Maltese and Lebanese Links

On the invitation of the ambassador of Malta to Lebanon, H.E. Mr Peter Toledo, the rector of the Universitè du Saint-Esprit ­ Kaslik (U.S.E.K.), Lebanon, Rev. Dr Karam Rizk visited the University of Malta on July 7th 2003. Prof. Anthony J. Frendo, Head of the Department of Arabic and Near Eastern Studies, Dr Martin R. Zammit from the same Department and Rev. Prof. George Grima, Dean of the Faculty of Theology, held a meeting with Rev. Dr Rizk at the Faculty of Arts. Both sides made reference to the linguistic, socio-historical and religious affinities linking the Maltese and Lebanese peoples, and expressed their wish to establish tangible forms of collaboration which would bring together academics and students from both countries. Areas of tangible co-operation between the two universities in various fields of study were explored. In particular, Arabic, Semitic studies, and Biblical archaeology were identified as areas of immediate interest. The two sides discussed the possibility of organizing summer student exchanges during which Maltese students would attend, amongst others, Arabic language courses in Lebanon, and Lebanese students would come to Malta to take courses in Near Eastern and Semitic studies, as well as in English. Moreover, the two sides will be exploring the possibility of identifying joint-research projects within the UNIMED framework, in which U.S.E.K. is already actively participating. During the coming weeks, both Universities hope to reach a co-operation agreement which would cover various aspects of collaboration between the two Mediterranean academic institutions.

Dr Martin R. Zammit, lecturer at the Department of Arabic and Near Eastern Studies

right to left ­ Prof. G. Grima, Rector Karam Rizk, Prof. A.J. Frendo, Mr P. Toledo, Dr M.R. Zammit