On Saturday 26 March 2022, the third Arab Graduate Students Conference, held by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, was launched at the center's headquarters in Doha. This year, 46 researchers who are completing or have recently completed their doctoral studies in social sciences and humanities at universities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Europe have been selected from more than 150 applications to participate in the conference.
The conference was opened by Dr Haider Saeed, Head of the ACRPS Research Department, with a presentation covering the Arab Center’s projects, publications, and journals. He pointed out that this conference is organized as part of the ACRPS activities to create an interactive research space between Arab students in Western universities and the Arab academic environment.
In turn, Dr Abdulwahab El-Affendi, President of the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, gave a speech in which he presented the study programs and projects at the Doha Institute and pointed out the Doha Institute's endeavor to create an Arab academic space that overcomes the obstacles related to language and culture, which Arab students usually face in Western universities.
The first day of the conference included 19 interventions, seeing researchers present their papers based on their doctoral theses, and the participants received comments from academics specialized in various fields of their research, in addition to the comments of participating students and attendees. The interventions, which were held in parallel, were divided into five topics: political science and international relations, migration and refugee studies, sociology and anthropology, history and cultural studies, and education and psychology.
On the subject of politics and international relations, Rasha Awale presented a paper titled "’We Can't Tackle Him Without Breaking Him’: Iran and the Evolution of Neoconservative Foreign Policy in the 1970s,” in which examined neoconservative foreign policy and its impact on US-Iranian relations. In a paper titled " Impact of Populist Electoral Success on the Quality of Democracy in Europe ", Hafid El Hachimi touched on the impact of the electoral rise of populism on democracy indicators in 26 European countries from 2006 to 2019. Finally, Mostafa Ahmed Abdellatif Abdelaal, in his paper "Flawed Nationalisation: Manufacturing and National Planning in Zambia's State-Led Development, 1964–1973", dealt with national planning and state-directed development policies in Zambia.
Under the migration and refugee studies topic, Ahmed Arfaoui presented a paper on “The Concept of Integration from the Perspective of Academics with Immigrant Origins in Germany,” extrapolating the concept of integration from the perspective of Aladin El-Mafaalani and Naika Foroutan. Abdelghafar Salim presented “Practicing Religion in a Minority Context: Ethnographic Study on Muslim Refugees in Germany,” investigating the daily lives of Muslim refugees in Germany. Hazim Mohamed followed with, “In the Throes of Global Citizenship: Interrogating Cosmopolitan Identities in Qatar,” critically examining concepts such as cosmopolitanism, citizenship, and nationalism. Finally Miray Philips presented, “Coptic Citizenship as Counternarrative in Diasporic Rights Mobilization,” exploring how non-minority activists explore the question of sectarianism and minority belonging within broader national concerns.
Within the Sociology and Anthropology session, Helena Zohdi presented “Grasping Marxism Practically: Left Melancholy, Traveling Theory and Anthropological Reconceptualization,” which she outlines the role of Marxists from the Global South in reassessing previous theoretically-focused debates on the relevance of Marxism in an age of global unrest. Sofia Hnezla followed with “Manatiq al-Thil/ Humiliation Zones in Tunisia: a ‘Prison Archetype,’” seeking to understand how Tunisia's Manatiq al-Thil can be understood as a prison space. Walaa Quisay presented “Carceral Fiqh: Debates on the Permissibility of Hunger Strikes,” addressing the prevailing debates regarding the legality and sanctity of civil disobedience in Islam. Finally, in a paper titled "Birthing the Smuggled Self: Reproduction and Negotiating the Future in a Settler-Colonial Reality", Izzeddin Araj sought to understand the Palestinian experiences around sperm smuggling from Israeli prisons.
On the subject of history and cultural studies, Jehad Abusalim presented a paper titled “In the Path of Peace: Saʻdī Bisī sū's 1945 Vision for an Independent Arab Palestine,” in which he explained Bisī sū's vision for an independent Arab Palestine. Next, Samir Saad, in a paper titled “The Majallat al-Aḥkām ʿAdliyya as a Legislative Stratagem: Sharīʿa, Civil Law and Political Change in the Late Ottoman Empire, Syria and Transjordan, 1865-1929,” exploring three historical precedents in which the
Majalla was similarly used for political objectives. Mohamed Lamallam followed with “’Adab’ as a Practical Science: The Character of the Socio-Political Approach and Thought of Abū l-Ḥasan al-Māwardī (d. 450/1058)” suggesting the question of method as the key to grasping the character of al-Māwardī's socio-political project. Finally, Elmozfar Kotoz Ahmed presented a paper entitled "Practical Approaches to the Revival and Reanimation of Arabic Cultural Heritage", discussing the potential in the meaningful connection of these digital representations of artifacts to a wider context of Islamic artifacts and the knowledge produced around them.
Within the topics of Education and Psychology, Muneer Nasser Mansoor Alhadrami presented “Where East Meet West: Exploring the Intercultural Interactions of Foreign English Language Teachers at an Arab University,” exploring how expatriate teachers perceive, manage, and interact with the distinctive co-educational context in Oman. Rami Muhtaseb followed with his paper, “The Influence of Culture on Digital Technology Use in Education in Palestine,” in which he explores the influence of culture on technology use in education in the Palestinian context. Shamsudin Abikar presented “Developing the Somali Mother Tongue: Exploring Perceptions of Somali Origin Primary Pupils and their Parents in Extra-Curricular Activities,” exploring the perceptions of these students in extracurricular activities. Finally, Amr ElAfifi presented, “Victimization and Political Participation: Explaining Heterogeneous Responses to Trauma amongst Egyptians and Syrians in Exile,” which explored the relationship between exposure to victimization by state authorities and political participation.
The conference will continue until Monday, 28 March 2022, with researchers addressing additional topics, including gender studies, conflict studies, security studies, media studies, and urban studies.
For more information, please see the AGSC