Taking a little trip away from the always exciting yet exhausting Cairo is just what we, 33 hard working students studying at the NVIC needed. This past March, just as we were halfway on our Cairo adventure the institute took us all on a five-day trip to see the Pearl of the Mediterranean; Alexandria, the city that got its name from Alexander the Great himself.
Dear friends of the NVIC, Our academic year 2016-17 has been a busy one. Our new (from 1 October 2016) Assistant Director for Arabic and Islamic Studies, dr Ifdal Elsaket, traveled to the Netherlands and Flanders to present our activities to our 8 universities (6 in the Netherlands, 2 in Flanders). Ifdal’s position at our institute is made possible by the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO, see http://www.fwo.be/en/ ). 18 students came to our institute in our MA autumn semester Arabic and Islam (see http://institutes.leiden.edu/nvic/education/arabic/arab-ma-fall.html ). In January this year, our Assistant Director for Egyptology and Archaeology, dr Marleen De Meyer, taught her half semester for another group of 17 students from KU Leuven, Leiden University, and this year also 2 students from Harvard University (see http://institutes.leiden.edu/nvic/education/egyptian/ )
Applications are invited for a postdoctoral fellowship for up to 6 months, connected to the ERC- funded research project Rethinking Disability at Leiden University, in cooperation with the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo.
The University of Leuven, Belgium, is one of the oldest European research universities (founded in 1425). The Faculty of Arts is currently offering an open rank professorship in the field of politics, culture and society of the contemporary Middle East.
The Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo offers accommodation to researchers, staff and students of the affiliated Dutch and Flemish universities.
The institute offers Dutch language courses for foreigners on a regular basis. These courses aim to provide students with language skills in Dutch, which they can use in everyday life. Therefore you will spend most of your time practising the language in order to communicate with Dutch language speakers.
Are you interested in the modern Middle East and would you like to dive into the fascinating culture? As of spring 2017, the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo offers a semester ‘Middle East Studies’ for bachelor students from the Humanities and the Social Sciences. Cairo, a bustling metropolis in the heart of the Middle East, will be your classroom. MA students can apply for the programme with permission from their departments and with different assessment criteria.
On 27 November our institute, with the generous support of the Netherlands Embassy in Cairo, organised a seminar/conference. It was organised in cooperation with professor Dr Petra Sijpesteijn of Leiden University. The topic of the seminar was " Informal requests for help and mediation (on paper and/or papyrus) in Egypt (from Roman times until the Ottoman era) ". The aim of the presentations was to investigate how informal requests have contributed to social cohesion of the early Islamic society. In total eight papers on this topic were read and discussed in a serious, but convivial atmosphere.
From the 3rd until the 8th of December, together with Dr Amr Ryad of Utrecht University our institute organized a workshop with students of the Faculty of Languages and Translation of the Azhar University. During this workshop, students had the opportunity to discuss their own research proposals with various specialists from Dutch and Egyptian universities.
Our Assistant Director, Ifdal Elsaket, attended the Study Abroad Festival in Leiden on the 14th of October this year. There she told students about the various study programmes available at the NVIC.
Dear friends of the NVIC, Last academic year 2015-16 at our institute ended with saying farewell to Dr Stijn Aerts, who had been our Assistant-Director for Arabic and Islam Studies for a year. Unforeseen circumstances led to his decision to return to Belgium. We shall miss his valuable contributions, dry sense of humour, and wish him all the best for the future. In July we had a round of interviews in Brussels to select a new Assistant-Director to take Stijn’s place (the position is funded by F.W.O., Research Fund Flanders). I am very pleased to announce that Dr Ifdal Elsaket (PhD, University of Sydney) will be our new Assistant-Director as from 1 October this year. Ifdal worked as a guest researcher at our institute before, and we very much look forward to her joining our team. At the end of August we started our regular MA-semester again for students from our contributing universities of Ghent and Leuven in Flanders (and this year also one student from the University of Amsterdam).
The safety of students is a priority and hence an ever recurring issue at the NVIC. NVIC not only attaches great importance to the safety of its students, but also that its students feel safe. To better understand feelings of safety in Cairo, our previous intern Marlijn Beek conducted a survey among former students who spent a semester at our institute in Cairo. Please read the most important results of our survey here.
Have you heard about the book bus project (عربية الحواديت) in Sharqiya? This wonderful initiative encourages children, who don't have easy access to books, to read by spreading books by car. They are also setting up a library! Do you want to donate books to this project? Bring them to the NVIC library during our opening hours, and they will be collected by the book bus volunteers later. Books preferred are Arabic children's books, or books for the library in either Arabic or English. To learn more about this project, you can read Al-Monitor's article
Between 16 May and 4 June our first ‘Introduction to Ancient Egypt’ course took place with a group of highly motivated students.
On 25 May, we organised a farewell lunch with a sjoel competition for Stijn, who left the institute on 1 June. Dear Stijn, it has been a great pleasure working with you, and we will surely miss you. We wish you all the best for the future!
We said goodbye to our students from the Netherlands and Flanders after a stay in Cairo for four months. We wish them all the best!
On Friday the 6th of May - on the first day of a three-day conference - two eminent scholars, professor Dr Olaf Kaper of Leiden University and Dr Gillian Vogelsang of the Textile Research Centre in Leiden, presented their lectures on textiles and embroidery found in the tomb of Tutankhamun.
On 29 March 2016, the library of the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo organised the very first edition of the Spring Book Fair. It turned out to be a great success!
After years of hard work, the Roman Villa of Serenus at Amheida in the Dakhla Oasis is as good as ready to be opened (just a few final touches remain on the decorations).
On Monday 7 March 2016 the Minister of Antiquities, Dr Mamdouh Eldamaty, and the governor of Minya, General Tariq Nasr, visited the site of Dayr al-Barsha, where they were guided around by Prof. Harco Willems.