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The Strait of Gibraltar tunnel to link Europe and Africa

April 11, 20237:00 p.m.
Casa Árabe headquarters in Madrid (at Calle Alcalá, 62). 7:00 p.m. Free entry until the event’s capacity is reached.
In Spanish.

In order to mark the presentation of the latest issue of the journal Awraq, dedicated to analyzing the relevance of the Strait of Gibraltar in history, we have organized this conference in Madrid on Tuesday, April 11.

Issue number 21 of Awraq: Journal for analysis and thought on the contemporary Arab and Islamic world, which this time is entitled “From Gades to Tanger-Med: Future tradition on the Straits of Gibraltar,” analyzes the importance of and changes in the network of economic and political relations built around the Strait of Gibraltar at different times in history, from antiquity until the present day.

The event will be introduced by Sabine Panzram, a professor of Ancient History at the University of Hamburg, director of the Toletum Network and co-director of her university’s RomanIslam Center for Comparative Empire and Transcultural Studies, which has co-edited this volume, along with Javier Rosón, the journal’s editor and Casa Árabe’s Coordinator in Cordoba.

The presentation will be held with a conference about the latest advancements in the project to create the Strait of Gibraltar Fixed Link, given by the president of SECEGSA (Spanish Society of Studies for Fixed Connections Across the Strait of Gibraltar), José Luis Goberna Caride, at a special moment when the Governments of Morocco and Spain recently reached an official agreement to relaunch and update the project using European funds, at the Twelfth High-Level Meeting (RAN) to take place in Rabat on the dates of February 1 and 2, 2023. His conference will be followed by a short video explaining the project and an exhibition of panels containing maps and infographics about the project.

The planned tunnel is thus expected to join the two shores of what was once known as finis terrae in the imaginary of Greco-Roman antiquity, a region that has always been strongly integrated into the trade routes of the Mediterranean and Atlantic, from ancient times to the modern day. Far from representing the end of the world, as it did in the past, it has come to position itself as a gateway to a globalized world today. The Strait of Gibraltar is now a flashpoint in the maritime trade of people and goods between Europe, North Africa, the Mediterranean and North America, especially after the port and industrial development projects completed in Tangier and the Bay of Algeciras in recent years.

The articles in Issue 21 of the journal Awraq are the result of a multidisciplinary seminar held with the same name held at the headquarters of Casa Árabe Madrid on November 11 and 12, 2021. This event was organized by Casa Árabe, the École des hautes études hispaniques et ibériques (Casa de Velázquez, Madrid) and Toletum (Network for Research on the Iberian Peninsula in Antiquity, University of Hamburg). The purpose of that seminar was to question the predictability of the economic developments of both regions, i.e. southern Spain and North Africa from a cross-sectional and diachronic perspective, and from the point of view of port cities.

In conjunction with the presentation, those attending may view an exhibition made up of panels about the studies and technical drawings created for the Strait of Gibraltar Fixed Link, offered by SECEGSA.


7:00 p.m. Presentation of Awraq issue number 21: “From Gades to Tanger-Med: Future tradition on the Straits of Gibraltar”

Javier Rosón, the editor of Awraq and Casa Árabe’s coordinator in Cordoba
Sabine Panzram, a professor of Ancient History at the University of Hamburg and editor of this volume.

7:30 p.m. Conference on “Relaunching the Strait of Gibraltar Fixed Link: The Strait of Gibraltar tunnel to connect Europe and Africa”

José Luis Goberna Caride, president of the Spanish Society for Study of a Fixed Connection on the Strait of Gibraltar (SECEGSA)

7:45 p.m. Video documentary about the Straits of Gibraltar Fixed Link Project

8:00 p.m. Debate
The Strait of Gibraltar tunnel to link Europe and Africa
Figure 1. A dream between continents. Historical poster from prior to 1930. Source: On loan to SECEGSA by Carlos Velasco Murviedro.