The UfM that emerged in 2008 from the Agadir Agreement (2004) enabled the launch of an “Open Digital Space for the Mediterranean (Espace Numérique ouvert Pour la Méditerranée / e-OMED)”. This space is home to “thematic networks” where the so-called hard sciences are well represented. If we are to advance “human development through access to knowledge” and enhance a “shared heritage” between the Southern and Northern shores of the Mediterranean, we believe that the humanities have a position to hold in this digital space – as attested by the interest UNESCO showed in the e-OMED project from its inception.
The stakes are high, especially for history, the specialism we represent. In order to analyse social trends, words and actions, conflicts or encounters and more broadly the traces of centuries gone by, students increasingly turn to digital devices that do not, as such, offer much guarantees as to the contents they propose. The necessity of scientific validation of such offerings is patent and the University remains the undisputed seat of such validation.
Going for an approach set in a historical framework – namely Euro-Mediterranean history – was no soft option, as we well knew. The past as revealed in our articles and books bears the hallmark of brilliant works and shows of solidarity and the scars of massacres and destructions. We know that our discipline similarly repels tender souls and dogmatic minds: we deal with humans just as they are and not as we would have them be. We feel equal to the task in the full knowledge that, while we are not accountable for our forerunners’ actions, we do answer for the way they are spoken of.
Thus it is no mean challenge to channel the writings of this history for the perusal of students with a command of French and at least one other foreign language (Arabic, English, German, Spanish, Italian). As academics attached to higher education institutions in four countries (Switzerland, Morocco, Lebanon and France) our research is nationally and internationally recognised. Our project is achievable at one condition: we must be able to discuss all subjects without exceptions, constrained only by our level of expertise regarding the subject under review.
In the spirit of partnership-building towards specific targets, we boast complementary experience and a proven track record, to wit the online bachelor course from the University of Geneva and the distance-learning master from the Maine University. With every trust in the validity of scientific and educational joint actions, and with the full support of our respective departments we offer to work towards the realisation of on-line teaching modules in the framework of Euro-Mediterranean history.
Abdelkrim MADOUN, Professor, University of Ibn Zohr, Agadir (Morocco)
Michel GRANDJEAN, Professor, Université of Geneva (Switzerland)
Karam RIZK, Professor, Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (Lebanon)
Dominique AVON, Professor, Le Mans Université (France)
Vincent VILMAIN, Le Mans Université (France)
Cécile VANDERPELEN, Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium)