music with host Ellen Kushner, 1992.