The IREMAI is designed as a new interdisciplinary space and a referential framework within the context of South-South relations. Therefore, the IREMAI is a gateway for the local community in Argentina and Latin America to be connected with the Middle East, the Arab and the Islamic World.
New trends in the current process of globalization, with their consequent political, economic and cultural changes, have shrunk geographic space in an unprecedented way, arousing interest in what was once considered distant. "Meeting of civilizations" has become an essential instance of dialogue rather than the so-called "clash" that has only helped to build stereotypes and false perceptions.
Within this context, knowing and understanding “the other” has been the driving force towards creating an academic space for reflection and construction of a shared identity. This is the spirit behind this institution, one of its kind in the country: the Rosario Institute of Arab World and Islamic Studies (IREMAI), within the Universidad Nacional de Rosario (UNR).
With the overall objective of consolidating and strengthening cultural ties and deepening mutual knowledge cutting across nationalities, political thoughts or religious inclinations-, the IREMAI is designed as a new interdisciplinary space and a referential framework within the context of South-South relations. Therefore, the IREMAI is a gateway for the local community in Argentina and Latin America to be connected with the Middle East, the Arab and the Islamic World. Building bridges between the two regions will be possible by increasing mutual knowledge: learning the language, literature, culture, but also history, politics and economics of the societies in both latitudes.
The IREMAI has a multidisciplinary approach aimed at promoting and strengthening cultural ties through academic, mainly inter-university cooperation:
a- Respecting cultural diversity, history, religions, traditions and policies of the actors involved.
b- Promoting coordination and planning of academic activities and training of human resources on topics of mutual interest.
c- Establishing solid and reliable channels for the development of joint activities with other countries and universities from different perspectives and disciplines: international relations, politics, history, law, economics, language, religion, etc.
Taking into account the specialized human resources available at the National University of Rosario, the Institute objectives are:
(a) to encourage cooperation among the faculties of our university with academic units in the Arab world on issues of common interest.
(b) to promote Latin American studies and insert Rosario, the province and the region in the national and regional spaces of the countries under study, leading to a greater and more successful interaction.
(c) to strengthen academic training and professional trajectories of the respective academic communities.
In order to implement its objectives, the IREMAI will develop research, teaching and extension activites, and will widely disseminate its findings.
In the area of research the idea is to promote development of joint research projects, generating new processes to enable better scientific-technological cooperation. Teaching will be developed at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, offering courses that will go horizontally across the different issues and areas at stake.
The activities concerning dissemination explore the connections between the university and the local and national environment to promote international cooperation as an essential component of the academic project.
To fulfill these aims and objectives, a varied cluster of subjects have been proposed: legacy of history and religion, ancient civilizations, ancient and contemporary literature, the role of culture in tradition, creation of the State in comparative perspective, development of civil societies, religious and political movements, economic and commercial development, international and comparative foreign policy, geopolitics and international order, among others.
These areas could be channelled in 5 lines or avenues of research:
1 - Cultural studies, religion and language.
2 - Political and social issues.
3 - Economic and trade relations.
4 – Insertion in global scenarios and international cooperation.
5 - Scientific and technological cooperation.
In order to translate these lines of research into concrete activities, the IREMAI proposes:
A- To organize different meetings -Seminars, workshops and conferences- with the participation of scholars of the regions involved, on areas of mutual interest.
B- To carry out exchange of professors and research scholars, students and graduates to promote mutual enrichment and rewarding experiences. The development of faculty internships abroad through lectures and courses allows taking advantage of cultural capital and knowledge sharing.
C- To create a real and a virtual library to publish the results of the investigations and promote the institute’s activities.
D- To offer postgraduate courses available at UNR for training of human resources.
E- To promote mutual recognition of credits obtained through the offered seminars to stimulate the cooperative network in connection with joint research projects.
F- To develop activities for mutual knowledge of our respective languages. In the case of Rosario, for the learning of Arabic language, our University has the Department of Languages and the Centre for Oriental Studies from College of Humanities and Arts, along with the possibility of further training in centres, institutes and universities in the countries of the Islamic and Arab World.
Areas of action
The IREMAI will have three lines of action to accomplish its objectives:
A- Through the Latin American Studies Department, the region’s past and current developments will be taught in the Arab and Islamic universities in areas such as:
Spanish Language and Literature.
Argentinean and Latin American History.
Latin American Culture.
Comparative Studies on Political Processes.
Comparative Studies on Economic and Social Processes.
Foreign Policy and International insertion of Latin American countries.
Participation in Multilateral Institutions.
Latin America’s International Relations.
South - South Cooperation and Regional Integration Processes.
B- Advancing knowledge and research on the Middle East, the Arab and Islamic World in the UNR at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, through activities developed by renowned local and foreign academic specialists.
C- The IREMAI will promote the work of the 12 academic units operating in the framework of the UNR, as well as the centers of specialized research, to produce cross fertilization and scientific and technical cooperation.
- Honorary Chairperson: Prof. Darío Maiorana – Vice-Chacellor of Universidad Nacional de Rosario.
- Director: Prof. Gladys Lechini
- Deputy Director: Prof. Ruben Paredes Rodriguez