Newsletter — September 2019

Dear friends,

2019-2020 will undoubtedly be the year of collaborations. We have the opportunity to work very closely with the French Institute for Oriental Archaeology (IFAO) (MIDEO publication, purchase of books, “Bibliothèques d’Orient” portal), with the National Library of France (BnF) (“Bibliothèques d’Orient”), with the French Institute (purchase of books, “Adawāt” project, “Midan Mounira”), with the Institute of Arab Manuscripts (“Adawāt”), with the American University in Cairo (formation of Dominican friars in Islamic studies), with the University of al-Azhar (“Adawāt”), with the La Pira Library (AlKindi catalogue), with the Dominican Institute Dost-İ in Istanbul (Dost-İ) (training sessions), and with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) (working group on the ISBD). Further collaborations are expected to start in the coming months: with the Vatican Library (AlKindi catalogue), with the University Library of Languages and Civilizations (BULAC) (“Mistara” project on Arab authors), with the National Library of France (BnF) and the Institute for Research on the History of Texts (IRHT) (Syriac manuscripts in Iraq). All this is possible due to the support of many donors: Friends of IDEO, the Blancmesnil Foundation, the Œuvre d’Orient, Spem Miram Internationalis, the International Dominican Foundation, the European Union, and many individuals. A big thank you to all of you!


On September 10th, Dr. Abd al-Hakim Radi and Jean Druel, OP inaugurated the academic year at the IDEO with a seminar which took the form of a debate on the language of the Qurʾān. As a response Jean’s presentation, which presented the historical successive stages of the Arabic language and their cumulative coexistence, Dr. Abd al-Hakim developed the traditional vision of a very diversified Arabic language, from the simplest to the most perfect, but which, considered as a whole, does not change over time. Click here to read the report of the seminar…

On September 15th, the first workshop on manuscript cataloguing in a FRBR/RDA framework (photo) was held. Our collaboration with the Arab Manuscripts Institute of the Arab League in Cairo is reaching its second year. Funded by the European Union, this four-year project allows us to work together and develop good practices in a fledgling field. Click here to see an example of bibliographic record of a manuscript.


On September 17th, Dominique Avon gave a lecture on “States, Law, and Religious Otherness” at the International Conference for Peace and Solidarity organized by the Foundation of Islam in France and the World Islamic League in Paris.

From September 29‒October 2nd, Claudio Monge, OP and Adrien Candiard, OP participated in the Islamic-Christian dialogue group entitled “Theology in Dialogue” in Paris, organized by the SNRM (National Service of the Bishops of France for Relations with Muslims).

IFAO-IDEO post-doctoral fellowship

On September 4th, Mr. Adrien de Jarmy arrived in Cairo, who is spending a year at the IDEO as part of our first joint post-doctoral fellowship between the IFAO and the IDEO. Adrien is a PhD student at Sorbonne-University under the direction of Professor Mathieu Tillier. He works on the ancient historical and legal sources of the Prophet’s life. He tries to show how the figure of the Prophet was slowly constructed, first around the image of “the fighter” and then around the image of “the law-maker.”

MisSMO Summer School

On September 10th, we welcomed several students at IDEO for a field survey as part of the MisSMO Summer School (Christian Missions and Societies in the Middle East: Organizations, Identities, Heritage, 19th-21st centuries).


On September 13th, Dominique Avon participated in an educational and cultural workshop for detained individuals of the Quarter of Prevention of Radicalization in the Santé Prison in Paris.

On September 28th, Adrien Candiard, OP led a workshop entitled “Talking about God in Islam: An Introduction to Classical Muslim Theology” at the Dominican Priory in Lille.

Round table

On September 25th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP and Adrien Candiard, OP participated in the Islamic-Christian Meetings in Paris, organized at the College of Bernardins by the Foundation of Islam of France (FIF). Emmanuel Pisani, OP led a round table entitled “The Islamic-Christian Dialogue: History and Future”, Adrien Candiard, OP acted as the final “Expert Witness” along with Ghaleb Bencheikh.


On September 2nd, we welcomed Mr. Gilles de Kerchove, EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, and his team. They wanted to discuss with us theological issues related to violence in Islam and to learn about the progress of Islamic-Christian dialogue.

On September 4th, we welcomed for lunch Ms. Nadirah Mansour, PhD student at Princeton University, and Mr. Davidson MacLaren, Executive Director of the Islamic Manuscript Association.

On September 5th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Laurent Coulon, the new director of the French Institute for Oriental Archaeology (IFAO), and Mr. Frédéric Abécassis, the Director of Studies.

On September 8th, we welcomed for lunch Mrs. Brigitte Lefebvre-Elsamman, in preparation for a special tribute evening to her husband Mr. Aly Elsamman to be held at the IDEO on next December 18th.

On September 11th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Frédéric Bauden, Director of the Arabic Language, Islamic Studies and History of Muslim Art Department at the University of Liège.

On September 13th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Umberto Bongianino, Professor of Islamic Art and History at Oxford University.

On September 16th, we welcomed for lunch Mrs. Nadia Blétry, La Croix correspondent in Egypt, and Éric de Lavarène, France 24 correspondent.

On September 24th, we welcomed for lunch Mrs. Theresia Hainthaler, Professor of Christology at the Faculty of Sankt Georgen in Frankfurt, who gave lectures in Cairo on the occasion of the publication of the Arabic translation of her book on Arab Christians before Islam.

On September 25th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Alassane Mone, Ambassador of Burkina Faso in Egypt, and Mr. Koudraogo Kabore, Second Counsellor.

Scholars’ House

In September, we had the pleasure of receiving in the Scholars’ House Miss  Haruko Sakaedani, lecturer of Arabic at Keio University (Tokyo), Mr. Nicolas Puig, anthropologist at the French Research Institute for Development (IRD), Mr. Gaétan du Roy, Visiting Professor at the University of Saint-Louis (Brussels), Mrs. Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen, Member of the IDEO and Professor of the History of Modern and Contemporary Islam at the University of Paris-Sorbonne, Mrs. Norig Neveu, historian, researcher at the CNRS (IREMAM), Mrs. Chantal Verdeil, Professor of Contemporary Arab World History at the National Institute of Language and Civilization (INALCO), Mr. Justin Gonzague, documentary filmmaker, Mr. Vincent Cayol and M. Michel Petit de la Perrelle from Œuvre d’Orient.


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