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Engaging Europe in the Arab World – European missionaries and humanitarianism in the Middle East (1850-1970)

From 2015 to 2018, the IEG was part of the transnational European network »Engaging Europe in the Arab World – European Missionaries and Humanitarianism in the Middle East, 1850–1970« financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and coordinated by Leiden University (Netherlands). With the help of academic partners from Paris (France), Volda (Norway) and Leiden, Esther Möller and Johannes Paulmann investigated the closely-knit relations between European missionaries and humanitarian organizations in the Middle East – which have been until now an uncharted field in historical research. The missionaries’ strong presence in this region combined with their linguistic and cultural knowledge made them pioneers and partners, but as well critics of the humanitarian organizations in the Middle East. Likewise, political and diplomatic interests of the Western and Arabian states played an important role in these interactions. The research partners are planning to continue the network’s collaboration.