Two-Day Conference in UAE Discusses Future of Arab-Islamic Culture

  • 26 May 2013

The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) is organizing a two-day conference entitled ‘The Future of Arab-Islamic Culture’ on 27-28 May, 2013, at 10am in the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Hall, ECSSR Office Complex in Abu Dhabi.

The Conference will open with welcoming remarks by Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi, Director General of The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR).

General Currents in Islamic Thought

Chaired by Dr. Hamdan Musallam Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (AWQAF) in the UAE, Panel I of the conference will present an “Analytical View of the General Currents in Islamic Thought.” Dr. Ammar Ali Hassan, an Egyptian researcher and academic, will speak about Salafism.

Dr. Khaled Abdellatif, an Assistant Professor at Al-Madinah International University and a researcher at the Egyptian Ministry of Awqaf will examine the topic of Sufism. Secular Islamic Thought and Centrism” will be the key theme of the intervention of Dr. Hassan Hanafi, an Academic and Professor at the Faculty of Arts at Cairo University.

The commentary session will feature the Professor of Literature and Modern Criticism at Al-Aqsa University and former political activist Khidr Attia Muhjez and the Professor of Sociology at Kuwait University, Dr. Mohamed Ghanem Alrumaihi.

Panel II, chaired by Dr. Salem Humaid, author and researcher and Head of Al-Mezmaah Studies and Research Centre in the UAE, will delve into the topic: “Islamic Thought and the Arab Renaissance Movement.” During the panel session, Dr. Kadri Hifni, Professor of Political Psychology at Ain Shams University in Egypt, will present a research paper on “Motives of the Arab Renaissance Movement.”

Syrian researcher and academic Dr. Tayyeb Tizini will take the floor to speak about “Regenerative Religious Thought (the Origin of Moderation) and its Pioneers.” Journalist and political analyst Abdel Wahab Badrakhan will, then, present a paper on “Intellectual and Religious Pluralism in the Arab Renaissance Movement.” The commentary session will feature Dr. Nabil Abdel-Fattah, an expert on Islamist groups at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Egypt and Dr. Bakr Abu Bakr, a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council.

Muslim Brotherhood

On day 2, Panel III, chaired by Former Dean of the Sharia and Law Faculty at the Qatar University Dr. Abdul Hamid Al-Ansari, will deliberate on “Movements in Contemporary Islamic Political Thought: The Muslim Brotherhood.” Egyptian author and lawyer Tharwat El-Kherbawy will speak about the “The Supreme Guide and the Challenges of Democratic Practice.”

A research paper on “The Global Spread of the Muslim Brotherhood: Allegiance and Loyalty” will then be presented by Dr. Ahmed Youssef, Secretary General of the House of Wisdom Institute and a Hamas senior Leader. “The Influence of the Geopolitical Environment in the Establishment of the Muslim Brotherhood” will be the theme of the following intervention by Dr. Abdullah Othman, a former political advisor from Libya.

The President of the Liberal Democratic Front Party and Consultant at Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, Dr. Osama Al-Ghazali Harb will speak about the “Political Self-Interest in the Behavior of the Muslim Brotherhood.” The commentary session will feature Dr. Hassan Hanafi, an Academic and Professor at the Faculty of Arts, Cairo University together with Dr. Fakhr Abu-Awwad, a Professor at the Islamic University of Gaza and an independent political activist

Political Islam in Power

Chaired by Mamoun Fandy, Director of London Global Strategy Institute, the Closing Discussion Panel will tackle “Experiences of Political Islam in Power: Visions and Ideas.” Dr. Abdul Hamid Al-Ansari, Former Dean of the Sharia and Law Faculty at Qatar University will speak about the “Legislative Experience” of Islamist movements in power.

On his part, Dr. Diaa Rashwan, Chairman of the Egyptian Journalists’ Syndicate will shed light on the “Political Experience” of these movements. The “Media Experience” will be key theme of the paper presented by General Sameh Seif El-Yazal, Chairman of Al Gomhouria Center for Political and Security Studies in Egypt. Finally, Palestinian economic expert Dr. Mohammad Al-Samhouri will elaborate on the “Economic Experience” of Islamist movements in power.

The conference will conclude with closing remarks from Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi, Director General of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR), who will announce practical recommendations and suggestions of participants. The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research was established on March 14, 1994, following a decision taken by the UAE President, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who was at that time Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The heart of the Center's mission is the adoption of a strategic and rational approach in addressing today's and tomorrow's pivotal and pressing issues. The Center places a premium on rigorous discipline in the triumph of academic and scientific enterprise and its core research group involves a cadre of well-educated nationals that derive a qualitative benefit from a specially designed program.