Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, chairperson of Qatar Foundation (QF), attended the opening ceremony of the Renaissance Questions international conference, hosted by the College of Islamic Studies (CIS) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), which was held from Saturday in Education City.
The conference, which concluded Friday, marked the 70th anniversary of the publication of The Conditions of the Renaissance, written by the revered Algerian author and philosopher Malek Bennabi, whose work has inspired countless leaders and scholars.
During the three-day event, notable Qatari and international dignitaries, scholars, researchers and thought leaders in the Muslim Ummah engaged in academic dialogue centered on Bennabi’s renaissance project.
The Algerian scholar’s works was examined in the context of global laws (Sunan), which he incorporated into his methodology and study of intellectual, cultural, social and civilisational phenomena.
Dr Ahmad M Hasnah, president of HBKU, said: “The conference presented an opportune time for HBKU and CIS to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the publication of this book, which signaled the birth of a great intellectual project. Together, attendees considered ways in which Bennabi’s theories can be applied to modern-day realities to achieve civilisational advancement. HBKU provides a platform to explore present day studies through a historical prism. In turn, HBKU’s CIS is thoroughly invested in Islamic renewal and development in the region and beyond.”
The conference commenced with an opening address by Dr Hasnah, after which Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, former deputy prime minister of Malaysia, Ahmet Davutoglu, former prime minister of Turkey, and Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi, co-founder of the Ennahdha Party in Tunisia, participated in the Guest of Honour panel, moderated by Dr Emad El-Din Shahin, dean of CIS.
Speaking at the conference, Dr Shahin suggested the adoption of the Nahda project, as originally featured in Bennabi’s work.
“Doha would be the birthplace of the project, with its hub formed of the four cities represented here today – Doha, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur and Tunis – who would every one or two years convene to formulate an applied approach involving youth and civic institutions,” Dr Shahin said.
"As part of our enhanced vision, CIS seeks to connect Islamic ideas to reality and develop applied solutions to the challenges that are facing Muslim societies today. It gave us great pleasure to convene leading scholars to impart their knowledge of Malek Bennabi’s insights on Islamic thought, while building on them to develop a contemporary framework for a renewed renaissance or nahda.”
Throughout the conference, attendees examined several themes relating to Bennabi’s work through various papers presented by leading scholars, including Parallel Structures of Civilisational and Scientific Processes; Religion and Faith in the Conditions of the Renaissance; Malek Bennabi’s Ideas on Occidentalism; and Western Civilisation in Malek Bennabi’s Thought.
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