Posted on December 14, 2017

The Gulf Studies Center (GSC) at Qatar University College of Arts and Sciences (QU-CAS) hosted the annual interdisciplinary Gulf studies international conference on December 10-12.

Themed “Gulf Culture, Economics, Politics, and Society”, the event aimed to highlight the interdisciplinary dimension of Gulf studies and to engage dialogue on contemporary issues related to the Gulf states such as sovereignty, economy, culture, gender, sports, security and social changes. The event brought together over 75 local, regional and international scholars, policy makers and students from a wide range of disciplines to exchange their ideas, knowledge and experience on contemporary issues related to the Gulf societies.

The opening ceremony was attended by QU President Dr Hassan Al Derham, QU VP for Academic Affairs Dr Omar Al-Ansari, QU Chief Strategy and Development Officer Dr Darwish Al-Emadi, CAS Dean Dr Rashid Al-Kuwari, GSC Director Dr Abdullah Baabood and GSC Coordinator, Social and Cultural Issues Research Dr Amani Awad El Jack, as well as GSC faculty, staff and students. The event’s program featured nine panel discussions titled “Gulf Studies as an Interdisciplinary Field of Study”, “GCC at a Crossroad: Future and Present Challenges”, “Gulf Heritage and Identity”, “Sport for Development in the Gulf”, “Gulf Economy, Energy and Geo-Politics”, “Education, Demography and Migration in the Gulf”, “Family Laws and Citizenship Questions in the Gulf”, “Gender Identity: The Question of Empowerment”, and “Sport for Development in the Gulf (2)”.

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It also included presentations delivered by speakers from Qatar, India, Kuwait, Oman and the USA. They discussed a wide range of topics such as “"Gulf Studies" as a Field in the GCC Interdisciplinary Studies: Present and Future Challenges”, “Gulf Studies and Interdisciplinary: Obstacles and Opportunities”, “The Current Challenges of the GCC”, “Cultural Heritage and Identity in Qatar before the Oil Industry Based on Archaeological Evidence: An Interdisciplinary Research”, “The Negotiation of Identity, "Home", and Citizenship, by a Group of Second-Generation Sudanese Migrants in Qatar”, “Qatar, the World Cup, and the future of Media Regulation in Qatar”, “Economic Cooperation between the GCC and the EU”, “Momentum for Education 2030 in the State of Qatar: Educational Quality and Improved Learning Outcomes”, and many more.

In his remarks, Dr Hassan Al Derham said: “The Gulf region is going through a critical moment at the economic, political and social levels. It is through such interdisciplinary scholarly gathering that we can begin to understand the complex nature of our societies and politics. We, at QU, have initiated a world-class Gulf Studies master’s and PhD programs complemented by a research center to help understanding our region. The University will continue to deliver on its vision to address critical issues related to the region.”

Dr Abdullah Baabood said: “The Gulf region is in constant change and the recent events are a true testimony to the dynamics of such changes. Our conference brings together a number of specialists to help us understand the effects of such changes on Gulf politics, economics and society.” Dr Amani Awad El Jack said: “Our main goal is to enhance our knowledge on Gulf issues and provide policies that would contribute to the development of Qatar and Gulf societies.”

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