At a time of increasing tensions in the region, exploring areas of mutual interest and commonality between Iran and the GCC is of fundamental importance, a noted academic has told a discussion in Doha.
“There are numerous areas of overlap and common bonds between Iran and the states of the GCC,” explained Dr Mehran Kamrava, director of the Centre for International and Regional Studies (CIRS), Georgetown University in Qatar’s flagship research institution.
“It is our hope that scholarly analysis and dialogue will enable policymakers to make better and more informed decisions,” he told a recent roundtable on Iran-GCC Dialogue.
The day-long meeting brought together distinguished scholars and academics from Iran and neighbouring countries to explore historical, religious, cultural, social, and political ties between Iran and the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
The CIRS-led Iran-GCC dialogue included as many as 20 renowned scholars from Iran, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, and a number of other Arab countries, with proceedings conducted in both Arabic and English. Presentation titles included “Common Historical Roots of Iran and the GCC,” “Iranian and Arab Cultural Relations,” “Cultural Commonalities of Iranian and Arab Women and Families,” “The Role of Religion and Culture in the Development of Relations,” and “The Role of Common Art and Literature between Iran and the GCC.”
Kamrava pointed out that the work of CIRS “involves doing globally recognised research on a broad range of important topics in the areas of international relations, political economy, and domestic politics of the Gulf.”
“We routinely take the lead on identifying emerging socio-economic issues, and so we are particularly well placed to initiate and bring together the leading scholars who participated in this roundtable. Not only do we seek to create mutually beneficial links between various educational institutions, we also focus on providing further insights into current events by adding to the general body of knowledge about the region.”
A follow-up to the recent CIRS dialogue is likely to be held in Tehran in a few months involving a greater number of regional academics and scholars.
In addition to sponsoring events such as the recent Iran-GCC dialogue, CIRS engages in in-depth research throughout the academic year, publishing their results in Occasional Papers, Summary Reports, Briefs, and numerous books. Through its various publications, CIRS provides in-depth examination of ideas and issues of contemporary academic and political significance.
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