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The Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter

Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies signs new Memorandum of Understanding with the America University of Beirut

The Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (IAIS) has signed a new agreement with the American University of Beirut (AUB), which commits both parties to further developing their research relationship together. AUB is considered to be amongst the finest academic institutions in the Middle East, currently ranked 1st in the QS Arab Region Rankings and 237th in the QS World Rankings. They have an outstanding reputation for teaching and research, as well as a range of academic expertise which complements that of the Institute in a number of key areas.

AUB and the Institute have a long and successful history of working together, with a number of conferences and workshops jointly hosted in past years. It is hoped that this MoU will extend the relationship still further, encouraging the exchange of faculty to support the development of new projects. One particular area with rich potential for joint research in AUB’s Oral History archive, an archival collection that contains more than 1,000 hours of testimonies with first generation Palestinians and other Palestinian communities in Lebanon. AUB are in the process of digitizing and categorising this important collection and the MoU commits to Institute members accessing the collection to assist with the Oral History Archive project, an initiative that it is hoped will lead to the development of new research collaborations between the institutions.

There are also plans for this MoU to deliver benefits for students at both institutions. As well as encouraging PhD exchanges, the MoU will also see both universities explore opportunities for MArabic students to study at AUB during their time abroad. AUB offers excellent teaching facilities, which would allow Exeter students to gain experience in the region in a safe University environment. The possibility of an Oral History Summer school has also been discussed.

Prof Sajjad Rizvi, Director of Internationalisation for IAIS, said of the new agreement: ‘I’m delighted to announce that our new Memorandum of Understanding with AUB has now been signed, formalising our plans to work together over the coming years. AUB and Exeter have always enjoyed a good relationship and it is my hope that this new agreement will see our commitment to working together grow deeper and stronger.’  

Date: 16 October 2018