From December 2nd to 4th 2021, the Orient-Institut Beirut under its current director Birgit Schaebler celebrated its 60th anniversary with a 2-day academic celebration program. Stefan Wild, director of the OIB from 1968-1973, shared memories of the Institute in these early days. Stefan Weninger, president of the German Oriental Society, highlighted its role in the founding process. The first workshop focused on Hans Wehr, one of those connected to the founding of the OIB in 1961, and his contribution to Arabic Studies. A panel discussion on the "The Surplus of Quranic Studies" with former director Angelika Neuwirth and professors Mouhanad Khorchide and Dina El-Omari offered an insight into the state of the art of Quranic studies in Germany and internationally.
This was followed by a discussion on the relationship between Islamic studies and Islamic theology, a very current issue in German academia today, featuring professors Michael Borgolte, Mohammad Gharaibeh as well as Gudrun Krämer and Tilman Seidensticker (both former chairs of the advisory board). A photo and book exhibition was dedicated to the institute's founding years under the German Oriental Society, with Hans Wehr's iconic dictionary as one of the first works in the research library. Crowning the Jubilee program were honoring tributes to OIB’s long-standing companions professors As’ad Khairallah, Michel Jiha, Ridwan al-Sayyid, Abdel-Raouf Sinno and Souad Slim.