May, 1995

Dear EURAMES Member

I am writing this letter to keep you in touch with recent developments in the European Association of Middle East Studies. We had hoped to do this by means of a regular Newsletter but financial difficulties and lack of material have meant its suspension for the time being. This does not mean that we have been inactive. We held a Council meeting in Oxford on March 25 this year and had important discussions. Present were representatives from associations in France, Britain, Belgium, the Scandinavian countries and the President of the Union Européenne des Arabisants et Islamisants, Professor Wilferd Madelung. We were particularly pleased to see the latter as it is important that we cooperate with the Union.

Other national associations which are already members of EURAMES are the Swiss, the Spanish, the Dutch, and we are expecting applications from the newly formed German association in the near future. Moves are also being made to form an Italian group.

Items of information

  1. We have been talking to the European Science Foundation in Strasbourg about their research programme on the 'Individual and society in the Mediterranean World of Islam' They would be pleased to hear from any member who might be interested in participating in this programme (Dr Gérard Darmon, ESF, 1 quai Lezay-Marnésia, 67080 Strasbourg, Cedex - France. Fax 88 37 05 32).

  2. Greek colleagues have raised the possibility of hosting a EURAMES conference at the University of the Aegean.

  3. Council has produced a document 'Projects for the future' in which three projects are outlined.
    a) Updating the EURAMES Directory of Scholars
    b) Holding specialized and general conferences on relevant topics
    c) Creating new facilities in the Middle East for European researchers.
    Eberhard Kienle visited Brussels to sound out the possibilities of European Commission funding for the proposals. There was in general a favourable response and it is likely that money will be forthcoming for the Directory and the Commission is always ready to entertain proposals for specific conferences. The creation of a European research centre in Cairo, possibly in cooperation with the French Centre de documentation et d'études économique, juridique et sociale is more difficult. We have to find a means of taking this forward, by lobbying through influential persons. There is certainly a great deal of good will for the project, and its realization (if at all) will take time. It is a very concrete and permanent means of furthering European research on the Middle East.

  4. The venue for the 1996 EURAMES conference was discussed and it was decided to accept the very kind offer of the French AFEMAM to host it in July in Aix-en-Provence. We are very grateful for this. I hope it will be a success and that many of you will be there.

  5. The Association de Liaison entre les Centres de Documentation et de Recherches sur le Monde Arabe (ALMA) has now been firmly established with the secretariat in Casablanca and Professor André Raymond as president. It held its first general meeting and conference in Casablanca in December 1994. Its aim is to further cooperation amongst institution in Europe and the Middle East which have interests in the Arab world. It is represented by institutions (of which some 40 are potential members) rather than individuals. I represented EURAMES and tried to ensure that our cooperation is as close as possible.
    a) Among projects with which ALMA is concerned is the publication of the 'bulletin d'information' MARS (Le Monde Arabe dans la Recherche Scientifique) by the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. If you have not yet seen a copy it is a useful publication containing news of research activities, conferences, scholarly interviews and reports. It is available from I.M.A. 1 rue des Fossés St Bernard, 75236 Paris Cedex 05. It can in some ways be seen as a complement to the EURAMES newsletter and perhaps further cooperation may be feasible.
    b) ALMA also intends to publish a directory of institutes and their staff working on the Middle East and it is here that we should avoid unnecessary duplication of our own efforts in updating the EURAMES Directory.
    c) The Fondation du Roi Abdul-Aziz in Casablanca is undertaking on behalf of ALMA the compilation on CD-ROM of bibliographic information gathered by institutions working on the Arab world to be distributed commercially.
    d) A further Euro-Arab colloquium is planned on a theme relevant to the economy of the area.

  6. Finally a note to remind all EURAMES members that you are entitled to attend conferences of member associations paying the same fees as members of that association.
I hope that I or my successor will keep you informed of further EURAMES developments.

With all best wishes,
Yours sincerely

Derek Hopwood

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