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'A Crisis in Humanities' by Dean Ahmed Dallal

Higher education across the world confronts a ‘crisis in the humanities’, with precipitous declines over recent decades in funding for the arts, humanities, and social sciences. And the urgency of the need for research in the humanities and social sciences in our region cannot be overstated. Of the research papers in humanities and social sciences published worldwide, less than 0.02% are published in the Arab world, and the share of total research production in these fields is a mere half of that produced in other regions.

The crisis of the humanities in the Arab world is not limited to academia; it also hinders the ability to critically engage the legacies of the past in order to recraft our present identity and implant ourselves in civilization in a clear and meaningful manner. It is also the humanities that provide the foundation for expressing and appreciating the rich cultural diversity of human innovation, inculcating a desire to offer alternatives to fraught present realities, and to imagine and build a better future.

At Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q), not only are we setting an example of how to produce relevant research at a global standard, we are also providing the next generation of scholars with the intellectual and ethical frameworks to contribute at multiple national and international levels within government, academia, and civil society. Already, our alumni have made their mark through contributions to United Nations reports, refereed journal articles, and research published in peer-reviewed books. Our culture of scholarship is empowering local and regional researchers to define their own narratives, and to speak authoritatively about the region from the inside.

ahmed dallal guq Dr. Ahmad S. Dallal, Dean of Georgetown University in Qatar

Since being established in partnership with Qatar Foundation in 2005, GU-Q has created an institutional and intellectual environment conducive to world-class research. This year, we celebrated the publication of more than 100 books by GU-Q faculty and staff throughout the lifetime of the university – a significant and tangible achievement that is reflective both of the success of our relationship with QF, and of Qatar’s emerging role as a producer of globally-recognized knowledge.

The vast majority of GU-Q’s publications contain original scholarship related to the region, conducted at the highest international standards. Primarily focused on the humanities and social sciences, the research is from within the region, offering perspectives that are uniquely well-informed and diverse.

Each graduating class from GU-Q, composed of competent researchers and practitioners, are providing critical expertise in areas such as international affairs, diplomacy, economics, security, and public policy. While the challenges faced by the region may sometimes seem intractable, our faculty, staff, students, and alumni researchers are participating, as global citizens, in meaningful and impactful work in the region and beyond.