News

News

In this section, you can find news on the AGYA members, AGYA Advisory Board members and AGYA projects.


A conference report by Louise Gallorini on last year’s „Insatiable Appetite: Food as a Cultural Signifier“ in Beirut was published in the prestigiously refereed journal Romano-Arabica of the Center of Arab Studies of the University of Bucharest.


Prof. Dr. Abdelhadi Soudi, Ambassador Scientist of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation and AGYA Advisory Board Member, demonstrated the assistive technology for the deaf to Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Asma.


In July 2017, AGYA Steering Committee Member Ahmed Debez received the accreditation to direct research (HDR | Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches).


AGYA Steering Committee member Laila Prager has been awarded a prolongation of her Senior Research Fellowship till December 2017 at New York University Abu Dhabi and has also received a Visiting Professorship in Social Research and Public Policy position at New York University Abu Dhabi starting January 2018.


Together with his fellow AGYA members, Tobias Redlich launched the international  idea  challenge ‘MAKE a difference!’  of  the Arab-German Young Academy  of  Sciences  and  Humanities  (AGYA)  in collaboration with the Helmut Schmidt University (HSU). The aim of ‘MAKE a difference!’ is to enhance creativity, social commitment, constructive collaboration and knowledge exchange between students, engineers, designers, makers, labs, and other innovation drivers.


Samir Lounis was awarded a Consolidator Grant by the European Research Council (ERC) for the DYNASORE project, which aims to establish new magnetic particles for information technology by investigating their spin dynamics. In this video by the Research Center Jülich he explains more about his work.


On 1 February 2017, Jan Völkel joined the Institute for European Studies (IES), Vrije Universiteit Brussel, as Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow, funded by the European Commission. His two-year research project focuses on ‘The role of national parliaments in the Arab transformation processes’. 


One of the main goals of the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology in Egypt (ASRT) is the appreciation of excellence and recognition of outstanding contributions to the advancement of science. In this context, ASRT has awarded Verena Lepper the ASRT golden plate award and certificate of appreciation. This ASRT award is an honor awarded to recognise outstanding achievements with national and regional impact.


In January 2017, Tareq Osaili started his new position as Professor at the Research Institute of Medical & Health Sciences at the University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.


In January 2017, Mohamed Abou El-Enein was appointed Junior Professor for Clinical Development with a focus on Regenerative Medicine at the Charité - University Medicine Berlin.


Congratulations! Our member Ronny Vollandt has been awarded the Alexander-Böhlig-Prize 2017 for his monograph "Arabic Versions of the Pentateuch. A comparative study of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Sources".


Salma Balazadeh successfully completed her habilitation in Molecular Plant Physiology in 2016, and started her new position as Private Lecturer at the Faculty of Science, University of Potsdam.


Pierre Thielbörger, AGYA member since 2014, talks in ZEIT Online about the role of the UN in the Syrian conflict. Read the article (in German).


AGYA member Tobias Redlich is head of the OpenLab of the Helmut Schmidt University, an open workspace for digital fabrication in Hamburg. The OpenLab was inaugurated in December 2016 and will open its doors to the public in February 2017. Read the article (in German).


“The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS) has granted Assem Abu Hatab and two of his colleagues at the Department of Economics at SLU a research grant of 7.6 million SEK  (around 700 000 Euros) to carry out a research project on “The dynamics of urban sprawl: land-use changes, food supply and sustainable agricultural production systems in the arid and semi-arid zones”.  Read the article.


Successful research under the lead of AGYA Member Osman Bakr on "Pure crystal orientation and anisotropic charge transport in large-area hybrid perovskite films": “This research offers a way to control crystal orientation in large-area hybrid perovskite films which could potentially be used to make solar cells, phototransistors and photodetectors,” says Osman Bakr, faculty member in Materials Science and Engineering of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia. Read the article.


Entitled “Youth politics in Lebanon. A call for citizen empowerment”,  AGYA Member Tamirace Fakhoury, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Lebanese American University (LAU), published a policy paper in November 2016. The policy paper takes stock of key structural, domestic, and international factors that have impacted Lebanon’s policy framework towards the youth population. Read the policy brief.


In the frame of the AGYA Conference "A New Wave of Populism in Europe and the Arab World: Implications and Consequences for Civic Institutions" political scientist Jan Völkel talked on Deutschlandradio Kultur about populism in the Arab world. Read the interview (in German).


Arabist at the American University Beirut (AUB) Bilal Orfali recently published the book “The Anthologist’s Art – Abu Mansur al-Tha’alibi and His Yatimat al-dahr”. The book examines the life and works of Abu Mansur al-Tha’alibi (350–429/961–1039), an eminent anthologist from Nishapur, paying special attention to his magnum opus, Yatimat al-dahr (The Unique Pearl), and its sequel, Tatimmat al-Yatima (The Completion of the Yatima). Orfali is AGYA Member since 2013.


AGYA Member Florian Kohstall talks about the Welcome@FUBerlin, a program to facilitate access to the university for students who had to flee their home country, in the Berliner Zeitung. As coordinator of the Welcome@FUBerlin, Kohstall knows about the challenges for the respective group to access universities: “We still know relatively little about the needs of the refugees, some are difficult to reach. We therefore want to intensify our contacts with local refugee organizations”, he says in the interview. Read the full article (in German).


AGYA Member Carola Richter recently published the book “Diversity in Transcultural and International Communication” together with her colleagues Indira Dupuis and Stefanie Averbeck-Lietz. The volume contributes to diversity research within communication studies taking into consideration the representation and implementation of social and cultural diversity in the public sphere, particularly in the mass media.


Kalman Graffi has been elected as member of the Young Academy of Sciences and Literature | Mainz. This Young Academy is following an integrated approach to promote excellent young scientists in their interdisciplinary collaboration. Read the press release of the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur, Mainz (in German). Graffi is AGYA member since 2014.


The Syrian archaeologist and AGYA Member Ammar Abdulrahman can continue his teaching and research activities at the University of Tübingen through a fellowship program of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation called Philipp Schwartz Initiative. With the help of this initiative, universities and research institutions are able to host foreign scholars at risk. Abdulrahman works on a joint research project with Prof. Dr. Peter Pfälzner on the settlement development in Syria and northern Iraq during the Bronze Age. Read the press release of the University of Tübingen (in German).


AGYA Member Carola Richter analyzes the digital media usage of refugees together with her colleague from the Free University of Berlin, Prof. Dr. Martin Emer. “In the public discourse the question how refugees can afford mobile devices is often raised. For people who have of all things just saved their lives, smartphones are regarded as superfluous luxury. However, smartphones are of vital importance for refugees: Mobiles offer facilities that help them planning the flight and, equipped with GPS, can navigate through areas unknown to them. Furthermore, these devices allow migrants to stay connected with those whom they had to leave behind as well as those who preceded them on their way to Europe.” Within the research project, 400 refugees in Berlin are interviewed concerning their usage of mobile devices before, during and after the flight. The research project is supported by the German Foreign Office. Read the press release of the FU Berlin (in German).


At the international conference “Migration and Transnational Cooperation in Education, Research and Innovation: An Arab-German Dialogue”, Berlin, 2-3 May, AGYA provided the platform for high-ranking experts from the Arab countries and Germany to address current and future challenges of migration at the interface between academia, science policy and society.

"It is our duty to intensify the scientific dialogue between Germany and the Arab world given the current political developments and challenges in North Africa and the Middle East which have a direct impact on Germany and Europe”, says Federal Minister of Education and Research Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka.

The festive opening of the conference was kindly hosted by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Read the press release of the BMBF (in German).


Younis Baqi has been honored with the Distinguished Researcher Award for his outstanding performance in scientific research 2015/2016 by the Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat, Oman.


Osman Bakr has been selected as Innovator under 35 in the Arab World by MIT Technology Review Arab Edition. The announcement took place in the frame of the one-day conference "Time to Invest in Arab Youth and Their Innovations" at King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia.


As coordinator of the Welcome@FUBerlin, a program to facilitate access to the university for students who had to flee their home country, Florian Kohstall was interviewed by the BBC. In the BBC report, he focused on universities as a primar institution of social integration.


How can we strengthen the dialogue between Europe and the Arab world? AGYA member Sarhan Dhouib was interviewed by Deutschlandradio Kultur about his research on philosophical approaches in the Arab World and how it is connected to European philosophers. A topic also addressed in his upcoming publication "Gerechtigkeit in transkultureller Perspektive" (Velbrück Verlag, Weilerswist). Listen to the interview here.

In summer 2016, he will join the Institute for Philosophy of the University of Bremen. He will teach as visiting professor intercultural philosophy and in particular Arab-Islamic philosophy


Samir Lounis has been granted a Consolidator Grant of about 2 million Euros from the European Research Council to work on "Dynamical magnetic excitations with spin-orbit interaction in realistic nanostructures” (DYNASORE). The goal of the project is to establish localised complex spin-textures as new particles for information technology and understand how to manipulate them by investigating theoretically from first-principles their dynamics in realistic materials. Of prime interest are the recently discovered magnetic Skyrmions that show strong potential for low energy consumption when manipulated. The project requires the development of a new simulation method that allows to handle the size and the complexity of the dynamics of these magnetic structures.


Samar Azab has been promoted to Acting Head of the Pharmacology and Toxicology Department at Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.


In February 2016, Jens Scheiner became a fully tenured professor of Islamic Studies at Göttingen University.


In the framework of the German-Arab Transformation Partnership, Ahmed Debez has been granted the funding for a joint project with Hans-Peter Braun, University of Hannover. The project “Proteomics and
Halophyte Stress Tolerance-PHAST 16” is realized in cooperation with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).


In April 2016, Norman Domeier will join the Simon Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies and the Department for Contemporary History of the University of Vienna for two years as Lise-Meitner Fellow.


Assem Abu Hatab has been elected as a member of the Consultative Board of the Arab Federation for Wildlife Protection (AFWP). AFWP is one of the specialized organizations of the Arab Council for Economic Unity of the Arab League.


Khalid Talahma was elected Board Member of the Palestinian Judicial Institute and appointed as Legal Expert of the Belgian Development Agency BTC. In the Enhancing Capacities for Institution Building Programme (ECIB) he will be developing a new legal framework for the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.


Julia Hauser received a Gerald D. Feldman travel grant from the Max Weber Foundation allowing her to pursue archival research in India, the United States, and Great Britain in 2016 for her second book on the entangled history of vegetarianism.


Bilal Orfali recently published three books: The Book of Noble Character (Brill, 2015), The Anthologist’s Art (Brill, 2016), and AUB One Hundred and Fifty (AUB Press, 2016).


In January 2016, Younis Baqi has been appointed as editorial board member for the international journal “Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry”.


Kirill Dmitriev, main organizer of the Workshop “Hot Encounters. Glass blowing and glass art in the Middle East and Europe”, gave a live interview on RBB radio station’s Kulturradio highlighting the reciprocal exchange processes of cultural assets between Europe and the Arab world. The workshop was a project of the AGYA Working Group Common Heritage and Common Challenges.


In January 2016, Hanan Badr has joined the Institute for Media and Communication Studies at the Free University of Berlin. Together with AGYA member Carola Richter she works on the DFG-project "Media functions in Transition: Eastern Europe 1989 and North Africa 2011 in Comparison". Furthermore, Hanan Badr has been consulted on anti-harassment strategies in Egypt by DEUTSCHLANDFUNK.


Fayçal Djeffal participated in the 12th Annual Meeting of Science and Technology in Society (STS) Forum, held from 4-6 October 2015 in Kyoto, Japan. Considered as "Future Leader" he took part in the event “Dialogue between Nobel Laureates and Future Leaders”. The forum aims to provide a new mechanism for open discussions on an informal basis, and to create a network that resolves new types of problems stemming from the application of science and technology.


Abdalla Ahmed Elbashir has been granted the Distinguished Scholar Award of the Arab Fund Fellowship Program for his research project "Development and validation of new, reliable, and low-cost multi-residue methods for pesticide residue analysis in Sudanese food and water resources".


During the period 04-06 October 2015, Assem Abu Hatab participated in the Mediterranean Dialogues Congress, co-organized by the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) and the Fondation du Dialogue Sud-Nord Méditerranée at Milan Expo 2015 in Varese, Italy, to discuss the challenges facing rural communities in the Mediterranean region, and the profound implications of rural poverty, youth unemployment and their resultant effects on urban poverty, migration and conflicts in North Africa and Southern Europe.


Fayçal Djeffal has received the Best Paper Award of the 2015 International Conference of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (WCE'2015), which has been held in London, UK, in July 2015. He co-authored the paper "Analytical Investigation of Swing Factor for Nanoscale Double Gate MOSFET Including Gate-work-function Effect".


In September 2015, Kalman Graffi was elected as one of three Junior-Fellows by the German "Gesellschaft für Informatik" (Computer Science Society) to represent and promote the image of Computer Science in the society for the next five years.


For the project "Media functions in emerging transformation processes" Carola Richter received a three-year-grant from the German Research Foundation (DFG) to carry out comparative research contrasting the events in Eastern Europe in 1989 with North African countries in 2011.


In September 2015, Ahmad Sakhrieh was appointed Associate Professor at the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the American University of Ras Al Khaimah, UAE.


We congratulate Fatima Kastner who successfully completed the habilitation procedure at Bielefeld University in July 2015. Her habilitation thesis on transitional justice in global society (published under the title "Transitional Justice in World Society" in Hamburger Edition 2015) has been evaluated as excellent.


Carola Richter has published together with Asiem El Difraoui the volume "Arabische Medien" (UVK publisher) that collects studies on different media phenomena in the Arab world such as regional satellite channels, media cities and social media networks. Additional to the different transnational media phenomena, the volume also considers the characteristics of a wide range of national media systems in the Arab world. The comprehensive book has been introduced and featured as a podcast in Deutschlandfunk.


The AGYA Working Group Common Heritage and Common Challenges released a Call for Papers for their international conference "Insatiable Appetite: Food as a Cultural Signifier" at the American University of Beirut in May 2016


The AGYA Working Group Common Heritage and Common Challenges, in particular Julia Hauser, Jens Scheiner and Kirill Dmitriev, was able to secure funding from Volkswagen Foundation for their international conference “Fluid Nature Fluid Cultures. Malta and the Mediterranean” on Malta in September 2015.


For his project “Investigating the anti-cancer properties of natural products isolated from date fruits of the Omani elite variety Khalas”, Younis Baqi, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, won in May 2015 the
His Majesty Research Trust Fund, the most prestigious trust fund in Oman.


Khalid Talahma will join in July 2015 the Law and Economics Department of the University of Chicago Law School. He was also appointed as a legal expert for Strengthening the Palestinian NGO Sector Capacity and Involvement in Governance and Democratic Process (OPT).

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