Dr. Issa Asgarally
Dr. Issa Asgarally is a native of Mauritius, an island renowned for its diversity of ethnic groups and cultures. He is a highly regarded intellectual and a prolific writer in the international community. In addition to holding a Doctorate in Linguistics from the Université Paris V-René Descartes (Sorbonne), he is well known for his studies of the history of slavery in Mauritius.
Dr. Asgarally is engaged in numerous academic, literary and social endeavors. While serving as a professor of Linguistics at the Mauritius Institute of Education, Dr. Asgarally is the editor for the Mauritian literary magazine, Italiques, is the coordinator for the Jean-Fanchette literary prize, contributes regularly to the Mauritian daily L’Express and hosts the monthly Mauritian televised literary show Passerelles.
As a writer, Dr. Asgarally has published 11 books and essays on the topics of Literature and Society, Slavery and History, Cultures in Mauritius, Books and Ideas, Mauritian Media and Interculturality. His latest publication, Comme un roman sans fin & autres textes, March 2012, questions the roles of literature, culture and identity in our globalizing world. In 2005, his most well known work, L’Interculturel ou la Guerre, prefaced by JMG Le Clézio was published in Mauritius and is recognized as an important manifesto in today’s discussions concerning culture in today’s global world particularly in opposition to Samuel Huntington’s theory on The Clash of Civilizations. He and his wife, Sarojini, are actively involved in the implementation and expansion of the mission of the Foundation for Interculturality and Peace (FIP).
Dr. Issa Asgarally writes in his book L’Interculturel ou la Guerre that the future of our humanity depends on an innovative approach to social and academic analyses of the factors that prevent dialogue and peace in order to gain insights into new pathways towards Interculturality and peace:
- “Interculturality … this is the true stake for humanity. The finality means that we must “unlearn” the reflex of domination. In other words, we must invent an unprecedented attempt […] to contribute towards a solution for the current world crises by proposing analyses of established opinions, myths and stereotypes that have simultaneously become the symptoms and the cause.” Asgarally, Issa. L’Interculturel ou la Guerre. Port-Louis, Maurice: MSM Limited, 2005 10-11.
(Translated from French to English M. van der Drift)
The Foundation for Interculturality and Peace – mission and functions
- Promote the knowledge of world cultures and their interactions for the personal enrichment of men and women regardless of their origin
- Promote peace, through cultural exchanges on both national and international levels, that is the first condition for truly sustainable development
- Think interculturally by means of research, seminars/international conferences, publications that are accessible to the general public
- Live interculturally by organizing activities that are conducive for convivial exchanges between individuals and cultures
- Question the cultural foundations behind war that are based on all forms of racism and the « compartmentalization » of individuals and cultures
- Facilitate the dissemination of intercultural tools and ideas throughout school systems
- Establish a network of people and resources from diverse cultures through an Internet platform (academics, writers, artists, musicians, etc.)
- Collaborate with institutions who promote similar values
- Organize future activities that will enable the realization of the Foundation’s objectives
Photo provided by Dr. Issa Asgarally.