Ismail Serageldin


2017 2 October

On the Future of Big Data

At the Science and Technology in Society (STS) forum annual meeting Serageldin chaired a session on the topic of “Big Data” and its future as a business tool that will increasingly rely on software that is not written by humans but by specialized AI programs.

2017 30 September

On Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

The annual Regional Action for Climate Change (RACC) meeting was held this year on the topics of climate change and regional conflicts: water, coast, ocean, extreme events; and on the impact of the Paris Agreement on local and regional action.

2017 29 September

Transparency and Trust in Trying Times

Latvia lecture
2017 28 September

University of Latvia Awards Serageldin Honorary Doctorate

In a ceremony held in the Great Hall of the University of Latvia (UL) Serageldin was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in recognition of his “profound and enduring contribution to fostering scholarly and cultural cooperation among nations and to strengthening the role of academic libraries in modern societies”.

2017 22 June

Discussing China’s New Role in International Relations

As Co-Chair of Nizami Ganjavi International Center (NGIC), Serageldin opened, together with Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Co-Chair of NGIC, President of Latvia 1999-2007, the “XII High-Level Meeting” entitled “China’s New Role In International Relations: The Prospects Of One Belt One Road Initiative”.

2017 21 June

China’s New Role in International Relations

“XII High-Level Meeting” entitled “China’s New Role In International Relations: The Prospects Of One Belt One Road Initiative”

Remarks delivered by Ismail Serageldin
In Beijing, 21-22 June 2017

2017 13 June

President of Albania Awards Presidential Medal to Serageldin

In a ceremony held on 13 June, in the office of the President of Albania, Serageldin was awarded the Presidential Medal, Order of Skanderbeg (Urdhri "Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeu") or the George Kastrioti Skanderbeg Order.

2017 4 June

Navigating a complex world:Insights for the future

The National Library in Singapore
2017 14 May

Reflections on the Future of Europe

The Institut d’Egypte

Opening Remarks
Delivered at a Panel Discussion held at
The Institut d’Egypte

2017 14 May

Serageldin Moderates Discussion on the Future of Europe

Serageldin moderated a meeting held at The Institut d'Egypte in Cairo on the topic of “The Future of Europe”.

2017 13 May

President of Egypt Heads Annual BoT Meeting

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi presided over the annual meeting of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) held at the presidential palace in Cairo. The meeting comes at the end of Ismail Serageldin’s term as Director of the BA, and the appointment of its new Director, prominent Egyptian thinker Mostafa El-Feki.

2017 11 May

First Session of Annual BoT Meeting Held in Alexandria

The first session of the BA Board of Trustees (BoT) annual meeting was held this morning, where Mostafa El-Feky was welcomed as the newly appointed BA Director and successor of Ismail Serageldin—who has been the founding director of the of the New Library of Alexandria since its inauguration in 2002.

2017 9 May

BA Staff Arrange Surprise Birthday Celebration for Serageldin

Bibliotheca Alexandrina staff arranged a surprise celebration at Serageldin’s office in the Library on the occasion of his birthday on the 9th of May. Serageldin was deeply touched by the warm gathering and all the sincere good wishes that surrounded him on this special day.

2017 21 April

ICEF Steering Committee Meets in Paris

Serageldin joins the members of Innovation for Cool Earth Forum (ICEF) Steering Committee in Paris this week to discuss proposals and plans for the 4th annual ICEF meeting to be held on October 4-5, 2017, in Tokyo.

2017 17 March

Discussing the Future of International Relations in Baku

Organized by the Nizami Ganjavi International Center in partnership with the State Committee on Work with Diaspora, the 5th Global Baku Forum brought together presidents, former heads of state and governments, prominent politicians and public figures to discuss “The Future of International Relations: Power and Interests” on 16-17 March 2017.

2017 12 March

AfDB Special Panel Meeting in Abidjan

As a member of the African Development Bank (AfDB) “Special Panel on Accelerating the Implementation of the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy”, Serageldin joined a meeting of the Panel held in Abidjan today.

2017 12 February

A Full Agenda in Washington DC and New York this Week

This week Serageldin travels to Washington DC and New York for several meetings, including the Science and Technology in Society (STS) Council and Board Meetings, and the International Committee Meeting for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

2017 7 February

Serageldin meets with President of Greece

Serageldin chaired the board meeting of the Alexandria Center for Hellenistic Studies and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The Vardinoyannis Foundation, headed by Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, whereby the two parties agreed to continue the activities of The Alexandria Center for Hellenistic Studies for a further five years.

2017 19 January

BA Signs Memorandum of Cooperation with AfLIA

Serageldin has signed a memorandum of cooperation between the BA and the African Library and Information Association and Institution (AfLIA) in the context of strengthening professional relations between libraries in Africa and the BA and to facilitate their work in conducting research, capacity building in library and information sciences, and publishing.

2017 16 January

The closing speech at the 'Democratic Security in a Time of Extremism and Violence' conference

The closing speech at the 'Democratic Security in a Time of Extremism and Violence' conference

We have gathered here to discuss one of the most troubling issues of our times, forced upon democratic societies and decent people everywhere by the rampant extremism and the violence and terrorism that it begat. We sought to bring to bear the wisdom of experienced leaders, the judgment of people of political talent who have been recognized and elected by fellow-citizens, and have proven worthy of their trust, and people who have earned the respect of the international community.

2017 16 January

Exploring Challenges of Democratic Security in a Time of Extremism

A high level three day conference organized by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) together with the Nizami Ganjavi International Center (NGIC) was held in Cairo under the theme of “Democratic Security in a Time of Extremism and Violence”.

2017 5 January

BA Holds Two-day Workshop on Gene Editing

A distinguished group of Egyptian scientists participated in the two-day workshop organized by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) on gene-editing and research methodology.


Jurji Zaidan: His Contributions to Modern Arab Thought and Literature

 Ismail Serageldin    Download

I am honored to have been invited to join in celebrating the legacy of a remarkable man, who in the short span of half a century, had a profound impact on the culture of his people, the history of his region, and the literature of his language. He helped forge the modern identity of the Arabs, founded the modern mass media there and brought culture to the broad public as he pioneered the use of the novel in Arabic. He was a man of letters who understood and publicized science; a man of the Christian faith who had a profound knowledge of Islam and the history of the Muslim peoples, and helped bring that history to life for generations of Muslims, including myself.


A tale of Travels to the Seven Kingdoms

 Ismail Serageldin    Download


 Ismail Serageldin    Download

A lecture delivered in 2016 in homage to Miguel de Cervantes
On the occasion of the 400th anniversary of his death
(Repeated at the Library of Alexandria in January 2017)



 Ismail Serageldin    Download


 Ismail Serageldin    Download

Remarks delivered at the Second International Summit of the Book
On the Theme of “the Book by any Name”
At the opening session “The Meaning of the Book in Human Civilization”.
Singapore – 16 August 2013



 Ismail Serageldin    Download

I was recently asked to name the ten books that had most shaped the world. Not the ten books that I personally liked best, but the ten books that most influenced humanity and its march towards progress, and the creation of what we call civilization.
The question is not as simple as one would imagine. For it is easy to draw up a long list of important books, much harder to distill them to only ten. I did, and before I share the list with you, I think that I must explain my selection criteria… So here goes:

2016 20 December

Egypt and the Origins of Medicine

On Being Inducted as “Academic of Honor” of The Royal European Academy of Doctors, Spain

A Special Address On Being Inducted as “Academic of Honor”
of The Royal European Academy of Doctors

Barcelona, Spain

2016 20 December

RAED Awards Serageldin Academic of Honor

Serageldin will today be received as Academic of Honor by the Royal European Academy of Doctors (RAED).

2016 19 December

In commemoration of the 400th Anniversary of Cervantes

Serageldin today joins an academic debate at the Royal European Academy of Doctors (RAED), paying tribute to the eminent Spanish writer Cervantes on the occasion of his 400th anniversary

2016 11 December

Fighting Violent Extremism

2016 28 November

BA Holds Workshop on Extremism at Birmingham University

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) is holding a workshop on “Models of Extremism” at Birmingham University on 28-29 November 2016. Serageldin will give the opening speech entitled “Extremism, Violence and Social Change”.

2016 23 November

Discussing European Peace

Under the auspices of Mr. Mladen Ivanic, member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Nizami Ganjavi International Center (NGIC) held a conference in Sarajevo on 22-23 November entitled “The European Peace. What is the Recipe for a strong Union for All?”.

2016 16 November

On the Impact of Technology on Society

The Swiss Center of Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) invited Serageldin to give a keynote speech at their conference entitled “Business Day Innovating to Zero”.

2016 3 November

Fifth Summit of the Book: “Words are all we have”

Taking inspiration from eminent Irish writer Samuel Beckett, the theme for this year’s International Summit of the Book was “Words are all we have, the Book: history, knowledge and technology, the Voyage”.

2016 28 October

Sofia University Awards Honorary Doctorate to Serageldin

In a ceremony held at the Aula Magna of Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, Serageldin received the Academic Degree of “Doctor Honoris Causa of the Sofia University”.

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