Newsletter — November 2020

Dear friends,

As the sanitary situation is still lasting, this is a good time for strategic thinking. On November 26ᵗʰ, the IDEO was invited to participate in a meeting of the Egyptian members of the GIS MOMM. Behind this code name hides a Scientific Interest Groupment of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), dedicated to the Middle East and Islamic worlds. We met in Alexandria (photo) in the premises of the CEAlex, with representatives of the IFAO and the CEDEJ. The purpose of this meeting was to propose an update of the 2014 MOMM GIS Livre Blanc and to propose ways to strengthen our current collaborations: joint fellowships, sharing of documentary collections, research projects. Our fields of study are complementary and would greatly benefit from closer collaboration.


On November 19ᵗʰ, Dennis Halft, OP gave a lecture entitled “Muslim Interpretations of the Bible as Heteronomous Texts? Possible advantages of a concept of classical philology in Islamic sciences” at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany.

Mellon project

On November 1ˢᵗ, we started a project of development of our cataloguing software Diamond, funded by the Mellon Foundation in the frame of a larger project supported by the French National Library (BnF). This project consists of developing Diamond to enable future partners of the BnF to transfer their metadata to the Portal of Libraries of the Orient in Gallica. We have recruited two researchers, Zainab Assawi (Dār al-ʿUlūm) and Ahmed Sayed (al-Azhar), to enrich the referential metadata of works of the Arab and Islamic heritage. This project will run until 2023.


On November 19ᵗʰ, we welcomed Mr. Giampaolo Cantini, Italian Ambassador to Egypt, and Mr. Andrea Benzo, First Counsellor.

On November 20ᵗʰ, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Jamel Oubéchou, Cultural Counsellor of the French Embassy and Director of the French Institute.


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