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Letter to the Participants of WOCMES

Mainz, 28.09.2002

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

About 2000 scholars and other persons interested in the Middle East attended the First World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES) at the University of Mainz. Numerous messages which we have received from attendees since the end of WOCMES expressed the delight about this unique experience to meet so many colleagues and friends engaged in the Middle Eastern Studies in more than 30 disciplines of humanities and social sciences from 52 countries.
Letters and e-mail messages praised the opening ceremony with the speech of HRH Prince Hassan Bin Talal, the marvelous atmosphere during the WOCMES reception in the Landesmuseum and the outstanding WOCMES Award Celebration in honour of Edward W. Said.
The keynote addresses of Jon W. Anderson, Dale F. Eickelman, R. Stephen Humphreys, Roger Owen and Annemarie Schimmel were also major highlights of the Word Congress. About 1100 individual presentations, panels, workshops, symposia and fascinating exhibitions contributed to the high academic level of most parts of the program. Many thanks to all of you who made WOCMES such a great success!
Several attendees of WOCMES have asked for plans to publish the proceedings of the World Congress. So far, 14 edited books or special issues of journals with selected papers presented at WOCMES have been announced. In addition to this it is not planned to publish the general proceedings. Therefore, paper presenters are free to decide where they want to publish their articles.
Numerous participants have expressed their desire that the next World Congress should already be held in 2005 and not after five years as originally planned. This will be discussed during the next MESA Meeting in Washington D.C. in November. Proposals by institutions which would be interested in hosting the Second World Congress are most welcome. We shall keep you informed about the planning of the next WOCMES.

With warmest regards and all best wishes

Günter Meyer, President of WOCMES,
Jörn Thielmann, General Secretary,
and the whole WOCMES Team

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The World Congress aims to address, explore and exchange information on the state-of-the-art in Middle Eastern studies in its broadest sense. The invitation is addressed to scholars, researchers, educators, students, professionals and other groups interested in studies on North Africa, the Middle East and the Muslim states of Central Asia as well as other regions of the world, which are directly or indirectly affected by affairs in these areas.

The World Congress was initiated by the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) and will be held as joint congress of the European Association for Middle Eastern Studies (EURAMES), the Association Francaise pour l'Etude du Monde Arabe et Musulman (AFEMAM), the British Society for Middle East Studies (BRISMES), the German Middle East Studies Association (DAVO) and the Italian Società por gli Studi sul Medio Oriente (SeSaMO). It is also supported by Middle East studies associations in North America, the Middle East and 14 other member countries of EURAMES comprising about 3000 scholars.

The World Congress will bring together more than 2000 experts from all branches of humanities, social sciences and related disciplines to share and exchange their research, experience and ideas about all aspects of Middle Eastern studies as well as to discuss methodological-theoretical and practical-political challenges and their potential solutions. On the first anniversary of the terror attacks in the USA the World Congress will assess the impact of September 11 on the Middle East.

135 associations, research centres, universities, international organizations and other institutions from all over the world have already announced meetings, symposia, plenary sessions, panels, roundtables, poster presentations, exhibitions as well as cultural events. You will find the actual panels and conferences with contact details and descriptions on this site.
The participation of high-ranking decision makers in politics, economics, cultural affairs and the media will promote the exchange of new ideas far beyond academic research.

The conference's working languages are English and French.

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Participating Disciplines

The following disciplines will contribute papers, presenting original work and research and addressing current debates of scholarship:
anthropology, archaeology, architecture/urban planning, art, cinema studies/film, communications, conflict resolution, development studies, economics, education, egyptology, environmental studies, folklore, geography, history, international relations, Islamic studies, journalism, law, library science, language, linguistics, literature, media arts, music, numismatics, philology, philosophy, political science, population studies, religious studies, sociology, women's and gender studies.

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Please find the final program on this site at program.
In addition to the scientific-scholarly program the World Congress will assess the impact of September 11 on the development of the Middle East on the first anniversary of the terror attacks in the USA.
The World Congress will also offer book exhibitions by publishers, booksellers and authors, a film festival, art exhibitions, concerts, and other cultural events.
This program will be complemented by a dinner cruise on the Rhine river as well as an interesting program of excursions to some of the most attractive and beautiful parts of Germany (Heidelberg, Black Forest, Romantic Rhine Valley). Please see Touristical and Cultural Events.

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Congress Site

The World Congress will be held at the University of Mainz - the city of the "Man of the Millennium", Johannes Gutenberg - located at the Rhine river only 30 km from Frankfurt International Airport.
For a map of the campus and the location of the WOCMES registration click here.

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How to Get to Mainz

You can find an overview about travelling to Mainz on the website of the Institute of Geography ( at "Lageplaene". If you travel by train you can find the railway schedule at
At the Central Railway Station in Mainz you will find the WOCMES-Infopoint. This Infopoint will be open at the following hours:

  • SAT, September 7: 12:00 nn - 09:00 pm
  • SUN, September 8: 09:00 am - 09:00 pm
  • MON, September 9: 08:00 am - 09:00 pm
  • TUE, September 10: 08:00 am - 12:00 nn

From the Central Railway Station in Mainz take the bus no. 6, 6a, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 64, 65, 68, 90 or 91 to the World Congress on the campus of the University (only two bus stops or 15-20 minutes walking). For a map indicating the way from the Central Railway Station to the campus click here.

For travel by car see at "Quickroute".

For information on flights to and from Frankfurt Airport as well as for terminal maps see From the airport you can reach Mainz by train in 14-30 minutes to Mainz or take a taxi (about 45.- €).
After arriving at Frankfurt Airport, simply follow the signs to baggage claim. If you have arrived on an international flight, you must first pass through passport control. On arriving in the baggage claim area, check the information boards for the baggage carousel number for your flight.
Please note that claim areas for bulky baggage are also in the baggage claim area.
Should your baggage be damaged or lost, please go to a “Baggage Tracing” counter which are located in all baggage claim areas.

After your arrival please go to the Meeting Point at Terminal 1, Level 1. Arriving at the meeting point please help yourself by showing a sign, which indicates that you are a WOCMES-participant to organise a collective taxi drive with other WOCMES-participants.

Or go to the Railway Station in Terminal 1, Level 0 to take one of the following trains:
  • S 8: every hour at 14 minutes after every hour and 16 minutes to every hour
  • Regionalexpress (RE), direction to Saarbrücken, at: 7:38 am, 9:38 am, 11:38 am, 1:38 pm, 3:38 pm, 5:38 pm, 7:38 pm, 9:38 pm
  • Regionalbahn (RB), direction to Koblenz, at: 8:24 am, 10:24 am, 12:24, 2:24 pm, 4:24 pm, 5:23 pm, 6:24 pm
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    Special Airfares

    Lufthansa - the German national airline – offers a comprehensive route network linking Mainz and Frankfurt with almost every major city around the world. Attendees of WOCMES travelling on Lufthansa services to Mainz will be offered special airfares. For details please contact the Lufthansa reservations or sales office nearest you and refer to the access code: GGAIRLHKONG.300. In Germany please call: 01 803 803 803. In North America please call the conference agent Lyon Travel toll free at: 1-800-639 3849. To take advantage of this special offer you must have the official confirmation of your registration to the event or other proof of attendance available.

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    Please plan on joining your colleagues and friends from all over the world who will meet in the city of Mainz in September 2002. We hope to see you there.

    Prof. Günter Meyer, President of WOCMES
    Jörn Thielmann, General Secretary of WOCMES

    WOCMES Secretariat
    Centre for Research on the Arab World (CERAW),
    University of Mainz, Institute of Geography,
    55099 Mainz, Germany,
    Phone: +49-6131-39 23 446, - 39 22 701
    Fax: + 49-6131-3924736,

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