About the SSMEIC

The Swiss Society for the Middle East and Islamic Cultures (SSMEIC, or in its German and French/Italian abbreviations, SGMOIK and SSMOCI) exists to further knowledge and understanding both of the cultures and societies of West Asia and North Africa in past and present and also of Islam in different parts of the world, especially Switzerland. To achieve this it encourages dialogue with Middle Eastern and Muslim cultures and supports academic publications and forms of artistic expression.

Events & Publications

The Society (SSMEIC) was founded in Bern on 10 November 1990. It is multi-lingual, with events and publications taking place mainly in German and French, but also in English and Italian. It aims to provide a forum where different opinions can be expressed and scholarly-based discussions occur in a climate of mutual respect.


The Society (SSMEIC) is committed to making the results of scholarly research better known among the general public in Switzerland, thereby extending the horizons of public discourse. It seeks to support university teaching and research in Middle Eastern languages, history, art and culture and encourages networking among all those in academic disciplines concerned with the region or with Islam in Europe and particularly Switzerland. The Society (SSMEIC) also provides a platform for those working in the areas of art, literature, journalism, conflict resolution and development cooperation as well as for the wider public. It organises conferences, lectures, discussions and seminars in different Swiss cities.

The Society (SSMEIC) has no particular world view or political standpoint and does not serve to propagate particular ideologies or religious beliefs.


The members of the committee meet several times a year to take important decisions and promote the work of the society. Once a year, a general assembly is held during which the society's annual report is approved.