Aram is an independent, non-political, inter- religious, non-profit-making society concerned with all aspects of Syro-Mesopotamian cultures. It was founded by Dr Shafiq Abouzayd in 1986/87 at Oxford University, where the new society found wide backing from the Oriental Institute and its staff.
Aram draws its name from Aramaic, which was a focal point of Ancient Syro-Mesopotamian cultures. However, Aram does not confine itself solely to Aramaic culture, but attempts to deal with all cultures of the geographical area influenced by Aramaic culture, i.e. the Syro-Mesopotamian region, or the so-called Fertile Crescent. Consequently, Aram aims to study any subject related to Syro-Mesopotamian cultures, from the beginning of history up until the present time.
The Aram Society has laid the foundation for the study of continuity between the Aramaic civilisation and other Syro-Mesopotamian civilisations. Aram conferences, however, show how closely intertwined they are, and that Aramaic civilisation would not have flourished without an intellectual cross-fertilisation.
Aram work clearly shows that the different civilisations of the Syro-Mesopotamian area have been strongly connected to each other throughout the ages. Therefore, Aram will continue to explore the many connections between these different civilisations, in order to demonstrate that the Syro-Mesopotamian man is born out of a process of cultural continuity uninterrupted since the beginning of history. Cultural interchange is a concept of great interest to Aram.
The academic work of Aram is a multidisciplinary one for it combines many different scholarly fields such as archaeology, history, arts, religions, philosophy, literatures and linguistics. All papers, which are sent for publication in our refereed journal, are subject to editorial review.
Aram's cultural mission for the Syro- Mesopotamian area is also a mission of peace and brotherhood among its people, with their different social and spirituals beliefs. It is a society for everyone who shares an interest in its identity, irrespective of race, religion or status. As a non-political society, Aram can never allow itself to become involved in any political activity, and indeed the Aram Committee has the right to cease the membership of any member of Aram who uses the Society for any political purpose or does not respect its inter-religious identity.
Aram keeps regular contacts with more than three thousand addresses all around the world, most of them universities, institutes and scholars in Near Eastern studies. Our aim is to go beyond Europe and the USA and very soon we hope to see the birth of Aram in the Middle East.