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Qatar University students debate topical issues at Model OIC conference

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Doha: The Model Organization of Islamic Cooperation Conference (MOICC) organized by Qatar University's College of Sharia and Islamic Studies (CSIS) and the Diplomatic Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was held on April 27-28 at Doha Sheraton Hotel in the presence of HH Sheikha Hind Bint Hamad Al Thani, QU President Prof Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad, CSIS Dean Dr Aisha Al-Mannai, Diplomatic Institute Director H.E. Ambassador Hassan Al-Mohannadi, QU faculty, students and guests.

Some 500 students, 460 of whom were women, represented 28 countries throughout the Islamic world as they debated two primary issues -- food security and the environmental crisis, and political changes in the Muslim world.

The conference provided a platform for the students to debate key political issues facing countries in the Arab and Muslim world and to discuss major challenges for the wider Middle East and North African region.

Its objective was to strengthen the dialogue on Islamic unity and mutual understanding, promote the spirit of leadership, and give students the opportunity to enhance their presentation, communication and debating skills. Most importantly, the conference was aimed to widen students' knowledge of broader issues on religion, culture, and nationhood.

In her opening remarks, Dr Al-Mannai stated that the conference was being held to connect students to the recent issues that affected the Arab and Islamic countries at an economic social and political level, especially in light of the Arab Spring.

"You will gain practical and educational experience, and it will help you to better understand the recent and ongoing issues facing the Arab world", she told the students.

Ambassador Al-Mohannadi noted that the OIC had tried during the past four years to activate its role in supporting the efforts of the international society in maintaining stability in the region, and in trying to reduce the side effects of natural disasters, armed conflict and poverty.
"It is our responsibility to broaden students' awareness of such issues, especially on food security and changing politics that are particularly relevant today", he said.

Engineering student Abdulla Izzat said: "This event greatly contributed to bringing a level of maturity to the students' approach to the issues, encouraging critical thinking, and giving them practical experience in debate and exchange of opinions. It will help QU students to better interact with the society and enhance their understanding of contemporary Islamic issues. This conference also played a great role in strengthening their leadership skills and encouraging them to be effective members in Arab, Islamic and international societies."

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