A New Editor-in-Chief for Dialogue Across Borders

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Fri, 2022-09-23
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It is likely that our readers may have sensed that changes are underway at our office in Cairo. Earlier this year, we announced the redesign of our publication database as Dialogue Across Borders: Emerging Perspectives on Intercultural and Interreligious Relations, which is in the final technical stages of being linked with Brill Publishers in the Netherlands. In addition, our founding editor-in-chief, Cornelis Hulsman, has returned to the Netherlands after being based for almost thirty years in Egypt. Last week, I moved from Washington, D.C., to Cairo and have now succeeded Cornelis as editor-in-chief of Dialogue Across Borders. For the last four years, I have been teaching Islamic studies, religious studies, and Arab world studies at American University and Georgetown University, where I completed a doctorate in religious studies in 2018. In recent years, I have also been working closely with Cornelis in preparation for this transition and for the future of our work.


Matthew Andeson

As I begin my tenure as the lead editor of Dialogue Across Borders, I thought it might be helpful to highlight for our readers some of our most important priorities for the coming months. Our guiding vision is expressed through the new mission statement for Dialogue Across Borders:


For decades, global media discourse has tended to highlight controversial and often negative perspectives on the Middle East and North Africa by focusing on extremism and conflict. Without denying these significant challenges, Dialogue Across Borders seeks to highlight voices within the region who are working toward a more peaceful and inclusive future. By showcasing perspectives that more accurately represent the diversity, creativity, and humanity of the region, Dialogue Across Borders aims to generate important resources for intercultural/interreligious understanding and peaceful coexistence. Although focused on the Middle East and North Africa, relevant perspectives from other parts of the world are occasionally featured as well.


Through interviews, book/dissertation summaries, media translations, articles, and other diverse genres, Dialogue Across Borders provides a uniquely textured view of cultural and religious discourse in the Middle East and its relevance to peace and conflict resolution. The project will be of special interest to academics, conflict resolution practitioners, policy analysts, journalists, and religious leaders. Subscriptions will be managed by Brill Publishers, a global publishing leader in interreligious, intercultural, and Middle Eastern studies. Dialogue Across Borders (2022 - ) builds on the unique legacy of Arab-West Report (2003-2022), a publication devoted to countering distorted and inaccurate perspectives on Egypt and the Middle East.


In line with this vision, our work will be concentrated on several themes, including the following:

  • University Engagement in Egypt and the MENA region:A central priority in the coming years is to publish writings and commentary from university and postgraduate students in the MENA region. To this end, we will be working to cultivate relationships with faculties at institutions like Cairo University, Ain Shams University, Al-Azhar University, the American University in Cairo, the University of Jordan, and St. Joseph University (Beirut), among others. We want Dialogue Across Borders to provide a unique vision of the rising generation of leaders in this region.
  • Mainstream Islamic Thought in Egypt and the MENA region. We believe that mainstream Islamic thought in the MENA region is not well understood by many living in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere. Rather, there is a repetitive global media discourse often focused on conflict and extremism. We want to develop an academic and publication space that gives more accurate and meaningful insight into the scholars, publications, and commentary of mainstream Islamic thought in Egypt and the MENA region.
  • Christianity in Egypt and the MENA region. As with modern Islamic thought, we believe that the unique Christian denominations of the MENA region remain largely invisible to many living in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere. We would like to create an academic and publication space where richer and more detailed information can be provided about the unique histories, beliefs, rituals, and experiences of these churches.

I will be elaborating on these and other priorities through newsletters in the coming weeks. Thankfully, Cornelis Hulsman will still be involved in our work as a senior advisor based in the Netherlands. In addition, we will continue to rely on the support of our readers in whatever ways you think you can help. Our work has always been highly collaborative, so please be in touch if you have ideas about ways we can work together.


Lastly, if you know of friends or colleagues who may be interested in our work, please consider forwarding this message and encouraging them to subscribe to our newsletter here:  




Best wishes,


Matthew Anderson


Dialogue Across Borders

Cairo, September 23, 2022