Tuesday, 5 January 2021



Book presentation: Cairo collages. Everyday life practices after the event


On 1 February 2021, 5 pm, Mona Abaza (American University in Cairo) will present her latest book "Cairo Collages" at ZMO (virtual event via Zoom).

In Cairo collages, the large-scale political, economic, and social changes in Egypt brought on by the 2011 revolution are set against the declining fortunes of a single apartment building in a specific Cairo neighbourhood. The violence in Tahrir Square and Mohamed Mahmud Street; the post-January euphoric moment; the increasing militarisation of urban life; the flourishing of dystopian novels set in Cairo; the neo-liberal imaginaries of Dubai and Singapore as global models; gentrification and evictions in poor neighbourhoods; the forthcoming new administrative capital for Egypt – all are narrated in parallel to the ‘little’ story of the adventures and misfortunes of everyday interactions in a middle-class building in the neighbourhood of Doqi.

The book presentation is organised in cooperation with the collective Nawara which is organizing a series of events around the 10th anniversary of the Egyptian revolution.


11 January 2021, 2 pm, virtual event
Urban Neighbourhood Formations. Boundaries, Narrations and Intimacies
Book presentation by Hilal Alkan (ZMO) and Nazan Maksudyan (FU Berlin/Centre Marc Bloch)


This edited volume revolves around three major aspects of making and unmaking of neighbourhoods: spatial and temporal boundaries of neighbourhoods, neighbourhoods as imagined and narrated entities, and neighbourhood as social relations. With extensive case studies from Johannesburg to Istanbul and from Jerusalem to Delhi, this volume shows how spatial amenities, immaterial processes of narrating and dreaming, and the lasting effect of intimacies and violence in a neighbourhood are intertwined and negotiated over time in the construction of moral orders, urban practices, and political identities at large. It offers insights into neighbourhood formations in an age of constant mobility and helps us understand the grassroots-level dynamics of xenophobia and hostility, as much as welcoming and openness. Please register at registration@zmo.de

More info

11 January 2021, 2 pm, virtual event
Kumkumbuka na Kumwenzi Marehemu Euphrase Kezilahabi (1944-2020)
Baraza la Kiswahili la Berlin


Marehemu Euphrase Kezilahabi alikuwa mwandishi na msomi asiyekuwa na kifani. Mchango wake katika nyanja za ushairi, riwaya, hadithi fupi, tamthilia utakumbukwa daima. Alikuwa mwanafalsafa na mwanafasihi aliyewavutia na kuchochea fikra na hisia za wasomi wenzake na wasomaji wake kwa ujumla. Katika baraza hili, tungependa kumkumbuka na kumwenzi Marehemu Euphrase Kezilahabi kwa pamoja tukiwapa wanatafiti wa rika la ‛vijanapamoja na wanafunzi nafasi ya kutoa michango yao.
Wazungumzaji na wenyekiti watakuwa ni Alena Rettová, Neema Benson Sway, Lena Dasch, Josefine Rindt, Roberto Gaudioso, Erasto John Duwe, na mwenyeji mmojawapo Luti Diegner.

Please find a Zoom-Link under "More info".

More info

14 January 2021, 5 pm, virtual event
Young Swahili-speakers in Oman and the ‘Zanzibar Diaspora’
Lecture by Franziska Fay


What does it mean to be a ‘young’ (below the age of 35) Swahili-speaker in Oman? How do young people make sense of their Omani identities while also speaking Swahili? What are the implications of also speaking Swahili in a majority Arabic-speaking state? Where do these young people position themselves on the spectrum of the so-called Zanzibar Diaspora? In this presentation, Fay reflects on some findings that emerged from preliminary fieldwork with young people between Zanzibar and Oman in 2018 and 2019.
Franziska Fay is a visiting research fellow at Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) with the Oman Research Grant and a postdoctoral researcher at the Research Centre Normative Orders at the University of Frankfurt/Main.
Please register at registration@zmo.de

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18 January 2021, 5 pm, virtual event
Port Cities of the Eastern Mediterranean. Urban Culture in the Late Ottoman Empire
Book presentation by Malte Fuhrmann (ZMO)


Eastern Mediterranean port cities, such as Constantinople, Smyrna, and Salonica, have long been sites of fascination. Known for their vibrant and diverse populations, the dynamism of their economic and cultural exchanges, and their form of relatively peaceful co-existence in a turbulent age, many would label them as models of cosmopolitanism. In this study, Malte Fuhrmann examines changes in the histories of space, consumption, and identities in the nineteenth and early twentieth century while the Mediterranean became a zone of influence for European powers.
Please register at registration@zmo.de

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28 January 2021, 3 pm, virtual event
Constitutionalism in the Middle East and the question of democracy
Lecture by Hedayat Heikal (Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA)


This is the third lecture of the "The Historicity of Democracy Seminar", organized within the framework of the HISDEMAB international and collaborative research programme of the Leibniz-Association (ZMO-ZZF-IEG) in collaboration with IFPO and Manouba University.
The online seminar is free and open to the public upon registration.
For registration, please send an email to HISDEMAB@gmail.com

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28 January 2021, 5 pm, virtual event
Historical Pedagogy: What Hindutva Does with History
Lecture by Tanika Sarkar (Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi) as part of the ZMO-Colloquium Understanding Populism: State, Academia, and Civil Society


The ideological apparatus of Hindu nationalism or Hindutva in India depends very largely on its understanding of Indian history. Its worldview is entirely contained in that and it pervades the complex organisational apparatus which is composed of a large number of interrelated and overlapping affiliates and sub affiliates. These units work among a vast range of social groups among whom they disseminate their particular sense of history.
Please register at registration@zmo.de

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Noura Chalati
Illness as Metaphor and Reality in Syria


In: Middle East Report 297 (Winter 2020).




Katrin Bromber
Soldier-Citizen Training: The Early Boy Scout Movement in Ethiopia (1920s–1950s)


In: Northeast African Studies 20, nos. 1-2, pp. 91-116.




David Leupold
‘Building the Internationalist City from Below’: The Role of the Czechoslovak Industrial Cooperative “Interhelpo” in Forging Urbanity in early-Soviet Bishkek


In: International Labor and Working-Class History, published online on 23 November 2020.




Nitin Sinha
Histories of transport and communication in South Asia: A first review


In: The Journal of Transport History, published online on 16 November 2020.




Stefan B. Kirmse
Review of V. Rampton: Liberal Ideas in Tsarist Russia

In: H-Soz-Kult, published online on 2 December 2020.




Ulrike Freitag
The Dihlīz of the Learned: Bayt Naṣīf as a Node in Reformist Muslim Circles (Mid 19th-Mid 20th Centuries)

In: Qira'at Nr. 12, King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies.
Arabic version available.






Tenders & Calls

Position of a predoctoral research fellow in the Project "Normality and Crisis: Memories of Everyday Life in Syria as a Chance for a New Start in Germany"

Starting as soon as possible until 31 July 2021.
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis starting 16 November 2020.

Call for Applications: The Oman Research Grant for a visiting research fellowship of three months at ZMO

The grant comprises funding for a residential research stay of up to 3 months during the year of 2021 at ZMO.
Deadline for submitting the application: 6 January 2021

ZMO in the Media

Von der Anfeindung zum Pogrom


Article by Stefan B. Kirmse

Tagesspiegel, 15 December 2020.


Antimuslimischer Rassismus in der Pornografie

 Interview with Claude C. Kempen.

ze.tt, 14 December 2020.


Alumni News

South Asia - Gulf Migratory Corridor: Impending Challenges

ZMO-Alumnus Ginu Zacharia Oommen and S Irudaya Rajan write in the International Affairs Review on how the Covid-19 pandemic has rerouted global migration patterns, restructured migratory corridors, and remapped the fate of millions of migrants and their families across the globe in an unprecedented manner.


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