Posted on March 05, 2017

This month, Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) is inviting the community 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.

Each month, HBKU hosts free public lectures and discussions that cover a wide range of academic topics. These events, which are delivered by speakers that are leaders in their own fields, are aimed at a general audience as they often address contemporary issues that affect people’s daily lives. Upcoming in March are several informative and stimulating debates.

HBKU’s College of Law and Public Policy (CLPP) will be holding a public colloquium titled “The Regulation of Cryptocurrencies” on Wednesday March 15th at CIS, conference room 1, from 4:00 PM to 6:00 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 a focus on the Middle East. The discussion will particularly 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).

HBKU’s College of Islamic Studies (CIS) is hosting several public events in March. The first, to be held on March 15th, is 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. Held at CIS auditorium, from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM, the lecture will touch upon the importance of SME’s, 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).

On Monday March 27th, HBKU’s Muhammad bin Hamad Al-Thani Center 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’s Auditorium from 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM. The symposium, which is led by William Chittick, Professor in the Department of Comparatives 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 Dheen Mohamed, Professor of Comparative Religion at HBKU’s CIS, Dr. Joseph E. B. Lumbard, Assistant Professor in the Department of Arabic and Translation Studies at the American University of Sharjah, and Kamada Shigeru, Professor of Islamic Studies at University of Tokyo.

Also hosted by HBKU’s College of Islamic Studies will be a public lecture on Thursday March 28th titled “Is there an Islamic Public Administration? A Humanistic Alternative to Managing a Just and Welfare-based Society”, to be held in CIS’s Conference Room 01, from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM. Dr. Eugenie A. Samier, Visiting Associate Professor at the American University of Ras Al Khaimah, will present a humanistic alternative of public administration grounded in a long history and set of foundational principles in the Islamic world, as opposed to the globalized 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.

Finally, HBKU will host a discussion around the subject of tackling diabetes in Qatar as part of the university’s popular Science Majlis series on March 22 from 6:00 PM to 7:00 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 wider 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