Tarek Heggy, one of the most influential and nonconformist voices of the Middle-East intellectual arena, will offer a cross-cutting overview of the main historic, political and sociological dynamics underpinning Islamic society, shedding light into current attempts to reconcile islamism with modernity, democracy, human rights and multiculturalism.
Which are the consequences of the current renovation processes taking place in North Africa? Which are the prospects in the relationship between islamism and Europe, immigration and demographic processes, cultural diversity and integration? These and other topics will be addressed in their historic, cultural and political dimensions to offer unrhetorical and clarifying answers.



11.00 a.m.   Introduction and welcome address

11.15 a.m.   Lecture by Tarek Heggy – Gatestone Institute
                      "Islamism and Modernity: an unconventional perspective"      

12.15 p.m.   Discussion by Valentina Colombo – European University, Rome
12.30 p.m.   Questions & Answers

Further details will be available soon.

This FEEM lecture is organised as part of the activities of FEEM’s Economy and Society Research Programme.

Tarek Heggy

Tarek Heggy is distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute, New York. He is Visiting Professor at several world-class universities and barrister-at-law before the Supreme Court of Egypt. Author of over 18 books in Arabic (plus 12 in English, French & Italian) and co-founder of the Chair of Coptic Studies at The American University in Cairo and of "Tarek Heggy’s Scholarship in Jewish Studies" at the University of Toronto. In 2008 he was awarded the Italian prize "Premio Grinzane – Terra D’Otranto" (former Premio Grinzane Cavour).
Former positions include: Chairman & CEO of a major International Oil Company, member of the Advisory Board of the RAND Organization "Centre for Middle East Public Policy" of the Initiative for Middle Eastern Youth (IMEY); member of the Advisory Board of Just Journalism (UK); member of Egypt Supreme Culture Council (Management Sciences Committee); Board member of The Egyptian Society for Historic Studies; member of the Board of Trustees of the MSA University (Cairo, Egypt); member of the Board of The Faculty of Economics and Political Science of Cairo University; member of the Board of the Middle East Research Centre of Ain Shams University (Cairo); Vice President of The Arab Management Society; member of Egypt Writers Association; Chairman of Heliopolis Library. From 1973 to 1979 he was Assistant Professor at Constantine University/Algeria and the University of Fes/Morocco.

Valentina Colombo
Valentina Colombo, Senior Fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy, teaches Geopolitics of the Islamic World at the European University, Rome. After graduating in Arabic Language and Literature from Cattolica University, Milan, she earned a PhD in Islamic Studies from Orientale University, Naples. She taught Islamic Studies and Arabic language and literature at Bologna University. Her research focuses on democratization processes in the Middle East, with particular regard to Arab liberal intellectuals and the role of women in politics in the Middle East. Her latest works are: Islam. Istruzioni per l’uso (Islam. Instructions for use, Milan 2009); Vietato in nome di Allah. Libri e intellettuali messi al bando nel mondo islamico (Forbidden in the name of Allah. Books and Intellectuals banned in the Islamic World, Turin 2010).