Memorial Speech for Sadiq Jalal al-Azm

On this occasion, I have to admit here that despite my studies of philosophy and Immanuel Kant at the Humboldt University in Berlin, I read Sadiq’s dissertation on Kant’s Theory of Time as one of the black copy books in Damascus – but I never understood it as much as I tried. This immensely increased my respect for the author, of course. But more remarkably, although I was a bit disappointed about myself, it did not matter at all. Not for him, and not for me, because most of the intellectual exchange with him took place orally, in hour-long and night-long conversations, interrupted with witty humour, laughter and human warmth.

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Recollection along my Father’s Journey

Many of you are here to honour Sadik, the thinker, the public intellectual, the philosopher, and the teacher. Others are here in memory of a friend. I am here to honour my father.

I would like to start by saying that Sadik lived his life as he saw fit. He described his life’s journey as “prolific, full and rich, a journey which I enjoyed tremendously, a life with no regrets”. In other words, he did it his way. Just like the Frank Sinatra song.

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Minbar Ibn Rushd 21st issue spring 2018

he lived most of his life in his home land, but his work was effective in the entire Arab world … he died secluded in exile in Berlin where he lived the last few years of his life.

Sadiq Jalal al-Azm is considered as one of the pioneers of Arab Modernism and an outstanding scholar of critical thought in the Arab world.
Al-Azm achieved great fame in 1968 and 1969 with the publishing of his works “Self-criticism after the defeat” and “Critique of Religious Thought”, in which he radically attacked central dogmas of political and religious-cultural discourse within Arab society.

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Contemporary Arab Culture From Description to Change

(Linguistic and Sociologic Perspectives) Mohammed Chawich analyses what constitutes contemporary Arab culture – its major trends and possible linguistic and social perspectives – through a new look at the concept of “modernity” and “tradition”. His thesis is that the “revolutionary” currents in this ideology, divided between “nationalism”, “socialism” and “Islamism” share a hidden side creating a […]

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