Current program

Event Information:

  • Wed

    Ibn Rushd Lecture: Arabs Change Berlin, Berlin Changes Arabs

    20:00Lettrétage in der Veteranenstraße 21, Admission free

    Book Presentation: 'Arab Berlin: Dynamics of Transformation'
    Arab Berlin – an Ibn Rushd Lecture with Nahed Samour and Mahmoud Salem

    Sonnenallee is one of the most famous streets of Berlin these days - and this no longer related to the legendary 1990s film about the German reunification, but to all the Arab businesses framing its wide sidewalks. Arab groceries stores and halal butcher shops, shisha cafés and shawarma restaurants, Arab banks and Islamic fashion stores gave it it’s second name – for a while known as ‘Little Beirut’ or ‘Gaza Strip’, it now just goes by the name of ‘Arab Street’ to account for the diversity in Arab provenance. But these are just the facades, and there is so much more to Arab Life and Culture in Berlin.

    The newly published book "Arab Berlin: Dynamics of Transformation" edited by Hanan Badr and Nahed Samour takes a closer look behind the facades and examines the multifaceted changes in Berlin and its Arab communities. From politics and society over history and migration to gender and beyond, Arabs actively participate in shaping these transformations. Badr and Samour’s comprehensive compilation comprises academic articles, essays, interviews, and photographs, providing profound insights into Berlin's intricate dynamics. Authors from diverse backgrounds contribute their perspectives, fostering a nuanced dialogue on contemporary shifts.

    Please register at the following link:

    In this Ibn Rushd Lecture, one of the editors of the book, Dr. Nahed Samour, a scholar of law and Islamic studies at Humboldt University Berlin, will introduce the book and talk about how it came into being. She will also shed some light on how Berlin uses the figure of the Arab to pass laws and practices that further marginalize and stigmatize Arabs.

    Mahmoud Salem, one of the contributors and an important activist blogger during the Egyptian revolution now turned cybersecurity analyst based in Berlin, will share his personal reflections on navigating identity transformations amidst the contrasting social, political, and cultural landscapes of Berlin and Egypt. They will illuminate the key areas of transformation of Arab culture in Berlin and explore Berlin's evolving status as a central hub for Arab intellectual life in Europe.

    About the speakers:

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    Dr Nahed Samour, Research Associate in the research group "Race-Religion-Constellations" at Radboud University, Nijmegen. She was Core Emerging Investigator at the Integrative Research Institute Law & Society 2019-2022 Samour holds degrees in law and Islamic studies from esteemed universities including Bonn, Birzeit/Ramallah, London (SOAS), Berlin (HU), Harvard, and Damascus. She was a doctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt/Main. Dr Samour clerked at the Court of Appeals in Berlin, and held a Post Doc position at the Eric Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, Helsinki University, Finland and was Early Career Fellow at the Lichtenberg-Kolleg, Göttingen Institute for Advance Study, and taught as Junior Faculty at Harvard Law School Institute for Global Law and Policy from 2014-2018.

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    Mahmoud Salem is an award winning Egyptian blogger, activist, writer, and, more recently, cybersecurity analyst. Writing under the pseudonym ‘Sandmonkey’ Salem was a key critic of the Mubarak regime, helping to develop the discontent that became the Arab Spring in Egypt. As Mubarak was removed from office, Salem became a key conduit for the aims of young Egyptians and in 2011 ran for office as a member of the secular ‘Free Egyptians’. Describing himself on Twitter as a "microcelebrity, blogger, activist, new media douchebag, pain in the ass!" Salem transitioned into specializing in cybersecurity following certain events and now resides in Berlin.

    The event will be moderated by Cora Josting and Amany Alsiefy of the Ibn Rushd Fund.

    This event will be held in English; as always, questions and contributions to the discussion can be made in Arabic and German also, and we will translate as best we can.