Dr. Udo Steinbach is a specialist in Middle Eastern studies and leads the Maecenata Foundation’s MENA Study Centre. At the centre of its work is the role of civil society in countries in the Middle East and North Africa, in the southern Caucasus and in Central Asia. Particular attention is also given to the position of Muslims in Germany and to intercultural dialogue.
Steinbach completed his PHD at the University of Freiburg and was the Director of the German Orient Institute in Hamburg from 1976-2007, which, at the time, was the only research centre for the present-day questions surrounding North Africa and the Middle East that was not affiliated with a university. He is the author of numerous works on the politics, society, economy and culture of the Arab world, Turkey, Iran, and the Caucasus.
He has taken part in countless shaping international, intercultural and interreligious dialogues, including the Euro-Arab Dialogue, the German-Iranian Dialogue on Human Rights and the Dialogue with the Islamic world that featured the German Presidents Roman Herzog and Johannes Rau. After the publication of the ‘Country report: Turkey’ in 2012 and ‘History of the Arabic World in the 20th century’ in 2016 by the Federal Agency for Civic Education, the title ‘Tradition and Renewal in the Struggle for the Future. The Middle East Since 1906’ appeared in October 2021. It examines the contexts that have been at work throughout the 20th century in the space between Morocco and Afghanistan, Turkey, Iran and in the southern Caucasus with an eye towards the region’s current conflictual appearance.