Cairo Hosts "Armenia – Arab World: Past and Present" Forum

Armenian_Arab_Forum_01 (Small) An unprecedented international forum “Armenia – Arab World: Past and
Present” took place at the Faculty of Arts of the Cairo University on
Tuesday, April 29, 2008. The forum was held under the auspices of
Egypt’s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Dr. Hani
Hilal, and it was sponsored by the Center for Armenian Studies at Cairo
University, the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in Egypt, as well as
various Egyptian-Armenian civic and cultural organizations, including
AGBU. AGBU Cairo contributed to the event by inviting three lecturers
from Syria.
The forum gathered approximately 20 prominent lecturers from Egypt,
Armenia, Syria and Lebanon, who specialize in various domains of
Armeno-Arab relations, including politics, history, culture and
literature. It was a distinctive gathering of the Arab world’s top
historians, researchers and experts of Armeno-Arab relations and
The event, which can be described as unique in the Arab world, included
various presentations that demonstrated the breadth and prominence of
Armenians through the centuries. The history of the Armenian communities
in Egypt, Syria and Lebanon was presented respectively by Drs. Mohamed
Refaat Al Imam, Nora Arisian and Arda Arsenian.
Other notable presentations were by Egyptian academic Dr. Gamal Mohamed,
who spoke about “The Armenians during the Ottoman Period,” the Lebanese
academic Dr. Hana El Haj who discussed “The Armenians and Islam,” Dr.
Nezar Khalili of Syria who addressed “Armenians & Arabs through
Translation,” Dr. Adonis El Ekra of Lebanon who presented on “The
Position of Arabs in Welcoming Armenian Refugees in Various Arab
Countries (1915-1923),” Dr. Saad El Din Kolayeb of Syria who delved into
a little-known topic, “The Role of Armenian Intellectuals in the Arab
Renaissance,” and Dr. Nicolai Hohanessian of Armenia who spoke about
“Armenia as Center of Arab Studies.”
The following academics also participated in the event: Dr. Shawkat
Youssef (Syria), Dr. Varoujan Kazandjian, Fayez Iskandar, Mohamed El
Beyaly, Abou El Yosr Farah and Fouad Raslan (Egypt), Venera Markarian &
Hayk Kotcharian (Armenia), Fouad El Marei, Shawkat Youssef & Samir
Arbash (Syria).
An exhibition of books on Armenian Studies was also held on this

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