Contact addressUrbain Vermeulen
Dept. Oosterse en Slavische Studien
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Blijde Inkomststraat 21
Fax: +32 1632 4932
(A section is being prepared. Covers Flemish Belgium.)
Survey of scholars (1998)
Middle Eastern studies in Belgium have traditionally focussed on `orientalist' subjects of language, culture and history, in addition to archaeology. Contemporary social science research and teaching has been limited. There has not been any concerted attempt to bring together all those interested in the region in a network or organisation. A Flemish-Arab Association was established in the late 1970s, but petered out after a few years. A new Flemish Association of Middle Eastern studies has been mooted under impulse of Prof. Urbain Vermeulen at Leuven University, who joined the EURAMES board, but this again has not yet come to full fruition. It is hoped a more comprehensive Belgian Association of Middle Eastern Studies may be established on the occasion of the EURAMES conference at Ghent, 1999. The main centres for `traditional' Middle Eastern studies include Louvain-la-Neuve, Leuven, and Ghent, including only a few individuals each, with some interest also in the universities of Mons and Brussels. In contemporary Middle East affairs, the numbers are even smaller although there are perhaps some 5 individuals of professorial rank, plus perhaps twice as many `assistants', at these five universities. These are in particular at Louvain-la-Neuve (with Prof. Khader's Centre d'Etudes du Monde Arabe Contemporain), and Ghent (with the new Centre for Middle East Studies of Prof. Doom), in addition to Prof. Vermeulen (Leuven & Gent), Prof. Anciaux (Université Libre de Bruxelles), and Prof. Safar (Mons). It should be noted, though, that no systematic survey has been undertaken.