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Weekly Lectures

The NVIC organises weekly Thursday lectures on a variety of subjects. The lectures start at 6 pm sharp. The doors open at 5.30 pm. Please note that seating is limited. The lectures start as scheduled and late admissions are not allowed. After the lecture refreshments will be served in the hall of the Institute.

Would you like to present your own academic research at NVIC? We are looking for professionals who would like to give a lecture about their research findings. Please email info@nvic.leidenuniv.nl for more information.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more information about our program. We will be back after summer!

Cleveringa Conference

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Disability: The MENA Region in the Modern Period Cairo. International Conference to be held on 25-26 November 2018

Please note that the venue of the Cleveringa conference and lecture will be the Italian Cultural Institute in Zamalek. The Italian Cultural Institute is located a two-minute walk away from our institute (3, Sheikh el Marsafy st., Zamalek, opposite "Beano's").


  • Leiden University
  • ERC Rethinking Disability
  • Embassy of the Netherlands in Cairo
  • Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo

Languages: English and Arabic (Presentations should preferably be in English)

Keynote Speakers:

  • Dr Heba Hagrass (International disability consultant- Member of the Egyptian Parliament)
  • Dr Shaun Grech (The Critical Institute- Malta)
  • Prof Monika Baar (Leiden University- The Netherlands)

Call for papers:

The socio-cultural issues concerning the lives of the persons with disabilities (PWD), their families and their environment present considerable challenges even in well-resourced regions of the world; let alone in countries experiencing certain economic or societal hardships. In either context, the study of the emancipation of people with disabilities cannot be undertaken without a broader enquiry into the historical, cultural and social contexts of the disabled citizens living in different times and locations around the world.

In recent decades, representatives of the emerging fields of medical humanities and disability studies have been constantly facing intellectual challenges arising from accelerating scientific developments in medicine and the bio sciences. These developments intrigued sociologists, historians, anthropologists etc. to dedicate more attention than ever before to the social and cultural aspects of the human body and human health. For instance, the enormous differences in health care expenditures across the world present an angle from which to ask questions about social justice, discrimination, exclusion, integration and the responsibility of the state or civil society towards certain groups with vulnerabilities. Disability is a concept around which social scientists can construct or deconstruct relations and representations between health and society, while scholars working in cultural studies may interrogate the formation of a distinct identity and sub-culture of people with disabilities. The MENA region with its cultural and historical peculiarities, and the Global South in more general terms, promises to be a very important location for analyzing how issues of physical and mental health intersect with social and economic concerns.

With a focus on the MENA (Middle East North Africa) region and the Global South, themes and topics of this international academic conference can include but are not limited to:

  • Disability and its perception(s) and meanings through history:
  • Disability in relation to technology: good practices and ethical problems
  • Islam and disability (physical and mental)
  • Education for and about the persons with disability: specialized institutions versus independent living, community-based rehabilitation (CBR)
  • Rights, representation and equality of PWD: strive for equality or demand for special conditions? (work, housing, access, education)
  • UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006):  given the local peculiarities, what challenges may occur in the course of its implementation in the MENA region?
  • Disability and welfare: what responsibilities should be carried by the state, by individuals, philanthropic organizations and by society at large?
  • Children, gender, women and sexuality  in relation to historic and contemporary issues of disability
  • International and regional organizations of disability groups: the MENA region in a global context
  • Disability figuring and images in literature and cinema
  • Stigmatization of PWD and strategies of de-stigmatization
  • Disability culture: arts, activities and self expression
  • Accessibility, integration and inclusion: PWD and the actual/virtual  public space in MENA

The conference is open to participants from the academia as well as for social activists and governmental representatives. An edited volume to be published by an international publisher is planned for selected research papers presented during the conference.

Presentations are welcome in English and Arabic but are preferred in English for practical reasons. Each presentation would be 20 minutes followed by a 10minutes discussion in a themed panel.

Proposals for cultural and artistic activities, whether presented by or about persons with disabilities, are welcome. The venue is accessible to participants and guests with disability.

Deadline:  Please send a 300-500- word paper/activity proposal in English or Arabic before September 1st 2018 to (rethinking.disability.cairo@gmail.com)

For requests of participation, paper proposal or artistic contribution, kindly send your CV to the email address above.

For inquiries or questions kindly contact Dr Amany Soliman  a.soliman@hum.leidenuniv.nl

Limited budget for contributing to the travel and accommodation of international participants with outstanding proposals is available on a competitive basis. This is intended for those who are not eligible for funding from their home institutions and who are committed to contributing to the envisaged edited volume. Please indicate at the time of application if you would like to be considered for a subsidy.

Kindly find the Arabic description.

For more information, please visit Rethinking Disability website and follow the Twitter account.

كتابيت (3) مع سامية جاهين

This lecture will take place on Thursday 15 November 2018 at 18:00.

<كتابيت> سلسلة أنشطة للأطفال، عن القراءة والقصص

"زمان كانوا كل الأطفال بيسمعوا وبيحبوا الحواديت. الجدات والعمّات والخالات والآباء والأمهات كانوا بيحكوا لأولادهم حواديت جميلة سمعوها من آبائهم وأمهاتهم وأجدادهم برضه. لكن دلوقتي أفلام الكارتون والألعاب الإلكترونية والإنترنت وزحمة الحياة خدوا مساحة أكبر من حياتنا وحياة أولادنا وابتدت الحواديت دي تتنسي، بالرغم من دورها المهم في تكوين الأطفال وفتح مجال لخيالهم وقدراتهم في التعبير عن أنفسهم وعن مشاعرهم." (دي الحكاية)

النشاط مناسب للأطفال من سن 4 سنوات ل12 سنة
المشاركة في هذا نشاط رواية القصص مجانية

ولدت سامية جاهين في أسرة نابضة بالحياة الإبداعية. جدتها، وعماتها، وبالطبع والدها، كانوا جميعا من رواة القصص الموهوبين. نشأت محاطة بالموسيقى والشعر ورواية القصص. كانت القصص الشعبية والحكايات جزءا لا يتجزأ من ثقافتها الأسرية ونشأتها. شغفها لتعلم اللغات جعلها بعد دراسة الألمانية في المدرسة انها تدرس الأدب الإسباني في الجامعة. بعد فترة وجيزة، بدأت العمل في مجال الإدارة الثقافية في المجلس الثقافي البريطاني ومؤسسة "المورد الثقافي". بموازاة ذلك، شغفها بالموسيقى وصوتها التعبيري اللطيف دفعها للانضمام لفرقة إسكندريلا وقاموا بعمل الكثير من الحفلات داخل مصر وفي العالم العربي، وكانت ايضا جزء من مجموعة إلقاء الشعر في فرقة الشارع. شاركت مع "جمعية الصعيد للتربية والتنمية" في ورشة كانت مع "أطفال كورال جمعية الصعيد للتربية والتنمية" مع مجموعة أطفال من صعيد مصر. اكتشفت سامية حبها للسرد الصوتي و أدت صوت شخصية "ناني" في الإصدارات العربية التي يطلق عليها اسم ديزني فيلم وسلسلة "ليلو وغرزة". وبعد ذلك قامت بتنظيم ورش عمل للمراهقين في مخيم التعبير الرقمي العربي في عام ٢٠١٣. كان حبها وشغفها لرواية القصص لايزال موجود، بدأت إعادة إحياء قصص طفولتها وحكيها لأطفالها الصغار وأصدقائهم - كلما أتيحت لها الفرصة.
ولدت فكرة "دي الحكاية" من جلسات حكي القصص الشعبية والخيالية التي تقوم بها سامية للأطفال. إن إثارة وتنمية خيال الأطفال عندما يتجمعون حول سامية واستماعهم إلى القصص الشعبية والقصص الخيالية في صوتها المتحرك الفريد جعلنا نفكر اننا يجب ان نقوم بتوثيق القصص ومشاركتها مع عدد أكبر من الأطفال. بدعم من معهد الحوار المصري الدنماركي (سي دي دي إديتيون إنستيتيوت) و (سي ميديا ​​برودكشن)، تأتي منصة جديدة لرواية القصص معا حيث سيتم جمع هذه القصص في شكل صوتي وجعلها في متناول جمهور أوسع، وبالتالي إحياء فن رواية القصص.

Translating Arwa Salih

This lecture will take place on Thursday 22 November at 18:00.

Translating Arwa Salih: Samah Selim in conversation with Yasmin El-Rifae

Join us for an evening with translator and scholar Samah Selim and Cairo-based writer Yasmin El-Rifae. They will be speaking about Samah Selim's recent translation of Arwa Salih's 'The Stillborn: Notebooks of a Woman from the Student-Movement Generation in Egypt' (al-Mubtasirun).

Yasmin El-Rifae is a writer based in Cairo. Her work has appeared in Mada Masr, The Nation, Literary Hub, and other lefty places. She is currently writing a book about Op Anti-Sexual Harassment/Assault قوة ضد التحرش/الإعتداء الجنسي الجماعي, a feminist group which fought against mob sexual assaults in Tahrir Square in 2012 and 2013.

Samah Selim is an Egyptian scholar and translator of Arabic literature. She studied English literature at Barnard College, and obtained her PhD from Columbia University in the City of New York in 1997. Samah is also associate professor of Arabic literature at Rutgers University and the author of 'The Novel and the Rural Imaginary in Egypt, 1880-1985' (2004). Her latest work is the translation of Arwa Salih’s 'The Stillborn'.

! attention !
The number of seats is limited. Our doors open at 5:30 and close at 6:15 or earlier in case the lecture room has reached its full capacity (out of safety considerations).

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