In 1613, Leiden University established one of the first chairs in Arabic in Europe. Thomas Erpenius (1584-1624) was the first to occupy this chair, outlining in his oration his thoughts about the role of Arabic at Leiden University.
Arabic Studies in Leiden has a longstanding and deeply rooted tradition of scholarship that continues to flourish and enjoys world-wide renown. Behind these Leiden professors (such as Scaliger, Erpenius, Golius, De Goeje en Snouck Hurgronje) there was an extensive network of booksellers, auctioneers, printers and publishers, such as Brill.
The Walking Guide to Islamic Leiden tells you more about this long history, in addition to offering other evidence of relations that have existed for more than four centuries between Leiden and the Arabic and Muslim World. On 1 November the first copy of the Guide will be presented (compiled by Leiden University and published by Brill) and you are more than welcome to join.
After the launch, the Arabic poem ‘Loss’ (الضياع) by the Syrian poet Adonis (1930) will be unveiled. Stichting TEGEN-BEELD painted the text of this poem on the wall on the Papengracht as part of the celebrations of 400 Years of Arabic in Leiden.