[Cairo, Egypt, Nov 29-30, 2014]. A Multidisciplinary Sinai Conference, organized by the Netherlands-Flemish Institute (NVIC) in Cairo, was held today, with topics such as archaeology and history of the Sinai Desert, restoration of the walls of Saint Catherine's Monastery and conservation of manuscripts and mosaics, socio-cultural aspects of Bedouin society, and early pilgrim routes. Lecturers ranged from Egyptian, Italian and Greek scholars to inhabitants of the Sinai Desert. Fr. Justin from the Monastery gave a talk on the Library of Sinai: A Treasure for Sharing.

Dr. de Jong, Director of the Institute, said, “If anything came out of the conference, it was the diversity of Sinai: diversity in its inhabitants, in its landscape and in its cultural heritage. This is demonstrated by the Monastery of Saint Catherine, located in the heart of the Sinai Desert. The incredible intellectual richness and wealth that has accumulated there over the centuries show that, despite its remoteness, the Monastery is rightly seen as occupying a central place in the international community.”

The NVIC is a joint effort of eight universities in the Netherlands and Flanders, with an aim to stimulating internationalization of their teaching and research activities in the Middle East.

For more information, please see the conference report.