Changing dynamic between Islam and West

The Islamic world’s changing relationship with the West is to be examined at a University event.

An international panel of scholars with unrivalled expertise will offer their perspective on the dynamic between the two cultures on Tuesday, 8 March.

The experts - from Britain, the US and the Middle East - will explore how the relationship has developed in the 10 years since the events of 11 September 2001.

Each of the experts is based at a university centre supported by the Alwaleed bin Talal Foundation, which exists to promote understanding between Islamic culture and the West.

Taking part in the forum are:

  • Dr Robert Myers (American University of Beirut)
  • Professor Roy Mottahedeh (Harvard University)
  • Dr Jerry Leach (American University in Cairo)
  • Professor Yasir Suleiman (University of Cambridge)
  • Professor Hugh Goddard (University of Edinburgh)
  • Professor John Esposito (Georgetown University)

At a time when events are unfolding rapidly in different parts of the Islamic world, and the relationship between Islam and the West remains in the spotlight for a whole range of reasons, this event offers a unique opportunity to reflect on how the relationship is perceived in different parts of the world.

Prof. Hugh GoddardDirector, HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre

Alwaleed Centres

The event is being hosted by The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World, which opened at the University of Edinburgh last year.

Four Alwaleed centres in the West are devoted to different aspects of Islamic studies, while two centres in the Middle East are focused on the study of the US and Europe. This gives the network of Alwaleed Centres a unique perspective on events.

A second centre in the UK is based at the University of Cambridge. The Foundation also has centres in the US - at Georgetown and Harvard - and in the Middle East, at the American University of Beirut and the American University in Cairo.

Arabic expertise

The University’s Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (IMES) department is one of the leading institutions of its kind in the UK and the world.

It has one of the UK’s largest concentrations of expertise on the Arabic-speaking world, bringing together 20 full-time members of staff active in a wide variety of fields.

Over 70 per cent of its research activity has been classified as world-leading. Areas of study include Islamic history and philosophy; modern Middle Eastern history, politics and cultural studies; and the study of Persian, Arabic and Turkish languages and literature.

Collaborative centre

IMES has also collaborated with the Universities of Durham and Manchester to create the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World (CASAW), which brings together expertise from across the UK in order to enhance understanding of the Arabic-speaking world.

The centre aims to safeguard the future health of Arab World expertise in the UK, training the next generation of academics and creating opportunities for international cooperation and collaboration.