The Union Européenne des Arabisants et Islamisants (UEAI) was established in 1962 by the Spanish Jesuit Padre Félix María Pareja (1890-1983) in Córdoba where Academics from different European countries convened for their first congress. Since then the members of the UEAI have been meeting every two years in another country. Until 1968 there was hardly any administration and only in the year 1970 at the 5th congress in Brussels the UEAI resolved to adopt the first statutes. As a secretary general until his death, Padre Pareja played a crucial part in determining the fate of the association; at his last congress in 1982 he was more than ninty years. The 13th congress in 1986 in Venice was a turning point, and the UEAI became an organization with fixed structure. This was consolidated by new statutes which were accepted by the general assembly on 4 October 1986. Gauthier Juynboll was elected as the first president of the UEAI and the first national representatives were designated. The 25th congress in Naples in 2010 marked the UEAI’s fiftieth anniversary.

 

Further reading on the history of the UEAI:

The Lectura Magistralis of Urbain Vermeulen gives an insight in the colourful history of the UEAI while the articles of Josef van Ess and Mikel de Epalza are obituaries on Padre Pareja, the UEAI’s founder:

Vermeulen, Urbain: „Le cinquantenaire de l’U.E.A.I. Une esquisse historique“ (Lectura Magistralis), in: Islam and Globalisation: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives: Proceedings of the 25th Congres of L'Union Européenne des Arabisants et Islamisants.Ed. Agostino Cilardo. Leuven: Peeters, 2013 (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 226).
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Van Ess, Josef: „Félix María Pareja, S. J. (1890-1983), in: Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft135 (1985), 14-15. 
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De Epalza, Mikel: „El padre Félix María Pareja y los eclesiásticos en el arabismo español del siglo XX“, in: Boletín de la Asociación Española de Orientalistas20 (1984), 33-52.
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