Nexus Library

Alexandria’s Remembrance of Things Past

English edition
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Nexus Library, volume VIII, English edition

Ismail Serageldin, director of the New Library of Alexandria, revives the spirit of ancient Alexandria in the Nexus Lecture 2011: Alexandria’s Remembrance of Things Past. Lessons for the Future of Europe and Islam. In a passionate plea, he calls for the Arab world and Europe to make the Library of Alexandria, that universal symbol of openness, tolerance, cosmopolitanism, culture and science, our guide and inspiration for a shared future.

“We need to return to the cosmopolitanism of Alexandria of yore, and marry that with the tolerance and democracy of Europe today.”

About the author

Ismail Serageldin

Egypt, 1944
Ismail Serageldin is founding director and currently emeritus librarian of the new Library of Alexandria. He studied engineering in Cairo and obtained his PhD at Harvard. In 1972, he started working for the World Bank, where he was one of the vice presidents between 1992 and 2000. He then became professor in development and sustainability at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and the Collège de France. Serageldin wrote a great number of books and articles on subjects such as sustainability, biotechnology and science's contribution to society. In 2012, the Nexus Institute published Alexandria's Remembrance of Things Past: Lessons for the Future of Europe and Islam.