Hesham el-Sheikh, Mona Sabry, Emmanuel Pisani, OP

On August 31ˢᵗ, 2023, within the walls of IDEO, Mr. Hesham el-Sheikh defended his Higher Diploma. An Azhar student and preacher, he completed three years of studies at the Catholic Institute of Paris (ICP). The presiding jury was made up of Mrs. Mona Sabry, Director of the French Department at the al-Azhar Language Center, and the thesis’s director, brother Emmanuel Pisani, OP.

The fact that this event took place in Cairo holds profound significance, as it embodies the realization of a unique collaboration, born from the agreement signed between the ICP and al-Azhar in 2016. It thus testifies to the strengthening of the academic bonds forged between our institutions, and reflects our shared desire to work together on theological issues.

The importance of this defense is all the more striking as Mr. Hesham el-Sheikh has devoted his research to exploring the theological reception of the Abu Dhabi Document of 2019, signed between Pope Francis and the Great Imam of al-Azhar, in the Catholic and Muslim worlds. This unique approach gives her work an unprecedented dimension that is already shedding light on the issues at challenges in terms of Muslim-Christian relations of the document on human fraternity, in anticipation of the upcoming PLURIEL Conference scheduled for next February in Abu Dhabi, in which IDEO is actively involved.

Talks and lectures

On July 13ᵗʰ, Dennis Halft, OP gave a talk entitled “The Tombs of the Prophet’s Companions and Their sacralization”, during IDEO workshop “The Salafs in the Classical Age: Constructing an Authority Figure”, as part of the fifth conference on Middle Eastern and Muslim World Studies (GIS MOMM) in Lyon, France.

On August 23ʳᵈ, , Dennis Halft, OP gave a talk entitled “The Shiʿi-Sunni Divide as Seen Through the Medieval Polemical Work Risāla-yi Yuḥannā”, during the workshop “Shiʿi-Sunni Interactions in the Persianate World”, as part of the tenth European Conference on Iranian Studies held at Leiden University, Netherlands.

Summer course

From July 17ᵗʰ to August 11ᵗʰ, we received four young Dominican brothers, Aimeric Jardin, Arsène Tirmadjingar Adoumbey, Kristijan Zelić, and Vincent Lonïng, as part of the introductory course in Arabic and Islamic studies organized by IDEO.


On August 3ʳᵈ, Mr. Ousmane Diaw, a publisher of West African Islamic heritage books and the founder of Timbuktu Éditions (Dakar-Cairo), initiated a manuscript cataloging project of Senegalese manuscripts in Diamond.

On August 22ⁿ, Mrs. Engy Elgammal, Director of Cataloging at IDEO, organized a meeting bringing together the three Egyptian teams currently working in Diamond: The Institute of Arabic Manuscripts, the Saint Mark Foundation for Coptic Heritage, and IDEO. The purpose of this meeting, which we hope will become regular, was to share our questions and practices.

Thesis defense

On August 31ˢᵗ, Mr. Hesham el-Sheikh defended his Higher Diploma thesis from the the Institute of Science and Theology of Religions in Paris (ISTR) at the IDEO, in the presence of Emmanuel Pisani, OP (thesis supervisor) and Mrs. Mona Sabry (second reader).


Emmanuel Pisani, OP participated in the “Christians” episode in the Institute for the Study of Islam and Societies of the Muslim World (IISMM) primer. This documentary was produced on June 1ˢᵗ, 2021, and was uploaded online on July 6ᵗʰ.


On July 24ᵗʰ, we welcomed M. Olivier le Van Xieu, the French Consul in Cairo.

On July 25ᵗʰ, we welcomed for lunch professors Akram al-Sissi and Khairy al-Shaarawy, lecturers at al-Azhar University.

On August 4ᵗʰ, we welcomed Mrs. Renée Hattar, director of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies (Jordan).

Scholars’ House

During the months of July and August, we had the pleasure to receive Mr. Pascal Gourain, student at the Institute of Science and Theology of Religions (ISTR); Mrs. Juliette Brissart, student at EM Lyon Business School and on an academic exchange at the American University in Cairo; Mrs. Antoinette Ferrand, PhD student in the history of contemporary Egypt at the Sorbonne University and editorial secretary of the MIDEO; Mrs. Caitlin Buckley, currently a fellow at the Center for Arabic Study Abroad in Amman, and on a six-month internship at IDEO for the processing of the Rodinson Fund.


  • Jean Druel, «Milan, Kazan, Londres et Jérusalem: un codex du Kitāb de Sībawayh, dépecé aux quatre coins du monde», dansActa orientalia belgica 36 (2023), pp. 383395.
  • ميشيل كويبرس، في نظم القرآن: قراءة في نظم السور الثلاث والثلاثين الأخيرة من القرآن في ضوء منهج التحليل البلاغيّ (ترجمة زياد فروح، تعليق خليل محمود)، الرياض: مركز تفسير، ٢٠٢٣.