The Institute holds the Gulf Conference and a seminar and lecture series featuring distinguished scholars and public figures from the Islamic world and the West.

The Street Gallery is a dedicated exhibition space within the Institute building and hosts a wide and varied exhibition programme.

See also all events in the College of Social Sciences and International Studies.

Forthcoming events

Past events can be found here.

Audio/Video recordings from previous events and talks can be found here.

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27 January 2018

Migration: Displacement and Development in the MENA region

In the past fifteen years the MENA region has been in the eye of the refugee displacement storm, experiencing dramatic waves of refugees and forced migration. Although episodes of forced migration are not new in this part of the world, today there are 20 million displaced people in the MENA, a number that rises to 54 million when including economic migrants. This massive movement of peoples is having profound effects on territorial fragmentation, societal transformation and the practice of sovereignty. This symposium intends to tackle the issue of migration through an interdisciplinary, multi-sided approach, which is also peculiar to the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter. The objective is to bring together scholars whose interest in migration in the Arab world and the wider Mediterranean can trigger meaningful comparative debate. By focusing on several themes and with different perspectives, this would allow a comprehensive discussion of major aspects of migration and displacement that is affecting the region and its people. To register, please email by Monday 22 January 2018, stating any dietary requirements. The full programme is attached. Full details
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31 January 2018

The challenge of translating the Quran in plain English: Dr Musharraf Hussain OBE

My goal as a translator of the Quran has been to translate the meaning of the divine message, by being faithful and accurate in expressing the exact meaning of this, in order to be authentic. What has been a source of consolation for me is the fact that Muslims regard only the Arabic Quran as the Quran, the translations are simply interpretations. Therefore, this gives me some scope to interpret the divine text and I am justified in presenting my understanding of the text as I have learnt it from my eminent teachers, the previous prominent translators and illustrious commentators.. Full details
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28 February 2018

The Alexander Romance in Persian History and Literature

In Persian tradition and literature, Alexander the Great is usually depicted with two faces – either as the two-horned one of the Qur’an or as the accursed-one of Zoroastrian tradition. This lecture endeavours to show that Persian literature, legend and mythopoetics has much more to say about Alexander than simply this, while demonstrating why and how the Persian image of Alexander is completely distinguishable from the Islamic portrayal of the world conqueror. I will concentrate on how the Greek Alexander Romance entered classical Persian literature, revealing how Alexander became as Persian as any other hero/king in the Persian tradition, as well as illustrate with great detail how Alexander is pictured in the works of great Persian poets ranging from the tenth to seventeenth century, with particular focus on Nizami’s Book of Alexander. I also demonstrate the existence of a positive view of Alexander in both Classical Arabic and Persian sources that is not just the result of biases derived from the Islamic era, but which also reflects the viewpoint of the pre-Islamic Persian depiction of Alexander.. Full details
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