Newsletter January-February 2023

The Book Fair is always an extraordinary event in the Egyptian cultural life and this year is no exception. Hundreds of exhibitors, maybe more than last year, thousands of visitors, finally freed from the constraints linked to Covid, a perfect organization, which granted this year to the IDEO a special access and circulation. The entire library team is at work selecting, purchasing and cataloging more than a hundred titles every day for ten days. In total, more than a thousand books will be added to the IDEO’s collection, for a budget of €25,000. One of these works is also extraordinary: Fatḥ al-fattāḥ of the Moroccan scholar al-Ḥasan Abū ʿAlī al-Tadlāwī (died in 1140/1728), which is a 71-volume commentary on the Muḫtaṣar of the Egyptian Malikite jurist Ḫalīl Abū al-Mawda al-Ǧundī (died in 776/1374). This book alone symbolizes the vitality of Arabic academic publishing and the central place of jurisprudence in Islamic studies. And for the first time this year, the IDEO has been invited to participate in the cycle of round tables and lectures organized on the sidelines the Fair (photo).


Starting January 2023, Mr. Guillaume de Vaulx teaches two courses at the University of Strasbourg on the history of the Muslim worlds: a bachelor’s degree course entitled “Theology and classical Muslim thought” and a master’s research seminar entitled “Theological Controversies in Islam: texts and contexts”.


On January 22ⁿᵈ, Jean Druel, OP gave a lecture on contemporary Egypt and religions to a delegation of Crédit agricole members from the French region North Midi-Pyrénées.

On January 27ᵗʰ, Jean Druel, OP gave a lecture on the methodology of research in the history of the Arabic language to a group of Egyptian NewGen scholars. They were accompanied by Ms. Hanan Sabea, professor of anthropology at the American University in Cairo. The Arab Council for Social Sciences offers scholarships to young students of all disciplines, the New Generation of Social Scientists, and organizes for them trainings in human sciences.

On January 28ᵗʰ, Jean Druel, OP gave a lecture to a group of young Egyptian Catholic Copts from the parish of Ezbet al-Nakhl on the conditions of possibility of interreligious dialogue.

On January 29ᵗʰ, Jean Druel, OP participated in a round table devoted to translation organized by Ms. Hanan Mounib, university lecturer and CEO of Meshkaty International, as part of the Book Fair (photo). He discussed the issue of multilingual online catalogs and presented the solutions offered by Diamond, the online cataloging application developed by IDEO and now supported by the non-profit association LRM-CS.


On January 3ʳᵈ, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Walid Ghali, professor at the Aga Khan University in London.

On January 5ᵗʰ, we welcomed for lunch Ms. Antonia Zafeiri, head of the political, press, and information section at the European Delegation in Cairo. She was accompanied by Ms. Pilar Villanueva and Mr. Hassan Mosa, from the same section.

On January 9ᵗʰ, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Yousef Elzalabany, master student in Islamic history at the Aga Khan University in London, and Ms. Esther Ravier, PhD student in Arabic linguistics at INALCO in Paris.

On January 24ᵗʰ, we welcomed Ms. Neamat Medhat from the Egyptian journal al-Dustur.

Scholars’ House

During the month of January, we had the pleasure to receive in the Scholar’s House Ms. Ouiza Ait Amara, professor of ancient Maghreb history at the University of Algiers; Mr. Walid Saleh, IDEO’s member and specialist in the Qurʾān and the history of its interpretation (tafsīr); Mr. Bertrand de Margerie and Mr. Benoît Caratgé, from the French NGO Œuvre d’Orient.

Upcoming activities

As part of the IDEO’s seminar on the salaf in the Classical Age, Adrien Candiard, OP will present on Wednesday February 15ᵗʰ the topic “The salaf in the theology of al-Ašʿarī”. The seminar will take place in the seminar room at 5:00 p.m. Click here to download the program of this series of seminars…