Report: The (Im-)possibility of the "Bilingual City" Haifa

2 February, 2008 KOBAYASHI Yasuo, HAYAO Takanori, Visiting Speaker Series

Kais Firro (The Department of Middle Eastern History, Haifa University, Israel) pronounced a lecture on the 28th of January at UTCPunder the title “The (Im-)possibility of Coexistence in Bilingual Haifa”, had research seminars for four days until the 31st and left for Israel on the 1st of February.


Besides the four-day seminar, he was giving individual supervision, actively participating in the receptions after the lectures, which made him return to his hotel after 11 pm. During that time, besides and beyond Mr. Firro’s broad knowledge, he inspired us with his earnestness in answering every question and with his passion towards research. Mr. Firro researches in The Druzes that were split among Israel, Syria and Lebanon. He has started from research of the history of the Industrial Revolution, centered on the trade relations between France and Lebanon in the 18th century and is now teaching a course on “History of Ideas”, motivated by his interest in epistemology of history.


With the creed that “a historian should be familiar with all the humanities”, he was discussing various aspectsofthe politics, economy, culture and thought against the wide background of the Mediterranean world including Europe and the Middle East, while his talk demonstrated the lucidity of a “historian”. One could only marvel at his intelligence.


He left us with the words: “Let’s meet again in Haifa or in Tokyo”. We really hope for such an opportunity.

(Takayuki Hayao, excerpted translation: Dennitza Gabrakova)

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