HBKU’s College of Islamic Studies to Organize Lectures on Islamic
Hamad Bin Khalifa University


HBKU’s College of Islamic Studies to Organize Lectures on Islamic Architecture

06 Apr 2019

Public invited to attend discussions on Islamic architecture at CIS and MIA

HBKU’s College of Islamic Studies to Organize Lectures on Islamic Architecture

The College of Islamic Studies (CIS) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) is hosting and collaborating on a series of lectures on Islamic art and architecture during the month of April. 

A collaboration with the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) was first initiated in October of 2018, during which MIA hosted the inaugural edition of its ongoing lecture series by Dr. M. Tarek Swelim, program coordinator for the Master of Science in Islamic Art, Architecture and Urbanism, titled ‘A Survey of Islamic Art and Architecture.’ The second edition, which is a two-part series and takes place this month, will explore Islamic architecture with specific emphasis on the Gulf region. 
On April 10, Dr. Remah Gharib, assistant professor of Urban Design and Architecture, will deliver a lecture on “The Loss of the Courtyard House.” Since the mid-19th century, the Middle East and North African region has been exposed to various global urban and architectural trends. The lecture explains how these trends have led to transformations in the design of homes in the MENA region, leaving behind its norms, traditional crafts, and identity unguarded. Dr. Gharib explores how these architectural values can be revived in current urban environments.

Dr. Gharib returns to MIA at a later date for his second lecture at MIA, titled “Architecture of the Gulf,” in which he will explore in depth the history and evolution of Islamic architecture across the Gulf region. 

On April 15 at CIS, Dr. Ali Abdul Raouf, professor of Architecture and Urbanism, will explore “The Predicament of Building Mosques: Do We Need Mosques in Modern Cities?” The lecture will assess the interaction between mosques and their cultural, social, and urban significance in Eastern and Western cultures. Dr. Raouf will also introduce the concept of “mosquephobia," or “fear of mosques,” used to describe the reaction of groups contesting the design and construction of contemporary mosques, particularly in a Western context.

Dr. Swelim will share his expertise on April 21, in his lecture on “The Arabesque in Cairo’s Islamic Architecture.” He will shed light on the birth and growth of ‘arabesque’ design in Islamic architecture in Egypt. It will further see the arabesque in the context of different styles of decorations, from the Tulunid period, to the Ikhshidid, Fatimid, Ayyubid, Mamluk, and early Ottoman periods.

Commenting on the lecture, Dr. Swelim said: “By examining how Islam has complimented the art and architecture of the Byzantine and Sassanian empires, we are able to uncover important historical insights, and examine how these new architectural features are being interpreted in the context of the current and historical landscapes.” 

These and other discussions which explore art and architecture both historically and in contemporary contexts engage the wider community in the dialogue, and are an integral component of the Master’s program in Islamic Art, Architecture and Urbanism taught at CIS. The program is unique in its collaboration with Qatar’s MIA as well as the University of Oxford – UK, and fuses heritage and contemporary concepts in art and architecture.

CIS serves as a hub for contemporary Islamic studies that promotes dialogue on thoughts and ideas concerning Islam and Muslims. The college offers five graduate degree programs and is home to several distinguished research centers that bring together scholars and thought leaders from around the world.

All lectures will be delivered in English with simultaneous Arabic interpreting. Lectures that are led by CIS will be held at Minaretein (College of Islamic Studies building) in Education City, and more information can be found at cis.hbku.edu.qa. The MIA series will be held at the Museum of Islamic Art Auditorium, and more information can be found by contacting