Ismail Serageldin



Jurji Zaidan: His Contributions to Modern Arab Thought and Literature

I am honored to have been invited to join in celebrating the legacy of a remarkable man, who in the short span of half a century, had a profound impact on the culture of his people, the history of his region, and the literature of his language. He helped forge the modern identity of the Arabs, founded the modern mass media there and brought culture to the broad public as he pioneered the use of the novel in Arabic. He was a man of letters who understood and publicized science; a man of the Christian faith who had a profound knowledge of Islam and the history of the Muslim peoples, and helped bring that history to life for generations of Muslims, including myself.

A tale of Travels to the Seven Kingdoms


A lecture delivered in 2016 in homage to Miguel de Cervantes
On the occasion of the 400th anniversary of his death
(Repeated at the Library of Alexandria in January 2017)



Remarks delivered at the Second International Summit of the Book
On the Theme of “the Book by any Name”
At the opening session “The Meaning of the Book in Human Civilization”.
Singapore – 16 August 2013


I was recently asked to name the ten books that had most shaped the world. Not the ten books that I personally liked best, but the ten books that most influenced humanity and its march towards progress, and the creation of what we call civilization.
The question is not as simple as one would imagine. For it is easy to draw up a long list of important books, much harder to distill them to only ten. I did, and before I share the list with you, I think that I must explain my selection criteria… So here goes:


Cities of the Future

The Challenge: A Cultural Program to Reject Extremism and Violence

التحدي رؤية ثقافية لمجابهة التطرف والعنف

Experiencing Alexandria - The City as Text and Context

Hassan Fathy : Egypt’s Visionary Architect

Ancient Alexandria and the Dawn of Medical Science

Public Health and Private Medicine

Do not mess with (Im)perfection

The phenomenal success of the Internet has prompted a number of voices to
question how it is governed, and who makes the decisions and who benefits. Some
see the US Government pulling the strings behind a system that remains mostly
dominated by American firms and whose most important installations have largely
remained on US soil. Politics entered the argument, many simply saying that in this
day and age of globalization and multilateralism, and the relatively reduced
economic power of the USA in the global economy, others must have an equal say
in how the Internet is run. And the governance debate was on.It became a part of
the central debates launched at The World Summit for the Information Society
(WSIS) held in 2003 in Geneva and in 2005 in Tunis. An Annual Internet
Governance Forum (IGF) ensued, meeting yearly in different parts of the World.
Further fueled by the political controversies surrounding the NSA and US
Government snooping, the increasing invasion of privacy that is part of the rapidly
changing contexts created by social media and even commercial services being
provided through the Internet, more voices were raised demanding to break up the
“US monopoly” on running the internet. As we approach the tenyear
mark for
IGF 2015, a number of committees and Panels have been convened to reflect on
the substance of the issues and produce recommendations on the topic of how the
Internet should be governed. This small note is one contribution to one of these
distinguished panels, devoted to the future role of The Internet Corporation for
Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

La Renaissancee la Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Shakespeare and the Burden of Leadership

Shakespeare’s Henry V - Modern reflections on a Medieval Hero

Shakespeare’s Richard II - Reflections on the Downfall of a King

The Poetry of the Magnificent Sage

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