Newsletter — July and August 2017

Dear friends,

A new academic year begins and it is an opportunity for us to invite you to once again participate in all our activities. The library welcomes researchers in Arab-Muslim culture, its online catalog contains a wealth of cultural and contextual information, you can subscribe to receive invitations to our seminars and read the reports online, you can come and stay at the Scholars’ House to do research here in Egypt, and you can submit articles to be published in our periodical MIDEO. Due to the presence of a communication intern this year, we will introduce a new YouTube channel where we will publish interviews with scholars. Finally, you can attend and participate in the two conferences we are organizing this year, one in Cairo in January on Hadīṯ and the other in Paris in April on relations between Shiites and Christians.

Do not hesitate to send us your comments and suggestions! We wish you all a good academic year.


On August 13th, Ms. Mariam El-Ouzani arrived in Egypt. She is a student at Sciences-Po (Paris), and will undertake a one-year communication internship at IDEO. She will host and manage IDEO’s new YouTube channel.


On July 2nd, Jean Druel, OP took part in a round table discussion on interreligious dialogue at the French Institute with professor Khairy Shaaraway, Professor of Islamology at al-Azhar University.

On July 6th, Emilio Platti, OP took part in a round table discussion on Christians in the Middle East for leaders of the Flemish Christian Democratic Party in Brussels.

On July 27th, Mateus Domingues da Silva, OP gave a lecture entitled “Manifestation and Experience: The Doctrine of Vision and Sensory Perception of Suhrawardī (d. 587/1191) in his Book of the Philosophy of Illumination (Kitāb ḥikmat al-išrāq)”, at the 14th World Congress of the International Society for the Study of Medieval Philosophy (S. I. E. P. M.), which took place at the Pontifical Catholic University of Porto Alegre in Brazil.

On August 9th, Dennis Halft, OP gave a lecture entitled “The Roman Arabic Vulgate in 17th-Century Persia: Some Notes on the Cross-Cultural Effects of the First Edition of the Gospels in Arabic Translation”, at the 2017 International Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Humboldt University in Berlin.

On August 24th, Emilio Platti, OP attended a session entitled “Interdisciplinary Approach to Contemporary Religious Authority” at the CISMOC Summer University at the Catholic University of Leuven.

Interreligious Dialogue

On July 3rd, Jean Druel, OP took part of the meeting of the Azhar-Vatican Joint Dialogue Committee, the purpose of which was to develop the new version of the statutes of this committee.


Dennis Halft, OP has been named as the recipient of the 2017 Annemarie Schimmel Award for his recently defended doctoral dissertation: “The Arabic Vulgate in Safavid Persia: Arabic Printing of the Gospels, Catholic Missionaries, and the Rise of Shīʿī Anti-Christian Polemics” (Freie Universität Berlin, supervised by Walid A. Saleh). The award, granted by the “Gesellschaft der Freunde islamischer Kunst und Kultur” [Society of Friends of Islamic Art and Culture], was named after Professor Annemarie Schimmel (1922-2003) in honor of her significant contributions to Islamic studies. The award ceremony will be held in Munich on January 29, 2018.


On July 6th, we welcomed for lunch Mrs. Raja Rabia, Mr. Sönke Siemon and Mr. Vincent Herlihy, Minister-Counsellors in the embassies of France, Germany and Ireland, respectively.

On July 9th, we welcomed Ms Ariane Lavrilleux, who interviewed Jean Druel, OP, for the Bondy Blog.

On July 11th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Clem Naylor (First Secretary of the British Embassy), Mrs. Francesca Lamarque (Communications manager of the British Embassy), Mr. Thilo Schröter (First Secretary of the German Embassy), Mrs. Lin Nouehid (Bloomberg Businessweek) and Mr. Samer al-Atrush (AFP).

On July 24th, we received the visit of Sheikh Abd al-Rahman al-Shihri, Director of the Tafsir Center for Koranic Studies (Riyadh), to consider the possibility of collaboration.

On July 31st, we welcomed for lunch Mrs. Justyna Porazińska, Minister-Counsellor of the Polish Embassy.

On August 31st, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Peter Schwartzstein, reporter for National Geographic.


On August 2nd, Dr. Ali al-Samman, a long-time friend of the institute, passed away. Throughout his life, Dr. al-Samman worked in dialogue between religions and cultures. He was buried in Cairo on August 6th, and on the 7th we offered our condolences to his wife.

Scholars’ House

In July and August, we had the pleasure to receive at the Scholars’ House Mr. Alexis de Saint-Chamas, a French Naval Officer, Ms. Yosra Garmi, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Lyon, Ms. Sarah Delere, German student of theology and public policy, and Messrs. Jacob Imam and John Shinkwin, students at Oxford University.

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