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Iqbal Fellowship returns to Heidelberg
It's official: After nearly ten years, the
Allama Iqbal Professorial Fellowship re-
turns to the SAI. On 17 November 2008,
the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic
of Pakistan to Germany, S.E. Shahid Ka-
mal, was welcomed at the Bel Etage in
the Old University and signed the agree-
ment in an official ceremony. Heidelberg
University was represented by Senni
Hundt, Vice-Chancellor of Heidelberg
University, and Gita Dharampal-Frick,
Executive Director of the SAI.
"The Allama Iqbal Professorial Fel-
lowship is essentially a grant for guest
professors from Pakistan," explains
Manfred Hake, Executive Secretary of
the SAI. "For each two year period, one
guest professor will work on Pakistan
studies." Funded by the Government of
Pakistan, the fellowship includes finan-
cial resources for living expenses, re-
search and teaching.
One aim of the fellowship is to intensi-
fy the co-operation between Heidelberg
University and universities in Pakistan
with a focus on Modern South Asian
Languages and Literatures, Political
Science and Geography, but also in the
natural sciences. For students from Hei-
delberg, this will be an invaluable oppor-
tunity to exchange views with professors
from Pakistan and to take part in their
teachings and research. Manfred Hake
concludes: "This grant is a real enrich-
ment for the SAI."
The fellowship is named after Muham-
mad Allama Iqbal, the poet-philosopher
and politician born in 1877 in Sialkot, in
present day Pakistan. 100 years ago, he
stayed in Heidelberg to study German.
"My time in Heidelberg was a wonderful
dream", he once said. It is thus not sur-
prising that one of the streets in Heidel-
berg right at the river Neckar is named
after the national poet who laid the foun-
dation for German-Pakistani friendship.
The fellowship had once before been
awarded to the SAI in 1979 before be-
ing moved to the Humboldt-University
in Berlin in 1999. During those years
in Heidelberg, the fellowship had been
highly successful: "Five fellows have
worked at the SAI - all of them first class
scientists whose work was highly effi-
cient," Manfred Hake remembers.
The SAI would like to link up with this
tradition - chances are good: "There are
very good relations between the SAI and
Pakistan", Hake explains. "We expect a
close and successful co-operation with
Pakistan - and many good results!"
Pakistans Ambassador to Germany,
S.E. Shahid Kamal, is also delighted that
the fellowship returns to Heidelberg.
"Heidelberg University is a great univer-
sity, one of the best. We are very proud
that the fellowship is established at the
SAI. And we are looking forward to a
lively cultural exchange with the univer-
sity Allama Iqbal always associated with
the best of feelings."
Volker Oberkircher
Pakistan's ambassador to Germany, S.E. Shahid Kamal, and Gita Dharampal-Frick, Executive Director of the South Asia
Institute, exchange gifts for the SAI's library.
- Photo: Manfred Hake