From high quality academic programs to engaging discussions beyond the classroom, the Class of 2023 are graduating from a university where inquiry and discovery are integral to teaching and learning. In this Q&A, the College of Islamic Studies’ Ali Al-Buainain outlines how HBKU’s unique learning environment broadened his perspective on a range of global issues.
Why did you choose Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) and this particular degree program?
I chose to study at HBKU for three interconnected reasons. First, I was excited by the prospect of engaging with academics and issues beyond the classroom. There are many open lectures and seminars on campus covering an array of topics unique to Islam and Qatar. Second, HBKU’s diverse academic and student body appealed to me as the ideal place to learn more from different perspectives. Finally, I was impressed with HBKU’s commitment to addressing issues and topics from an Islamic point of view.
Aside from being highly relevant to my role as a diplomat, the degree offered me a new lens through which to see contemporary political and societal issues, where Islam stands within them, and how it could offer alternative solutions to the status quo. The courses I enrolled in consistently shed light on topics from both a traditional and Islamic perspective, such as conflict resolution, international humanitarian aid, political theory, and history. These helped broaden my personal worldview. The program’s focus on global inequalities also stimulated sensitive but necessary discussions on shared concerns, such as migration, climate change, inter- and intra-state conflicts, to name but a few.
How has your time at HBKU influenced your future plans?
My time at HBKU has motivated me to keep learning and reading different academic perspectives and not become dependent on dominant popular narratives. I am now able to think more critically and of new approaches and solutions for existing problems, whether ideological or practical. I plan to search for opportunities to utilize what I learned at HBKU throughout my career. Studying at HBKU motivated me to continue postgraduate studies.
What was the highlight of your time at HBKU?
It was undoubtedly the campus and environment. Walking into Islamic inspired buildings with relevant ayat from the Qur’an constantly reminded me of the strong foundation and richness of Islam and its intersection with daily life and modernity. I think of it as a symbol of Qatar’s vision and pride for its tradition and religion. This idea extends to HBKU’s library which provides an impressive array of resources from various academic disciplines.