Prof. Dr. Ahmad Yousif A. Al-Draiweesh, is one of the leading academician in Saudi Arabia and has recently appointed by President of Pakistan as the President International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI). Earlier, he was serving as deputy reactor, Al Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University, Riyadh. He has more than two decades of teaching experience in Islamic Studies, Islamic law and Comparative Jurisprudence in Saudi Arabia and several other countries. He has been awarded numerous awards for his academic work and research. Since his appointment as President of IIUI, he was able to take various initiatives for the University to make head ways in enhancing cooperation and development of the great learning centre.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has always remained generous in providing institutional support ranging from health and education. International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI) is one of the strong symbols of friendship and brotherhood offered by the Saudi people and Kingdom. Established in November 1980, the University has completed its 25 years recently. Students from all over the world including Pakistan are benefiting from the enriched source of knowledge for more than two decades. The University also symbolizes the hopes and aspirations of the Muslim Ummah and has been created to produce the scholars and practitioners who have the personalities and characters coupled with rich knowledge of Islam capable to cater to the economic, social, political, technological and intellectual needs of the Muslim Ummah. The University has several faculties offering unique study in multiple disciplines
The Diplomatic Insight arranged an exclusive sitting with Prof. Dr. Ahmad Yousif A. Al-Draiweesh, President of International Islamic University, Islamabad(IIUI). Following are the excerpts of interview.
Q: Thank you Mr. President for the your time. What is your vision for promoting Education in Muslim World?
Dr. Yousif: It is my pleasure to talk to you and through your magazine to the wider readership and tell them about International Islamic University and my vision for turning this great University to greatest levels of knowledge through dynamic approaches and innovative thinking and make it one of the world’s best Universities. First of all I would like to thank President of Pakistan, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari for my appointment as President of this University and I also am thankful to Khadim Ul Harmain Sharifain who has chosen me for the services of Pakistani people. My commitment is firm to leave no stone unturned while pursuing aims and objectives. IIUI is the nucleus of hopes and expectations of Islamic world. In order to fulfill expectations such a generation will provide a better and balanced leadership to Islamic world. These goals cannot be achieved without the cooperation and mutual collaboration with the faculty members and I have asked them all to share their aspirations in this regard in the form of proposals to share with the office to work for the improvement of the working of the University. We are currently making all efforts to enhance the working of various departments including the teachers training sessions. These training programs for improving capabilities are not only for administrative staff as well as for the faculty. Our University is also providing scholarships to the students on the regular basis.
Q: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia share deep rooted diplomatic relations between both states, but there is minimal cooperation in the field of education. What is your comment on that?
Dr. Yousif: I don’t fully agree with you here. This University in Islamabad is a strong symbol of Pakistan-Saudi Arabia Friendship and support. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has remained instrumental in providing support to the education sector of Pakistan for the last many years. Many of the faculty members from the Kingdom are here to serve not only in the University but also in other various institutes as well. Saudi Arabia has provided generously in building religious and other educational institutes across the country and has remained a major contributor to the construction of mosques as well. Saudi investment in Pakistan coupled with advances made by Pakistan in the field of science and technology has helped to give the education a boost in Pakistan. There also exist various institutional linkages between Universities as well. The linkages are based on technical support from Faisal Mosque (dedicated to King Faisal of Saudi Arabia) in Islamabad; the capital of Pakistan was the prime example of Pak-Saudi cultural affinity. Faisal Mosque has also remained one of the centres of Islamic Studies and knowledge in the country. There is an exchange of education delegation to each other’s countries as well.
Q: What are the various steps that you are taking to make this University a true representative of Muslim Ummah as students from few of the Muslim countries are studying here in various faculties?
Dr. Yousif: As you know that currently students from 40 different countries of the world are getting education in this university thus they are strengthening the Islamic brotherhood. Yes, there is a lot of steps need to be taken in promoting and encouraging the presence of students and knowledge seekers from across the globe. Youth is our asset and our motivation is to give them quality education that would help them to serve not only nations but also whole Muslim Ummah. We are considering opening of various facilities which are unique and give excellent education, both in terms of technical field, research and dialogue as well to attract the students from across the globe. We are also providing scholarships to the students as well and offer incentives of various natures to these students to make them work hard and get the best of knowledge.
Q: What is your message to the people especially youth of Pakistan and Muslim world?
Dr. Yousif: I consider youth as an asset for any society, country and nation as a whole. They must spend their precious time to acquire knowledge to serve their nation. The youth of the country must be a symbol of hard work and dedication to the cause of building up the nation for a bright future. Youth must keep themselves away from the impact of terrorism and fundamentalism and focus their energies to get involved in learning new paths to the science and technologies and sports as the modern era is a time for science and technology and we cannot survive without getting sound knowledge in these discipline, therefore youth should be aware of their potentials and utilize them accordingly. This is my message to the youth of not only to Pakistan but whole world including Muslim world.
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