Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) is inviting the public to hear from experts and engage in discussions across a variety of subjects that range from Japanese Islamic poetry to alternative currencies such as Bitcoins; and from an exploration of diabetes in Qatar to an examination of the role of Islamic finance when building successful small businesses.

The public lectures and discussions cover a wide range of academic topics and are aimed at a general audience as they address contemporary issues that affect people’s daily lives. This month’s offering features several informative and stimulating debates.

College of Law and Public Policy 

HBKU’s College of Law and Public Policy (CLPP) will be holding a public colloquium titled ‘The Regulation of Cryptocurrencies’ on Wednesday, 15 March at CIS Conference Room 1, from 4 pm to 6 pm. The colloquium intends to generate awareness and facilitate a better understanding of the actors, phenomena and dynamics of FinTech – the intersection of finance and technology – with focus on the Middle East. The discussion will explore the opportunities and challenges that relate to the emergence of Blockchain technology, which has taken the form of various cryptocurrencies, or digital currencies, such as Bitcoin.  Speaking at the event will be Mohammad Zebian, Innovation Manager at Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), and Dr Yazan Boshmaf, Research Scientist at HBKU’s Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI).

College of Islamic Studies

HBKU’s College of Islamic Studies (CIS) is hosting several public events this month starting on 15 March with a lecture that will tackle the importance of small- and medium-size industries in Qatar and will explore the suitability of Islamic finance to their development. To be held at the CIS auditorium, from 7 pm to 9 pm, the lecture will touch upon the importance of SMEs, in terms of their role in alleviating poverty, increasing employment rate, facilitating economic growth, and encouraging national output. The lecture will also explore the Islamic sources of finance available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Muhammad bin Hamad Al Thani Centre for Muslim Contributions to Civilization 

On 27 March, HBKU’s Muhammad bin Hamad Al Thani Centre for Muslim Contributions to Civilization (CMCC), part of CIS, will hold a public symposium titled ‘The Contributions of the Japanese Scholar Toshihko Izutsu to Islamic Studies’ at CIS Auditorium from 10 am to 1:30 pm. The symposium, to be led by William Chittick, Professor in the Department of Comparative Studies at the State University of New York and one of the world’s leading translators and interpreters of Jalaluddin Rumi’s mystical poetry, will shed light on the scientific heritage of one of the greatest scholars of contemporary Japan in Qur’anic studies. A series of experts in the field will join Chittick, including Professor of Comparative Religion at HBKU’s CIS Dheen Mohamed, Assistant Professor in the Department of Arabic and Translation Studies at the American University of Sharjah Dr Joseph EB Lumbard and Professor of Islamic Studies at University of Tokyo Kamada Shigeru.

Also hosted by HBKU’s College of Islamic Studies will be a public lecture on 28 March titled ‘Is there an Islamic Public Administration? A Humanistic Alternative to Managing a Just and Welfare-based Society’, to be held at CIS Conference Room 1, from 1:30 pm to 3 pm. Visiting Associate Professor at the American University of Ras Al Khaimah Dr Eugenie A Samier, will present a humanistic alternative of public administration grounded from a long history and set of principles in the Islamic world, as opposed to the globalised dominance of the Western model. The lecture will identify the underlying principles of good governance and administration from the Qur’an and Sunnah, and will consider how these principles can be central when building an alternative international model of good public administration.

Science Majlis Series

Finally, HBKU will host a discussion on the subject of tackling diabetes in Qatar on 22 March, from 6 pm to 7 pm. This informal event will be hosted by Dr Abdelilah Arredouani from HBKU’s Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI). The aim of the Science Majlis is to engage the public in a jargon-free discussion and people of all ages and all backgrounds are actively encouraged to attend and join the conversation. All HBKU public lectures, symposiums and discussions are free and open to all.

To learn more about HBKU, or register to attend any of the upcoming events, visit hbku.edu.qa.