Six students and three faculty members from the College of Islamic Studies (CIS) of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) embarked on a number of academic development opportunities at Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University (IZU) in Turkey this summer, as part of HBKU’s growing collaborative agreements in the field of education.

The educational opportunities in Turkey came against the backdrop of its recent partnership with HBKU, which was signed during the past academic year of 2017-2018 to further cooperation in the field of graduate education.

CIGA Summer School Programme 

HBKU CIGA programmeThe delegation was led by Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean for Innovation and Community Advancement at CIS, Dr Mohamed Evren Tok, Professor of Public Policy in Islam, Dr Louay Safi, and Assistant Professor of Methodology and Ethics, Dr Mu’taz Alkhatib. They joined their international peers at the Centre for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) Summer School Programme held at IZU from 25 July to 5 August.

The two universities share an agreement that supports the exchange of students, in particular those specialising in the fields of Islamic sciences, economics and finance. During this year’s programme, participating students engaged in an interchange of ideas and values on a wide range of academic topics, including spiritual growth, intellectual development and public activism.

The CIGA Summer School Leadership Development Programme explored the evolution of the sociopolitical environment in which Muslim communities in the West have found themselves since the turn of the century.

To this end, the two-week programme studied their multi-fold challenges, particularly in light of the surge of religious profiling and threats of marginalisation, and focused on the larger political, civic and social life lessons that could be drawn from the communities’ experiences based on four main classifications: spiritual growth, intellectual development, political education, and public activism.

Ultimately, the programme aimed to inculcate critical thinking and leadership skills as well as a strategic understanding of the complex issues affecting Muslims in the participants, so that they may effectively influence and lead their respective communities to a promising future.

Ardela Hyka, who is currently pursuing a Master of Arts In Islamic Studies, said that experiencing the CIGA programme taught her a lot about cultivating personal leadership qualities.

As established partner institutes, the IZU welcomed the participation of the HBKU delegation, whose joint academic expertise in the fields of contemporary Islamic studies provided a rich contribution to academic discourse. This growing foundation of interactive knowledge transfer further consolidates HBKU’s global profile of academic excellence.

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