Rather than the manufactured clash of civilizations, we need to concentrate on the slow working together of cultures that overlap, borrow from each other, and live together in far more interesting ways than any abridged or inauthentic mode of understanding can allow.
Edward W. Said, Orientalism, preface 2003, pp xxii, Penguin Books
Aleph is the first letter of the Semitic Abjad including the Phoenician Ālep, the Syriac Ālap̄, the Aramaic Ālap, the Hebrew Ālef, the Arabic Alif; It is as well the Greek Alpha, the Latin A and the Cyrillic A. In this respect it is the very symbol of our third Focus aiming the recollection, translation and study, on one side, of texts from the Orient related to the Occident, in order to make known to the European world to what extent Western ideas and forms of knowledge were recorded, interpreted and transmitted in the Orient especially the Arabic-speaking world; on another side and in equal measure, the influence of the Arabic-speaking world and Orient on the Occident culture is made more visible, and thorough analyses investigate, through the text, the historical-cultural exchange relationship between Orient and Occident.
Aleph Focus includes three programmes:
Bait Al-Hikmah Programme: The creation of a materiel Library
Bait Al-Jawza Programme: The creation of an electronic Library
Al-Kindi Project for Translation
Illustration: Quran in Kufic script, ink and pigments on parchment, 3rd century AH/AD 9th century / Abbasid period, Wellcome Collection, London UK.