On July the 5th FIME received some very good news: the Institute has been registered in Lebanon as a “Foreign Association”. The decision has been signed by the President of Lebanon Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Minister of Interior Nouhad Machnouk.
“With registration the institute has now found a permanent home in Lebanon”, the director of the Institute, Raija Mattila, summarizes the significance of FIME’s new status. Applying for research permits and visas, among others, will become easier. The registration also opens new possibilities for cooperation with local research institutes and universities. While based in Lebanon, the Institute will continue being active also in other Middle Eastern countries. Next summer, for example, FIME will organize a field course in Jordan on the topics of Bedouin and tribal identities.
With the registration in Lebanon, Finnish Institute in the Middle East, founded in 1994, celebrates Finland’s centenary. Consequently, the official status strengthens the continuation of the 400-year-old Finnish research tradition in Near and Middle Eastern studies.