SOAS, University of London

SOAS, University of London is the only Higher Education institution in Europe specialising in the study of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East.

SOAS is a remarkable institution. Uniquely combining language scholarship, disciplinary expertise and regional focus, it has the largest concentration in Europe of academic staff concerned with Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

On the one hand, this means that SOAS scholars grapple with pressing issues - democracy, development, human rights, identity, legal systems, poverty, religion, social change - confronting two-thirds of humankind while at the same time remaining guardians of specialised knowledge in languages and periods and regions not available anywhere else in the UK.

This makes SOAS synonymous with intellectual enquiry and achievement. It is a global academic base and a crucial resource for London. We live in a world of shrinking borders and of economic and technological simultaneity. Yet it is also a world in which difference and regionalism present themselves acutely. It is a world that SOAS is distinctively positioned to analyse, understand and explain.

Our academic focus on the languages, cultures and societies of Africa, Asia and the Middle East makes us an indispensable interpreter in a complex world.

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Un Coran datant de 1284, exposé au Musée d'art islamique de Doha (Qatar). Fadi Al-Assaad/Reuters

Daech ou la théologie musulmane dévoyée

En faisant fi du pluralisme théologique et de la tolérance religieuse, Daech met son interprétation des écritures et de la tradition au service de ses objectifs politiques, et non l’inverse.
The century since the first world war is littered with the broken promises of Muslim rulers to bring about a transition to more representative forms of government. AAP/Asmaa Abdelatif

How the political crises of the modern Muslim world created the climate for Islamic State

The rise of Islamic State and its declaration of the caliphate can be read as part of a wider story that has unfolded since the formation of modern nation states in the Muslim world.
Nate Parker, director of the recent revolutionary US film “Birth of a Nation”. Shutterstock

How to get the African films we all should see onto our screens

Racism is a charge that could be leveled at cinema from its very inception. There are some positive signs of change, but audiences have a role to play in making sure African films flourish.
Reuters/Pascal Rossignol

2015: the year in elections

For better or for worse, various countries around the world charted a new course last year. What lies ahead for 2016?
The Nairobi-Thika highway is being built by China Wuyi, Sinohydro and Shengeli Engineering Construction, and is funded by Kenya, China and the African Development Bank. Reuters/Thomas Mukoya

Chinese investment: why the buck stops with African governments

China offers an alternative to traditional donors and investors in low- and middle-income countries. Adding to its appeal is its focus on infrastructure projects.

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