Newsletter — May 2021

Dear friends,

The year 2021 will definitely be a year of changes in our team in Cairo. After twenty-four years as director of the IDEO’s library, René-Vincent du Grandlaunay, OP passes the torch to Mateus Domingues Da Silva, OP (photo) and takes a few sabbatical months. Through his efforts and uninterrupted work, René-Vincent has not only opened up the library’s acquisition policy to the Arab World in general, but he has also developed a cataloguing application capable of honoring the genius of the Arab-Muslim heritage and has built a working team of more than fifteen persons today.

Mateus is Brazilian. He has just defended his doctoral thesis on the mystical philosopher Šihāb al-Dīn al-Suhrawardī (d. 587/1191) at McGill University, Montreal under the supervision of Robert Wisnovsky. We wish him all the best in the task ahead and we assure him of the support of the whole team. To help him in his responsibilities, he will be assisted by Ms. Engy Elgammal, who will succeed Mr. Mohamed Malchouch in September as cataloging director.


On May 12ᵗʰ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP participated in the Popular Digital University organized by the Foundation of Islam in France (FIF) with Mr. Omero Marongiu and Mr. Ghaleb Bencheikh, on the topic of “Spiritualties facing the ecological question”. Click here to watch the video on the FIF Facebook page (in French)…

On May 17ᵗʰ, Mr. Dominique Avon gave a lecture entitled “Freedom of conscience in Egypt and in the whole Arab World”, organized by the Friends of the IDEO. Click here to watch the lecture on YouTube (in French)…

On May 21ˢᵗ, Emilio Platti, OP gave an online lecture entitled “An assessment of Llull’s interreligious endeavors from a contemporary perspective”, during the conference organized by the KU Leuven university on Ramon Llull.

Research seminar

On May 21ˢᵗ, as part of the research seminar ”Representations of Islam: views and panchronic experiences” organized at the University of Strasbourg, Ms. Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau and Ms. Salomé Deboos invited Mr. Pierre Lory from the École pratique des Hautes-Études to speak on the topic of “Origins and development of Islamic mysticism (2ⁿᵈ‒4ᵗʰ/8ᵗʰ‒10ᵗʰ centuries)”.

IFAO-IDEO (pre-)doctoral scholarship 2021‒2022

We are pleased to announce the grant of the third edition of the joint IFAO-IDEO (pre-)doctoral scholarship to Mr. Mickael Massey, from the University of Strasbourg. His research project focuses on 6ᵗʰ/12ᵗʰ-century Andalusian literature (adab): methods of compiling knowledge, collections of prose and anthologies.


On May 19ᵗʰ, Mr. Emad Habib, head of the manuscript cataloging team at the Arab Manuscripts Institute, Mr. Magdy Yackoub, developer of the Diamond cataloging application, and Jean Druel, OP led a workshop at the IFAO on manuscripts cataloging for a group of Coptic Orthodox monks.


  • Guillaume de Vaulx et Nibras Chehayed, La destructivité en œuvres, essai sur l’art syrien contemporain, Beyrouth : Presses de l’Ifpo, 2021, 208 pages.
  • Jean Jacques Pérennès, « Pierre Claverie et Christian de Chergé, deux regards sur le mystère de l’islam », Islamochristiana, 45 (2018), pages 191‒203.
  • Jean Jacques Pérennès, « Jacques Jomier (1914‒2018), Dialog über das Kennen und Verstehen der muslimischen Kultur vor Ort », Wegbereiter des Interreligiösen Dialogs, Band III (Petrus Bsteh, Brigitte Procksch ed.), Wien, LIT Verlag, 2020, pages 163‒172.

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