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Leiden University to welcome Al-Babtain visiting professors in Arabic culture in 2018-2019

The Leiden University Centre for the Study of Islam and Society (LUCIS) and the Abdulaziz Saud Al-Babtain Cultural Foundation will join hands in promoting the understanding of Arabic culture. Generous support from Mr. Abdulaziz Saud Al-Babtain enables LUCIS to invite a visiting professor in Arabic culture to Leiden in 2018 and 2019.

The Abdulaziz Saud Al-Babtain Cultural Foundation has made available funds for outstanding foreign researchers to spend time working at Leiden University and to share their knowledge and experience with students and scholars alike. The collaboration endorses both institutions’ mission to build bridges between the Arab world and the rest of the world from a cultural, knowledge and scholarly perspective.

The Abdulaziz Saud Al-Babtain Cultural Foundation Visiting Professorship in Arabic Culture will be hosted by LUCIS and supervised by Petra Sijpesteijn, professor of Arabic at Leiden University and director of LUCIS.

Leiden University: a strong tradition in Arabic Studies

At Leiden University, academics have been involved in the study of Arabic studies for over 400 years. In the year 1613 Leiden established one of Europe’s first chairs of Arabic language and culture, based on the presence of important Arabic texts and knowledge of the Arabic culture: one of the oldest connections to the Arab world in this field.

Currently, Leiden University is home to the largest teaching and research programme in Middle Eastern Studies in Europe, with specialists in the languages, legal systems, religions, histories, and cultures of Middle Eastern societies. Our expertise provides a uniquely fruitful environment to explore the rich world of Arabic culture, history, religion, language and literature.. We are dedicated to continue to strengthen and extend Leiden’s centuries-old commitment to Arabic Studies, and to share and exchange our knowledge beyond academia with people around the world.

Our world-renowned Middle Eastern collection comprises c. 6,500 precious manuscripts, and is home to a large number of early printed books, letters, photographs, archives and audiovisual materials that are of great academic and cultural value.    

Abdulaziz Saud Al-Babtain Cultural Foundation

The Abdulaziz Saud Al-Babtain Cultural Foundation supports a great number of initiatives in Europe to promote the study of Arabic language and culture. It has cooperated with more than 15 universities to establish chairs for Arabic culture. In Europe, the Foundation has established chairs at various universities in Spain (Barcelona, Cordoba, Granada, Malaga),  Italy (Palermo) and the United Kingdom (Oxford). Recently, the Abdulaziz Saud Al-Babtain Chair for Peace has been established, in cooperation with  the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC).