Adawāt: Tools for Critical Thinking in Islamic Studies

icon-calendar May 1ˢᵗ, 2018 ‒ April 30ᵗʰ, 2022

On March 27th, we signed a four-year (2018-2022), 500,000 € contract with the European Delegation in Egypt to finance activities with several partners:  the Institute of Manuscripts of the Arab League in Cairo, Al-Azhar University, and the French Institute of Egypt. This money will finance several activities whose common goal is to provide students, researchers, and teachers of Islamic studies the tools that will allow them to study Islam from a critical perspective.

  • Installation of AlKindi software at the Institute of Arabic Manuscripts (IMA): the Institute of Manuscripts owns a collection of microfilms of Arabic manuscripts from around the world, and the IDEO owns a collection of printed works, including more than 20,000 texts of the classical Arab heritage. By merging our databases, our catalog will thus give researchers access, for any given text, to the references of the editions that the IDEO possesses and to the references of the manuscripts listed by the IMA. We will enrich the editorial history of these texts and facilitate research in Islamic studies.
  • French classes at al-Azhar: the French Institute in Egypt will provide 20 hours of weekly classes for three years in three different entities in al-Azhar: the Faculty of Human Sciences (for women), the Faculty of Language and Translation (for men), and the Center for Teaching French (CFE) which directly depends on the Sheikh of al-Azhar and gathers the best students of the faculties of theology. These classes will be validated by DELF (Diploma of Studies in French language). We would also like to facilitate students’ access to the university’s resources in French.
  • Educational training sessions in France: the French Institute, over the next four years, will send eight assistant professors each year to France from the above three entities to take a one-month educational course. The training of these assistant professors will allow a longer-term impact on the level of French their students will acquire.
  • PhD workshops: Each year, for three years, we will invite a French-speaking professor of Islamology to come to facilitate three sessions of a doctoral workshop with the students from the above two faculties. We wish to expand the horizons of the doctoral students in international research and allow them to have personal contact with French-speaking researchers.
  • Assistance for the international mobility: the project will also finance each year, for three years, the travel of two professors from each of the two faculties so they may participate in conferences.
  • International conferences in Cairo: Finally, the IDEO will organize two conferences in Cairo, based on the model of its first two (organized in 2016 and 2018). These conferences will provide an opportunity for Egyptian students, professors, and researchers to present their work and exchange ideas with researchers from around the world.

The IDEO and its partners in Egypt, with the support of the European Union, wish to assist in the training of the new generation of specialists in Islam who will work closely with the ongoing international academic work, by means of the French language, and make available to all researchers an online reference database in Islamic studies.