The Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies organized its first Annual Conference for Social Sciences and Humanities from 24 to 26 March, 2012 in Doha. This first conference was organized into two parallel tracks, each focused on a particular topic.  

The first track, entitled From Hampered Growth to Sustainable Development: Which Socio-economic Policies for Arab Countries?, focused on the establishment of a comprehensive project, one which reflects the links between Arab democratic change, and the economic and social conditions necessary for the success and sustainability of this change.  Participants contributions focused on the following themes:

• Theme One: Concepts and policies of development: Transition from a reinter economy to a productive economy, and the role of the state.
• Theme Two: Equal opportunities for all in developmental action and  reaping  the benefits of development: the distribution of income and wealth, fighting poverty and social protection.
• Theme Three: Human Development, the Knowledge Society, and  quality of life.
• Theme Four: Inter-Arab integration and its role in developmental attainment.
• Theme Five: Issues regarding quantitative data which measure development.

The second track, Identity and Language in the Arab Homeland, examined the problematic interaction between Arab Societies and language,  languages of instruction in education and higher education, scientific research language, and the interactive relation between the research language, education and  cultural identity. Further to this, issues of translation, the role of government-sanctioned “National Academies”, and of social media and other networks in the formation of language were discussed by pedagogues, political scientists philosophers and scholars of language. The following themes were presented for participants' discussions:

• Theme One: Language and identity: Manifestations of interaction
• Theme Two: The issue of the Arabic language in Arab history
• Theme Three: Language and identity from a political viewpoint
• Theme Four: The Language of Education: The Creation and Reproduction of Identity
• Theme Five: The Language of Education in the Arab Homeland and the Question of Identity: Experiences and Challenges
• Theme Six: The language of education and identity: Current challenges and future expectations

At the opening ceremony, the Center’s Arab Prize for the Encouragement of Academic Research in the Social Sciences and the Humanities (the Annual Prize) was submitted to a total of eight prizes: 2 Prizes each for Researchers whose submitted work focused on one of the main themes of the conference (Language and Identity; Development); a further four Prizes were awarded to Young Researchers.