alas, i have been unfaithful for such a long while, oh my swarm of readers, depriving you of the chance to wallow in my wisdom! should i be flogged for that? normally yes, but i have some good news to ransom my way out of that!
i hereby have the pleasure of notifying you that a new scientific - academic entity is officially born, whose focus is the eastern mediterranean, which historically extends to the mesopotamia area. actually, the new institution is a revival of the former institute of middle east studies (imsam) that also was known as “al mamun”. the new one is called imsam - empiricum.
the opening of empiricum, i think, also describes the purpose of the institute, as well as its founders, professor john karkazis of the aegean university of hellas (my preferred name for greece), professor yosi vanunu of the hebrew university of israel and yours truly from the istanbul bilgi university of turkey, who has the honor of being elected president of imsam - empiricum: eastern mediterranean panepistemic institute for research, innovation, cooperation, understanding and mediation.
as the name suggests, we hope that knowledge and science, all sciences (panepisteme) technical and social can be not only an instrument but also a goal in itself to bring about the desired values listed in the name, which in themselves are nothing but a basic path paved toward a life of well being and prosperity for the denizens of the region.
for capital, we have little more than our science, and to an extent, maybe the support of the academic establishments we belong to. and despite the lazy spell i am cruising through since the new year, imsam - empiricum is preparing to launch itself with a conference in bodrum (where else?) hopefully this fall or next spring. details will follow, not only here but in all appropriate media to announce conferences and calls for papers. the topic, i believe, can be a (re)definition of what problems are (rather than what are problems) in the eastern med - mesopotamia region.
but that is for all of us to decide, not me alone.