Ismail Serageldin


2014 10 December

Strengthening BA Ties with Sweden’s Cultural Institutions

In a five day visit to Sweden, Serageldin held several fruitful meetings with the heads of major cultural institutions in Gothenburg and Stockholm, such as the National Library of Sweden, the National Museums of World Culture, the Tällberg Foundation, the Swedish Institute, and the Stockholm International Water Institute.

2014 25 November

Dialogue on Democracy

In a policy dialogue entitled “Democracy and Human Rights in Decline”, organized by the Club de Madrid and the Robert F. Kennedy Center (RFK) Center, with the Bertelsmann Stiftung as knowledge partner, Serageldin joined fellow panelists in a discussion on the state and the future of democracy.

2014 21 November

Chirac Foundation Honors Winners of Peace Prizes

As a founding member of the Chirac Foundation, Serageldin participated in the ceremony held at at Musée du quai Branly in Paris to award the winners of the Conflict Prevention Prize and the Culture for Peace Prize.

2014 16 November

Serageldin Appointed Advisor to Egyptian Prime Minister

Egyptian PM Ibrahim Mehleb has appointed Ismail Serageldin as his advisor in matters concerning culture, science, and museums.

As per his request, Serageldin will not be receiving any payment or allowances.

2014 4 November

A talk to MIT Egyptian Student Association

Serageldin will give a talk today to the MIT Egyptian Student Association (ESA). The Lecture, entitled "The Library of Alexandria: Rebirth and Revolution", will be held in classroom 34-101, EG&G Education Center, MIT, at 6:30 pm, and will be followed by questions from the audience.

2014 29 October

Serageldin Chairs WDL Executive Council Meeting

As Chairman of the Executive Council of the World Digital Library (WDL), Serageldin convened with the members of the Council for a meeting held in Rome on 29 October 2014.

2014 13 October

Insights on Digitization at the International Summit of the Book

The third annual meeting of the International Summit of the Book this year convened in Paris at the Grand auditorium, Quai François Mauriac. Organized by the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) in partnership with the Centre national du livre (CNL), the conference laid emphasis on the role of translation as the source of a European way of thinking and on digitisation as a new memorial space

2014 8 October

Innovative Approaches in Addressing Climate Change

Hundreds of policymakers, business leaders, and researchers from all over the world participated in The First Annual Conference of Innovation for Cool Earth Forum (ICEF) which was held on the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe’s proposal to establish a new international conference to discuss global cooperation to address climate change.

2014 6 October

Serageldin Chairs STS Plenary Session on ICT Impact

At the annual meeting of the Science and Technology in Society (STS) forum (, Serageldin chaired a plenary session entitled “Dialogue among Political Leaders, Scientists and Industrialists (Society Changed by ICT – Security and Privacy –)”. The discussion focused on how the ICT revolution, with both the big data that it produces and handles, and the social connectivity it provides, is transforming social and economic relations on a global scale.

2014 3 October

Serageldin Shares Insights with JST Advisory Committee

At the invitation of Dr. Michiharu Nakamura, President of Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) , Serageldin participates today in the JST Advisory Committee Meeting. JST is a major funding agency in Japan under the authority of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

2014 1 October

Chirac Foundation selects winners of a new Peace Prize

Jacques Chirac, Former President of France, invited Serageldin to sit on the Jury selecting the winner(s) of the Chirac Foundation Culture for Peace Prize. Since the inauguration of the Chirac Foundation in 2008, Serageldin has been a member of its Honorary Committee and has served on the jury of the Chirac Foundation Prize for Conflict Prevention, which rewards women and men committed to fighting on a daily basis so that tensions do not escalate into serious conflicts.

2014 5 September

Facing Facts: What’s Wrong with the Current World Order!

NGIC-CdM meeting in Andorra

We are gathered here today at a critical moment in world history. The world order that had so patiently been erected in the last half century has become unraveled. It is not the end of history as Fukuyama claimed, nor is it the clash of civilizations as Huntington believed… it is much worse.

2014 5 September

On Rebuilding a New World Order

In the attendance of many former presidents and prime ministers, Serageldin delivered the opening statement at the preparatory meeting for the third Nizami Ganjavi International Center(NGIC)/ Club de Madrid (CdM) Baku Forum on the theme Rebuilding Trust in Wider Europe – A High Level NGIC/CdM Initiative.

2014 2 September

Discussions on Internet Public Policy at the IGF

At the Ninth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) held from 2 to 5 September in Istanbul, Serageldin joined fellow panelists from Australia, Europe, USA, Africa, the Middle East and representatives of International Organizations, in a workshop session entitled “One World, Diverse Content and Flexible Access”.

2014 23 August

A Lecture at Martin Bodmer Foundation

The Martin Bodmer Foundation invited serageldin to give a lecture at their exhibition entitled Alexandria the Divine held from 5 April to 31 August 2014. He was specifically asked to give the same highly applauded lecture he had given at the University of Geneva in celebration of its 450th anniversary, in March 2009.

2014 19 August

A Panel Discussion on Digitization at CDNL

At the Conference of Directors of National Libraries (CDNL) held during the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Congress, and hosted by the National Library of France, Serageldin joined fellow panelistsin a discussion on Digitization as a tool for national and international cooperation.

2014 18 August

Embracing the Challenge, Inventing the Future

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)’s Section on Education and Training (SET) 40th Anniversary Summit opened with Serageldin’s keynote speech entitled “Building Tomorrow’s Library Today: The New Library of Alexandria”...

2014 3 July

It's Natural: Know the World, Know Yourself


Keynote speech at the international conference cycle "Ciutadella Park: The First Science Park in Barcelona".

2014 3 July

The Future Roles and Challenges of Museums

In the closing session of the international conference cycle "Ciutadella Park: The First Science Park in Barcelona", organized by the Natural History Museum of Barcelona and the Barcelona Zoo Foundation, Serageldin gave a keynote speech entitled ‘It’s Natural: Know the World, Know Yourself’.

2014 2 July

On the Art of Living

Serageldin contributed a short essay to the book, 'The Art of Living: a Practical Guide to Being Alive' compiled by Claire Elizabeth Terry, President, The Art of Living. The collection features contributions by the Dalai Lama, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mario Vargas Llosa, Muhammad Yunus, Deepak Chopra,Federico Mayor Zaragoza, Desmond Tutu, and many other international figures.

2014 23 June

Ancient Wisdom

It was alongside the rivers here by the Nile and in Mesopotamia that agriculture and the first civilizations arose. Egypt … a land as old as time … a legacy of grandeur and achievement that defies time. Herodotus called Egypt “the gift of the Nile” and the Ancient Egyptian gave the world an unparalleled gift of knowledge and ancient wisdom

2014 23 June


Since the earliest times, humans have looked at the heavens and tried to understand the stars, the sun, the moon. Gradually we learned to understand the structure of the universe and today we have come to know the magnitude of the physical universe in which we exist. Its vastness in terms of time and space exceeds the wildest dreams of the Ancients and the enormity of the cosmos is really a challenge to the human imagination to fully embrace. This is the story of modern cosmology.

2014 23 June

Voyage to the Moon

Humans have long been enthralled by the moon. … even before machine-powered flight was a reality, some were dreaming of travelling to the moon. In an amazingly short time, 66 years from the first flight of the Wright brothers in 1903, to 20th July 1969, Neil Armstrong actually walked on the moon. It was the greatest accomplishment of humanity … and this is the story of that voyage to the moon.

2014 23 June

The New Library of Alexandria

The Ancient Library of Alexandria was the greatest adventure of the human intellect. Part academy, part research center, part library, it welcomed the greatest thinkers of the age. The library completely disappeared over 1600 years ago but continued to inspire scientists and scholars everywhere. A few years ago it came to life again. This is the story of this great Egyptian project … the story of the rebirth of the fabled Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the New Library of Alexandria.

2014 23 June

The Glory of Alexandria

To the whole world the very name of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina conjures up the image of a glorious past, of a shared heritage for all of humanity. 2300 years ago, Alexander the Great, in pursuit of his dreams of culture and conquest, selected the site for a new capital, Alexandria, and his successors in Egypt, the Ptolemies, made it the intellectual capital of the world.

2014 23 June

Egypt Reawakens

In the 15th and 16th centuries, while Europe was going through a scientific revolution, Egypt had sunk to backwardness and obscurantism. It was first stirred from its slumbers with the arrival of Napoleon Bonaparte and his expeditionary force which included 150 scientists, printing presses and the best available science and technology. Later it was at the hands of Mohamed Ali Pasha, sent by the Ottoman Sultan as commander of an expeditionary force, as he set about modernizing the country.

2014 23 June

Muslim Grandeur

The dark ages settle in Europe and the ancient world, but out of the east comes a new force … Islam explodes out of Arabia and within a few decades a vast new Muslim empire dominates world civilization. It is to write a brilliant chapter in the history of knowledge and learning, tolerance and understanding. While Europe sinks into the dark ages, from Iran and Iraq in the east to Andalusia in the west, with Egypt and the Levant at the core, the torch of art and science is held high.

2014 23 June

How Biology Became a Science

This series of 25-minute episodes, each enriched with an abundance of visual material, is available in both English and Arabic. Dr. Serageldin takes us on a journey of exploration and discovery in the realm of science, from distant space to the frontiers of tomorrow.

2014 23 June

The Story of Life on Earth

The story of life starts with the formation of earth from the primeval dust 4.5 billion years ago … but it is not until nearly a billion years later that life begins in the warm waters of the oceans and earth evolves into the planet that we know today .. full of life and wonder.

2014 23 June

Encyclopedia of Life (EOL)

The enormous diversity of life … a constant and endless fascination for humans from the most ancient of times. But how do we organize the enormous amount of information that we have about life on earth? With the help of the internet, in the early part of the 21st century, scientists are collectively writing a book that will include all the species known and all the literature on the biodiversity of the planet.

2014 23 June

Darwin and Evolution

Darwin’s theory of evolution is the overarching theory of biology. Ever since it was formally articulated, it has brought organization to the enormous diversity of life. Thanks to Darwin, this enormous variety is explained, not only explaining why it exists, but even that it is traceable to a common ancestor. Darwin managed to assemble all the species of the world into his masterwork.

2014 23 June


In 1953 Watson and Crick produced a scientific paper of one page which is considered one of the most important discoveries of the 20th century. It revolutionized science and opened up the way to modern biotechnology. In that paper Watson and Crick had correctly described the structure of DNA and explained the mechanism of heredity… Humans had found the building blocks of life.

2014 23 June

The Story of Aviation

From oldest times human beings have looked at birds flying and dreamt of one day being able to soar into the air. That dream has captured the imagination of human beings from all times and they continued this dream of flight until finally, from balloons to fixed wing aircrafts to helicopters the story of flight took off. This is the story of aviation.

2014 31 May

Friends of the BA in the US Hold Book Fundraiser

Friends of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina – Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia (DC- MD-VA), a part of the Baltimore-Luxor-Alexandria Sister Cities Committee , held an event under the theme « Celebrate Egypt » to raise funds for books dedicated to Egypt’s children. The garden party was hosted on the banks of the Potomac River at the home of...

2014 23 May


Since the beginning of time, humans observed the heavens and saw patterns in time and space, in the cycles of day and night, the lunar month and the seasons marking the solar year. The patterns of the stars and their movement marked time and also helped to find directions, Gradually we learned to understand the stars…this is the story of the journey from observation to understanding. It is the story of Astronomy.

2014 29 April

Serageldin opens NGIC & Club de Madrid Forum

As Co-Chair of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center (NGIC), Serageldin was Master of Ceremony at the NGIC and Club de Madrid’s II Global Shared Societies Forum “Post 2015 Agenda And Shared Societies”. In a session on “Shared Societies as a Driver in Conflict Resolution”, Serageldin shared his insights...

2014 5 April

BA Annual BoT Meeting headed by President of Egypt

As Co-Chair of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center (NGIC), Serageldin was Master of Ceremony at the NGIC and Club de Madrid’s II Global Shared Societies Forum “Post 2015 Agenda And Shared Societies”. In a session on “Shared Societies as a Driver in Conflict Resolution”, Serageldin shared his insights...

2014 3 April

Horizons on Egyptian Television

"Horizons”, a television science series of 25 minute episodes, developed and presented by Serageldin and produced by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, will be aired on Channel One of Egypt’s national TV...

2014 27 March

Jurji Zaidan: The Man and His Legacy

Ismail Serageldin, a long-time admirer of Jurji Zaidan, was invited by the Zaidan Foundation ( and the Library of Congress to participate in a symposium organized to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Zaidan's birth and the 120th anniversary...

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