Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Yves Aubin de La Messuzière wants to "contribute to the understanding of the Arab world"

Written by Gérard Tur on Thursday, July 7th 2022 à 15:30 | Read 266 times

Born in 1942 in Rabat, Morocco, Yves Aubin de La Messuzière is a former French diplomat, expert on Arab countries. He graduated in Islamology at the Sorbonne, but also in literal and oriental Arabic. He made his career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, notably as ambassador in Tunisia and Italy. He has also worked in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria... A member of the Iremmo scientific council, he has just created a branch in Marseille: Iremmo Suds.

For Yves Aubin de La Messuzière, Iremmo's presence in Marseille "is fully justified". Photo DR
For Yves Aubin de La Messuzière, Iremmo's presence in Marseille "is fully justified". Photo DR
Econostrum: Why create an Iremmo branch in Marseille?
Yves Aubin de La Messuzière
: I have been living in Marseille for a year. I proposed the idea to Iremmo last year and the President entrusted me with a mission of expertise. I have been working on Iremmo Suds since the beginning of 2022. I have many contacts with researchers in the region. Marseille is home to many associations and institutions. There is a lot going on there, even if it is not necessarily well known. Marseille and the Southern Region appear to be essential places for the development of activities related to knowledge of the Maghreb and the Mashreq. Our presence here is fully justified.
To do what?
YALM. Geopolitics in the broadest sense of the term. We will not be a duplication of Iremmo Paris. We want to disseminate knowledge about the Arab world, Islam, language, culture... in the most objective way possible. We want to promote the circulation of people and books. We are going to propose projects to local authorities. Perhaps create a Mediterranean book forum. We already have expertise in this field. We want to work with Acte Sud, the Marseille bookshops. On October 8, we are launching a series of conferences, "Mediterranean Worlds, the new geopolitical challenges". This will be an opportunity to present Iremmo Sud. The theme of this first event will be "the Middle East and the war in Ukraine". Leading experts will give a geopolitical overview of the region, present the new oil and gas routes, and discuss Russia's aims in the Mediterranean and the return of authoritarianism.
Why are you coming to Marseille?
YALM. To contribute to providing keys to understanding the Arab world, to act as a complement to the structures already existing in the region, to highlight the local pool of experts. For our event on 8 October, we will bring in leading figures from the southern shore of the Mediterranean or from the national level, but then we will favour doctoral students and local scientists. We are targeting young people, both speakers and the public. We are an independent, autonomous association, which intends to finance itself by proposing projects and training.
You seem to mix geopolitics and culture?
YALM. Absolutely. In the Mediterranean, culture and art are the keys to a better understanding of what is going on, to create networks, to gain acceptance, to exchange. All our conferences end with a cultural moment. On 8 October, there will be a reading of Arabic poems. Marseille attracts many researchers returning from the field in the Maghreb and the Machrek. The same is true for artists and creators who settle there after having lived on the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean. In both cases, it is a real wealth.


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