The opener of IIIT monthly lecture series for 2013 took place on Friday, January 4th. The event featured Dr. Younus Mirza, who recently defended his dissertation on Ibn Kathir at Georgetown University, and his wife, Rehenum Asmi, who completed her doctoral work in the Anthropology and Education program at Columbia University.
Dr. Younus’ presentation, entitled "Shaykh Ahmad Shakir and Tafsir Ibn Kathir" argued that Shaykh Ahmad Shakir played an instrumental role in making tafsir Ibn Kathir the most influential Tafsir by turning a highly technical hadith-based Tafsir to one that is accessible to the masses.
Dr. Rehenuma Asmi's presentation focused on "Arabic language education, Islam and School Reform in Qatar". She argued that Qatari teachers, policy makers and parents need to move beyond preservation of Arabic towards utilizing Arabic in daily life and in schools for both religious and practical purposes without resorting to the secular language ideology proposed by many Western models of education. This - she concludes - will require creating a new Arabic curriculum for Qatari schools that is not dependent on the notion of "secularizing" language or "preserving" it.
Dr. Younus Mirza's Abstract
Dr. Rehenuma Asmi's Abstract