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‘Qatar committed to promote education’

DOHA DEPUTY Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs HE Ahmed bin Abdullah al Mahmoud reiterated Qatar’s commitment to develop a knowledgebased society with emphasis on the importance of learning in Islam. He was addressing the 18th Conference of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS) which he inaugurated at Sheraton Hotel on Saturday. Former Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad, founding patron of the IAS Prince al Hasan bin Talal, President of the IAS Prof Abdel Salam Majali were among a large number of academics, decision-makers, scientists, researchers and ambassadors attending the three-day conference being held under the theme of ‘The Islamic World and the West: Rebuilding Bridges through Science and Technology’. The deputy prime minister said Qatar was proud to host and sponsor such an important conference. He underlined Qatar’s strong emphasis on the value of knowledge in the Islamic faith, explaining how the Holy Quran encourages Muslims to acquire knowledge. “Qatar is proud to host and sponsor this annual global scientific community gathering, which coincides with the 25th anniversary of IAS. Qatar allocates a large part of its national income to support scientific research and development,” he said. Addressing the conference, Mahathir said the conference was being held at an opportune time when the world is witnessing unprecedented uprisings and major financial crisis. “The world needs to come together to reconsider the methods that are used by the governments of our countries. We meet today during a critical period in the history of mankind. We see the collapse of financial systems in the West. And the financial crisis is worsening. We are not only witness to uprisings in some under-developed countries, commonly known as the Arab Spring, but also see demonstrations in many of the developed countries. There are protests in the US, the United Kingdom, Australia and many European countries. Governments in many of these countries have failed and people are not satisfied with their performance,” he said. For his part, Prof Majali explained the objectives as well as the expected outcome of the conference. He said one of the most common challenges facing member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is how to apply knowledge in the development policies to boost the economy and address development-related issues like water and health problems hitting these countries. “The objectives of the conference are to present the views of scientists and academics from both sides on how to bridge the divide between the East and West through scientific and technological cooperation,” he said Participants and key speakers will address various scientific-political issues, including nuclear energy, biotechnology and nanotechnology. They will also discuss ways to bridge the gab between the Islamic world and the West.

Qatar Tribune