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QU’s Gulf Studies Center boasts fast progress in recent years | Qatar University

QU’s Gulf Studies Center boasts fast progress in recent years

2021-03-02
Director of Gulf Studies Center,Dr. Mahjoob Zweiri Associate Professor

Qatar University’s (QU) Gulf Studies Center (GSC), which aims to advance in-depth knowledge of issues related to the Gulf region, has developed rapidly in just a few years.
The center works on fostering thoughtful dialogue among students, scholars, and practitioners of Gulf affairs and facilitate the free flow of ideas and knowledge thus promoting scholarly interest in the region. It aims to achieve this by offering multidisciplinary postgraduate academic programs and innovative research.
In the past three years, the expansion of the center included much needed positions and in return, the center improved its overall performance. The center boasts a diversity of students and faculty members of more than 30 nationalities, which help in the diversification of the center and its activities.
Speaking about the center, its Director Dr. Mahjoob Zweiri Associate Professor said, “We engage in outreach activities with a wide range of local, regional, and international partners. The center is keen on recruiting faculty who are experts in the field as well as staff with experiences that will help enrich the vision and mission of the center.”
“Most importantly, our research center and our graduate program work as a unity. The center is committed to offer the faculty and students a rare opportunity to be exposed to academic research from the field, closely linking both the center and the program together. This healthy relationship has proven its effectiveness and its ability to increase research productivity.”
The greatest pride of the center is the book series with the international and world-renowned publisher Springer, who released the first comprehensive book on the 2017 Gulf Crisis.
As part of the Gulf Studies series, Springer launched a new volume titled ‘The 2017 Gulf Crisis: An Interdisciplinary Approach,’ edited by Mahjoob Zweiri, Mizanur Rahman and Arwa Kamal. The book brings together 23 top-level social scientists, including six Qatari scholars.
This impressive volume features 19 chapters that examines the crisis from its beginnings to its profound long-term consequences from an interdisciplinary academic perspective. Illustrating the implications of the crisis on nation building and reconfiguration of the security landscape and political and economic allegiances across the region, it offers readers a thorough scholarly analysis of the dynamics, contours and repercussions of one of the most important events in contemporary Gulf history.
Currently, the GSC has about three to five main books in the pipeline including ‘Contemporary Qatar: An Examination of State and Society’ edited by Dr. Mahjoob Zweiri and Farah Al Qawasmi in addition to more books in this field.
Dr. Mahjoob adds, “We work towards catering to Qatar National Vision 2030 and keeping in mind the National Priorities Research Program (NPRP). In fact, members of our center are encouraged to apply for NPRP funding in line with the research priorities.”
One of the main NPRP funded projects is ‘Economic, Political and Security aspects of Sanctions and Blockades from a Target Country Perspective: Policy Lessons for Qatar and other Target Countries’ 2020-2022 by Dr. Mahjoob Zweiri.
All the center events are open for attendance to all members and students of the QU community. In fact, an annual conference called the Student Symposium is completely tailored for the students and by the students. Members of the QU student community are responsible for the administrative logistics as well as the academic side of the conference. Organizers invite and encourage students from around the world to participate.
Speaking on upcoming events, Dr, Mahjoob added, “The Gulf Studies Center’s annual conference will be on the topic of politics and security. Every year, the annual conference tackles a major element in one of our three center pillars. In addition to that, we will be hosting two major workshops, one in economics and energy, and one in culture and society. Furthermore, we will be hosting a number of minor events that come in parallel with our research agenda and research priorities. Although Covid-19 created obstacles on the functionality of many institutions, the center’s members worked hard to comply with the calendar and resume with all planned events.”
Despite the pandemic, the center hosted thirteen virtual events in 2020 with local and international participants. In addition, the center’s faculty members continued to participate in external events regionally and internationally.
Speaking on the center’s achievements recently, Dr. Mahjoob said, “I am pleased to witness and take part in numerous positive transformations in the past few years. These transformations include faculty, staff and student growth and diversity, a significant rise in productivity and outreach, and remarkable center efficiency. I am also confident that the Gulf Studies Center will continue to achieve its vision and objectives as it is keen to the growth of the platform of scientific research and academia in order to serve Qatar University and the Qatari community.”
The Gulf Studies Program was launched in 2011, and takes a fundamental approach where classes are delivered in small groups, with maximized interaction and engagement between the student and the instructor.
Following the great success of the MA program, the Gulf Studies launched a PhD program, which allows students to take their research and academia further. The MA and PhD students explore fundamental questions about the Gulf’s economics, politics, security, and all other aspects of the Gulf identity from interdisciplinary perspectives.
With the solid combination of research and academia, the Gulf Studies offers its community a unique opportunity to engage with leading academics in the field through workshops, seminars, guest lectures.