On Monday 30th June, during the opening ceremony, Professor Bongardt, vice-president of the Freie Universität Berlin, gave his regards to the initiatives of the Aladdin Project, and recognized that, taking into account its history and its founding principles “Truth, Justice and Liberty”, the Freie Universität is well placed for such an encounter. Abe Radkin, Executive Director of the Aladdin Project and Mrs. Schröder, Director of Bahcesehir University in Berlin, also welcomed the students by inviting them to learn from each other and to become the engaged actors of tomorrow.
In the afternoon, Mrs. Nilüfer Göle, Director of Studies at the EHESS in Paris and President of the Academic Committee of the Aladdin project, gave an inaugural lecture entitled “Islam: From a Civilizational Pespective to Phenomenology of Religion in Europe”, on the question of the place of religion in the public space, and on the political and multicultural challenges entailed by religions in secular or “post-religious” societies.
This introductory course was followed by a roundtable discussion moderated by Uli Bruckner, Professor at Stanford University and academic coordinator of the Summer University. Tudor Parfitt, Professor at Florida International University and David Katz, Professor at Tel Aviv University also participated in this discussion. This roundtable discussion was followed by rich and constructive dialogues with the students.
On Wednesday, July 2nd, Ambassador Heinrich Kreft, Director of diplomacy and dialogue between civilizations at the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also intervened with the students on the question of religious plurality, certain current religious conflicts and the necessity to handle and increase the international cooperation on these subjects.
With this initiative, the Aladdin Project wishes to train the future generation of leaders in the Mediterranean area. This project has been emphasized during the last gala evening at the French National Assembly on June 12th, 2014, in the course of which some of the students of the 2013 promotion have been rewarded for their researches.