QU ‘conference provides unique perspectives on Middle East’
March 18 2014 11:07 PM
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A group of participants with Prof al-Misnad, Prof Suleiman, and Dr Mustafawi.
A group of participants with Prof al-Misnad, Prof Suleiman, and Dr Mustafawi.

A two-day international conference titled “Perspectives on Middle East Studies” held at Qatar University (QU) drew about 200 participants from the diplomatic community, academia, and government.

Organised by the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) in co-operation with Cambridge University Centre of Islamic Studies, the event featured presentations from academics, researchers and experts from QU, Gulf Studies Centre, Cambridge University, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, University College of London - Qatar, Northwestern University Qatar, and University of Sarajevo. 

The aim was to engage dialogue on issues relevant to the Middle East and Gulf region which were highlighted in presentations and discussions on Language, Culture and Society; International Relations; History; Gulf Region; Media; Urban Planning and Museums; Gender and Women’s Studies; and Arabic and Beyond.

Attendees included Saad Mohamed Saad Jassem al-Rumaihi, HH the Emir’s Secretary for Follow-up Affairs and chair of CAS Advisory Board, QU president Prof Sheikha Abdulla al-Misnad, and ambassadors Rosanna Surballe (Argentina), Hamodi Cheick (Central African Republic), Yvette van Eechoud (Netherlands), Martin Aeschbacher (Switzerland), and Nicholas Hopton (UK).

QU vice president for research Dr Hassan al-Derham and vice president and chief academic officer Dr Mazen Hasna were also present along with Nasser al-Sowaidi of the Qatar Military College of Defence Studies, officials from Qatar Museums Authority and Unesco,  NUQ’s associate dean of research Dr Klaus Schoenbach, academics from QU, Community College Qatar, Georgetown University Qatar, American University of Cairo, University College London in Qatar, Al Jazeera Centre for Studies, as well as QU students.

The Cambridge University delegates included Centre of Islamic Studies Director Prof Yasir Suleiman, Master of Corpus Christi College Stewart Laing, and Senior Fellow of the Centre of International Studies Prof George Joffe.

Dr al-Derham observed that by hosting this important forum, CAS has highlighted the institutional commitment to being a leading partner in addressing new and emerging issues in the region and providing the forum for dialogue and collaboration.

CAS Dean Dr Eiman Mustafawi said: “This is a very prestigious event which meets one of our strategic objectives.”

Prof Suleiman said: “The symposium is a unique opportunity to establish new connections between universities in Qatar and
Cambridge.” 

Gulf Studies Centre director Dr Abdullah Baabood said: “Dialogue and collaboration such as this are critical not only for Qatar and the Gulf but also
worldwide.”

QU MA Gulf Studies student Manami Goto from Japan was of the view that the conference provided such a variety of unique perspectives on the Middle East, specifically the Gulf region.

“It is really exciting to get to hear from and meet well-known academics personally whose work I study in class.”

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