Prof. Dr. Stephan Conermann

Prof. Dr. Stephan Conermann is Director of the Department of Near Eastern History and Languages at the University of Bonn, where he has been Professor of Islamic Studies since 2003. He is also Vice President for International Affairs at the University of Bonn and founding member of the Center for Religion and Society at the university. With research interests in the fields of transformation processes in Muslim societies in the era of European colonialism and imperialism, Muslim historiography and identification processes and Islam in Germany – amongst others – he has published extensively on the history of the modern ‘Orient’ as well as on resulting European – Middle East relations today. He is also series editor of „Bonner Islamstudien“ (BIS), „Bonner Asienstudien“ (BAS), „Bonner islamwissen-schaftliche Hefte“ (BiH), „Narratologia Aliena“ und „Mamluk Studies“.


Dr. Gudrun Harrer

Dr. Gudrun Harrer is Senior Editor of Austria’s national daily newspaper “Der Standard” where she previously served as the foreign editor. She holds an MA in Islamic and Arabic Studies and a PhD in International Relation Studies, with a doctoral thesis on the Iraqi nuclear program. She is a lecturer on modern history and politics of the Middle East at the University of Vienna, and at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. In 2006, she was Special Envoy of the Austrian EU Presidency to Iraq and Chargé d’Affaires of the Austrian Embassy in Baghdad. Gudrun Harrer was awarded the prestigious “Bruno Kreisky Award for the political book“ for her publications on the Middle East, among others for “Dismantling the Nuclear Programme: The Inspections of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Iraq 1991-1998” (Routledge 2014) and “Nahöstlicher Irrgarten: Analysen abseits des Mainstreams” (Kremayr & Scheriau 2014). She is member of the board of the Austrian Orient Society (ÖOW) and of the Austrian Institute for International Affairs (OIIP).


Ambassador Marc Otte

Ambassador Marc Otte is a Belgian diplomat. He has served in Washington DC and Kinshasa (RDC) and was Consul General in Los Angeles as well as ambassador to Israel. He was also director for strategic affairs and disarmament and director for policy planning at the Belgian MFA. From 1999 to 2003, he was advisor for security and defense policy to the High Representative for EU foreign and security policy and from 2003 to 2011, EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process. From 2013-2017, he was director general of the Royal Institute for International Relations/Egmont. He is currently Belgian Special Envoy for Syria and Vice President of the European Institute for Peace (EIP). He has written numerous articles and contributed to books on European defense and security policy as well as on the Middle East.

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