The establishment of the Institute for Oriental Studies in 2016 was the crowning of a nearly half century tradition of Oriental Studies in Kosovo. Only three years after the foundation of the University of Pristina, the Department of Oriental Studies at the Faculty of Philosophy was established in 1973being one of the first departments of the Faculty and the University itself. In time, the Department consisted of a group of elite scholars of Oriental Studies who established the foundations of Oriental Studies in Kosovo, among which the most distinguished were: Hasan Kaleshi (1923-1976), Sureja Jusuf(1923-1977), Sabahat Mahmut (1931-2008), Mudzahit Asimov (1940-2009), Mehdi Polisi (1953-2014), Feti Mehdiu, Ismail Ahmedi, Shemsi Ajvazi, Esad Duraković, Haris Silajxhić, Nimetulla Hafiz, etc.
Though the Department of Oriental Studies in Pristina was the third in the former Yugoslavia, after the one in Belgrade founded in 1926 and that in Sarajevo in 1950, this Department like that of Sarajevo had the fate to evolve in a context with rich oriental heritage inherited from five centuries of Ottoman rule. Considering that a part of this heritage was produced by local writers and artists in Oriental languages, i.e. Arabic, Turkish and Persian, as an academic discipline Oriental Studies in Kosovo contributed in discovering the country’s cultural history and heritage, thus making it a genuine national discipline.
As a result of cultural and scientific work of the Oriental Studies in Kosovo, and based on its professional spirit, the Institute of Oriental Studies in Pristina is established. Aiming at advancing the scientific work in this rich field, and with the ambition to promote it in the wider Balkan, European and international circles the scientific activity of Oriental Studies scholars, either through its international journal “Oriental Studies” or through publication of original works and translated books into two directions, the Institute will work toward the following goals:
- Enriching and advancing the research in the dicipline of Oriental Studies,
- Publication of books and journals in the dicipline of Oriental Studies,
- Offering courses for learing oriental languages, namely Arabic, Persian and Turkish languages,
- Organising conferences and seminars,
- Presentation of the Albanian culture in the Orient.
Towards these goals, the Institute will commit itself to the following activities:
- Studying the Albanian oriental herigate,
- Supporting researchers and experts in Orienal Studies who will be able to study our history, and in particular features of oriental culture in the Albanian cultural heritage,
- Mbajtja e kurseve për gjuhët orientale (arabisht, persisht dhe turqisht),
- Writing and translating of scientific, cultural and literary works in the field of Oriental Studies,
- Presenting the Albanian culture in the Orient (through tranlations from Albanian into Oriental languages, organizing conferences, seminars and visits of scientific and cultural character in the countries of the Orient).