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Leiden University in the Netherlands establishes the Albabtain Center for Arab Culture within its campus.

October 10, 2018

         Albabtain Center for Arab Culture at Leiden University officially opens its doors on Wednesday, October 10, 2018, to celebrate the partnership between Leiden University and the Abdullaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation. The opening ceremony will take place in the main auditorium of Leiden University's Academic Building in the evening.

         The opening ceremony will feature speeches from Mrs. Petra Sijpesteijn, the Director of the Center. Mr. Abdulrahman Khaled Albabtain, the Secretary-General of the Abdullaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation, will speak on behalf of Mr. Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain, the Chairman of the Foundation. Lastly, Mrs. Widad Al-Qadi, a visiting professor from the University of Chicago, will also address the audience.

         This collaboration aims to support the mission of both institutions in building cultural and intellectual bridges between the Arab world and the rest of the world from an academic perspective. Professor Petra Sijpesteijn, a professor of Arabic at Leiden University and the director of Leiden University's Centre for the Study of Islam and Society (LUCIS), will be in charge of the "Abdullaziz Saud Albabtain Center for Arab Culture at Leiden University."

         Furthermore, the Abdullaziz Saud Albabtain Center for Arab Culture at Leiden University organizes various events related to Arab culture, literature, and poetry. One of these events is the Visiting Professorship in Arab Culture, where each year, a distinguished foreign scholar will be hosted at Leiden University to share their knowledge and expertise with students and researchers alike. The opening ceremony will be attended by Professor Widad Al-Qadi from the University of Chicago, who is the first visiting professor in Arab culture collaborating with the center.

         In addition, an annual two-day symposium will be organized at Leiden University, bringing together researchers interested in contemporary and historical Arab societies. This symposium will target master's students, Ph.D. candidates, and early-career researchers who will participate in interactive workshop sessions. It provides a platform for both novice and seasoned researchers to exchange ideas and discuss new concepts in informal networking sessions. Furthermore, there will be a program dedicated to Arab literature and poetry, where three renowned Arab poets will engage with Dutch poets for cultural exchange.

         This exchange of Dutch and Arabic poetry will result in the translation of three Arabic poems into Dutch and three Dutch poems into Arabic. Additionally, the participating poets will engage with students and the general public through hosting a classroom session for Leiden University students and delivering a public lecture.

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