Placed on the rive gauche of the French capital, the luminous structure of The Institute of the Arab World, designed by architect Jean Nouvel, hosts temporary and permanent exhibitions, a cafè litteraire, a comprehensive library with a special section for kids, a cinema and a theatre for musical performance and plays.
This museum shows how Parisian and Arab cultures have been inextricably connected throughout the centuries. The Institute is in fact not far from the Parisian Mosque, whose charming presence had an influence on its surroundings. There is a mutual attraction between Paris and the Arab culture, as the pioneering university courses of Arab language and culture at the ‘Collège de France‘ during the sixteenth century, and the Arab curiosity for French culture and lifestyle can attest.
The Institute runs seminars and conferences during the academic year for those curious to know more about the ties between the Arab world and Paris. As often happens in Paris, these cultural meetings are free and often turn out to be tangible encounters with the Arab world. The other impressive and celebrated Franco-Arab institution is the INALCO, Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales. The INALCO is more than an avant-garde university, it has trained an enormous number of French and international students and scholars, whose knowledge of the Arab world represents a real treasure for the continuation of such a fruitful collaboration between contemporary Arab culture and the city of Paris.