College of Islamic Studies Holds Student Appreciation Ceremony

College of Islamic Studies Holds Student Appreciation Ceremony

06 Jun 2021

CIS recognizes academic high achievers and the Class of 2021

College of Islamic Studies Holds Student Appreciation Ceremony

The College of Islamic Studies (CIS) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) held a Student Appreciation Ceremony on May 5, to recognize the Class of 2021 and students who had earned a place on the Dean’s Honor List. 

Gathering faculty, researchers, and graduating students, the virtual Appreciation Ceremony highlighted the exceptional efforts in both research and teaching across the CIS community during the academic year. Moderated by Sabika Shaban, Academic Journals and Publications Specialist at CIS, the event opened with a Qur’anic recitation by Master of Arts in Islamic Studies graduate, Omar Brahim Belaidi.

Dr. Emad El-Din Shahin, dean of CIS, congratulated the students on the Dean’s Honor List and the Class of 2021 during his dean’s address. He praised their exemplary contributions to academic life and scholarship at CIS, in spite of the year’s many challenges. He imparted advice on the importance of embodying a value-driven philosophy in every area of their lives, and he used the value of integrity to illustrate the need for embedding values in every action.

The ceremony also featured a powerful keynote address by renowned writer and futurist, Prof. Ziauddin Sardar, also the Director of the UK-based Centre for Postnormal Policy and Futures Studies. Prof. Sardar reflected on the five points of awareness that students and graduates need to internalize in order to proceed forward: the power of a generation, the nature of change in post-normal times, the complex challenges in Muslim societies, the potency of hope mandated by faith, and exercises such as critical reading of great intellectual works to fuel agency to change. In summation, he stated: “The future belongs to you…Congratulations on your awareness that you can change the future to produce a just, viable, and sustainable world.”

In the ceremonial segment, Dr. Dalal Aassouli, associate dean for academic affairs and assistant professor of Islamic Finance at CIS, announced the names of students on the Dean’s List for 2021 in recognition of their academic merit.  

Talal Zebian, a graduate of the Master of Science program in Islamic Finance, had an inspirational message for the Class of 2021. He reflected on his rewarding journey as a graduate student at CIS, and the exceptional support shown to him by faculty members. CIS Student Council President, Laura Sani, invoked key memories along the student journey, and shared key lessons learned from the wide variety of thesis topics that were produced by the graduating cohort.

After the event, Dr. Shahin said: “As we approach the end of another academic year, we were determined to maintain one of our important traditions at the College of Islamic Studies, and that is to duly honor the hard work and accomplishments of our students. The recipients of Dean’s Honors have showcased their perseverance and versatility in the face of differing circumstances. The Class of 2021 has made an extraordinary effort to contribute to our community and academic spheres, not only demonstrating excellence in their research projects but showing a level of maturity and engagement with faculty that has enriched our scholarship in several research areas. We are fiercely proud of welcoming a new generation of graduates into our CIS alumni community.”

For more information on the work of the College of Islamic Studies, please visit