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The University of Amsterdam's (UvA) Amsterdam Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (ACMES) will officially open on Thursday, 14 November with presentations by prominent historian Joseph Massad of Columbia University and Kuwaiti novelist Saud Alsanousi, winner of the 2013 International Prize for Arabic Fiction.

Photo: ACMES

ACMES brings together expertise on the Middle East from various academic disciplines at the UvA with the aim of promoting mutual cooperation and the development of a joint research agenda. The 75 associates of ACMES are employed in a highly diverse range of disciplines, including Anthropology, Arabic Studies, Art History, Cultural Studies, Hebrew, History, Law, Literary Studies, Media Studies, Political Science and Religious Studies. Their individual areas of research range from antiquity to the present, and from Morocco to the Balkans. ACMES is not just a platform for cooperation: the centre also organises lectures, including public lectures, symposiums, master's classes, conferences and seminars.

Dr Robbert Woltering, founder and director of ACMES: ‘Our University has a wealth of expertise available when it comes to the Middle East. We're not that used to it, but seen in combination, that expertise makes for a very impressive research capacity by any standard, national or international.' 

Further to the contributions from Massad and Alsanousi, the programme of the opening ceremony features a word of welcome from Professor Dymph van den Boom, Rector Magnificus of the UvA, and will close with a question and answer session led by Hassnae Bouazza.

Time and venue

The opening ceremony will be held in the Aula of the UvA, Singel 411, Amsterdam on Thursday, 14 November, at 16:00. The ceremony is open to the public. You are requested to register via the ACMES website (see link below).

For more information, please send an email to