Newsletter — December 2018

Dear Friends,

From December 13‒20th, in Iraq, Amir Jajé organized the second part of the conference devoted to relations between Twelver Shiites and Christians (Paris, April 2018).  This second part of the conference consisted of a workshop on Arabic manuscripts in Najaf and a one-day study session with the al-Khoei Institute. This trip was also an opportunity to visit Christian villages in the North, Qaraqosh in particular, as well as Erbil and Mosul, and Shiites shrines in the South (photo).  At a time when Shiites and Sunni seem to be in a political, cultural, and confessional impasse, the IDEO has the opportunity to work with both, serving the Arab-Muslim heritage as a whole. It will take years to overcome the inter-community violence, from which the Yezidi and Christians have also suffered a lot. May the Child of the manger bring peace and gentleness into hearts and the world. We wish you a year 2019 of peace, justice, and truth in love.


On December 19th, M. Aziz Hilal gave the second session of his introductory seminar on Arab philosophy. Click here to see the details of the next dates…

On December 23rd, M. Frédéric Lagrange , Professor of Arabic Language and Literature at the Sorbonne University, led a day-long seminar on translation with French-speaking PhD students from the University of al-Azhar, as part of our project Adawāt.


From December 4‒7th, Guillaume de Vaulx participated in the international conference entitled “Methodical Exploration of Arabic Manuscripts of Philosophy in the World”, which was held at the Maison des sciences de l’homme in Paris. His lecture was entitled “Once Again, the Real World is Rational: Systematic Exploration of the Manuscripts of Rasāʾil Iḫwān al-Ṣafā  All Over the World”.

On December 19th, Jean Druel, OP participated in a conference entitled “Arabic, as seen by Westerners”, organized by the Manuscript Center of the Library of Alexandria. His lecture was entitled “The Kitāb of Sībawayh: In the Hands of Orientalists and Arabs”.

Interreligious Dialogue

On December 11th, we received the visit of a group of Indonesian researchers and teachers from the University of al-Azhar and Wahid Hasyim University in Indonesia, as part of a study on “The relationship of Christians to the Koran and its influence in their tolerance towards Muslims”. Professor Muḥammad Sayf al-Dīn, who leads the team, is working on a project on cross-readings of sacred texts.

Workshop of manuscript

From December 13‒20th, Amir Jajé, OP, Emmanuel Pisani, OP, Dennis Halft, OP, René-Vincent du Grandlaunay, OP, Mateus Da Silva, OP, Stéphane-Dominique Hindo, OP and Mr. Francis Richard participated in a workshop on manuscripts in Najaf, as a follow-up to the April conference organized by ISTR and IDEO in partnership with the El-Khoei Institute. Emmanuel Pisani, OP presented a summary report of the conference on the interactions between Twelver Shiites and Christians; René-Vincent du Grandlaunay, OP presented the cataloguing work of the IDEO Library.


In November-December, Emilio Platti, OP taught the class “Introduction to Islam” at the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven).


Emmanuel Pisani, OP was interviewed, along with Pierre-Henry Salfati and Bruno Abd-al-Haqq Guiderdoni, by Abderrahim Hafidi on the TV program “Les chemins de la foi” on channel France 2, on December 16th on the topic of Adam and Eve, and again on December 23rd on the topic of Jesus and Mary.

On December 23rd, Emmanuel Pisani, OP was interviewed by Ghaleb Bencheikhon the TV program “Questions d’islam” on the French culture channel.


On December 8th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Ruy Amaral, Ambassador of Brazil to Egypt.

On December 10th, we welcomed for lunch Mrs. Julia Skorupska, Political Counsellor of the Embassy of the United Kingdom, and Mr. Paul Kett, Second Secretary.

On December 11th, we received for lunch Mr. Francisco Carrión Molina, correspondent of the newspaper El Mundo in Egypt.

Scholars’ House

In December, we had the pleasure of receiving at the Scholars’ House Mrs. Rachida Chih, researcher at the Scientific Research National Center (CNRS), Mr. Ahmed Khalid, PhD student in the Department of Islamology at the University of Bayreuth in Germany.

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