Professor of Economic and Social Geography at Mainz University reconfirmed as head of the umbrella organization of European research on the Middle East
At its recent international congress in London, the Council of the European Association for Middle Eastern Studies (EURAMES) unanimously elected Professor Dr. Günter Meyer of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) as president for the seventh time. The EURAMES administrative office will also remain within the Center for Research on the Arab World (CERAW) at the JGU Institute of Geography.
"When I first ran for this office in 1999, my primary goal was to get EURAMES to support the bid by Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz to host the World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES)," recalls Meyer. And his plan worked. At the decisive meeting in Washington, the Professor of Economic and Social Geography was able to win over the international selection committee with his argument that JGU's bid to host the world congress was backed by EURAMES and therefore six European research associations. Despite strong competition from attractive congress cities such as Paris, London, and Edinburgh, the 24-person committee unanimously voted in favor of Mainz.
The First World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies took place in 2002 on the JGU campus. Attracting some 2,100 academics from 68 countries, the congress was a resounding success. As President of the World Congress and as ongoing Chairman of the Advisory Council of WOCMES, Meyer has been able to establish an international network of Middle Eastern experts and to extend the European Association for Middle Eastern Studies so that it is now the largest international association in this discipline.
The umbrella organization EURAMES now counts the most influential research institutions and national research associations from 29 different European countries among its members. Its focus is on research related to present-day North Africa, the Near and Middle East, and the entire Islamic world. More than 5,000 scholars engaged in Middle Eastern studies benefit from the weekly EURAMES Info Service established and coordinated by Meyer, which distributes recent news regarding scholarly activities in the field of Middle Eastern studies via e-mail around the world. "With the help of the EURAMES network, the Center for Research on the Arab World has developed into one of the most important global information centers for Middle Eastern studies and it has made Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz the most well-known German university in this discipline at the international level," states the former and now current EURAMES President.