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Orient-Institut Beirut

in der Stiftung DGIA

In 1961 the Orient- Institut was established in Beirut by the German Oriental Society (DMG). The Institute is funded by the German Federal Government (Ministry of Education and Research). Additional funds have been provided by the Fritz-Thyssen-Foundation, the Volkswagen-Foundation and other institutions supporting scientific research. Since 1964 the Orient -Institut is located in a villa in the traditional quarter of Zokak el-Blat, close to the city center of Beirut. After establishing itself as a part of the academic and intellectual life in the vibrant metropolis of Beirut in the sixties and seventies research at the institute was threatened by the Lebanese Civil War. Luckily the Institute did not suffer any major material damage, however, the scientific staff did eventually have to leave Beirut for Istanbul in 1987.

In Turkey the Institute continued its work on Arabic and Islamic Studies and established a new focus: Turkish, Ottoman and Central Asian studies.

In August 1994 the Institute again resumed its full range of activities in Beirut. Since that time the Istanbul branch operates as a center for Turkish and Ottoman studies. Both branches serve as a forum for scholars from abroad to meet their locally based colleagues. The Institutes pursue the following objectives:

Scholarly work on the region has changed significantly both in terms of contents and methods over the last twenty years. Apart from its traditional philological and historical perspectives, scientific approaches to the region have come to rely on neighbouring disciplines such as social anthropology, political and social sciences, linguistics etc. These changes are reflected in the Orient- Institut's work.

The main fields of research of both branches are: