Not only a different location (for it was the first time when the School was held in Odesa), and not even a new co-host (this year, the traditional organisators, namely Association “Alraid” and RAMU “Umma”, were joined by the International Institute of Islamic Thought, IIIT). Not even new lecturers from among the prominent foreign Islamic researchers.
What is it, then? It’s the participants’ overall qualification. Founders of International School of Islamic Studies created that project in order to help develop the Ukrainian Islamic Studies and keep up the research interest in both young researchers and yet students planning to dedicate their lives to science. And this goal is seen more and more clearly with each gathering, for the quality of applications increased dramatically. Another decade, and we can speak on a whole new generation of Ukrainian researchers shaped by the International School as well.
Which is great, as it is a “win-win” situation for the Ukrainian society in general: Muslims will have impartial experts, qualified in Islamic matters and can provide relevant expert opinion instead of inventing new boogeyman stories; while non-Muslims will finally get a generation of specialists that can help them understand their Muslim compatriots better, which will improve the interfaith peace and cohesion in the society. At the same time Ukrainian Academia wins as well, for it gets not only a galaxy of prominent researchers, but plenty of unique research materials.
The process gains momentum each year. We would like to thank everyone who, year after year, takes part in the School in order to achieve personal growth and help the others grow as well! We thank everyone who joined the project, even for only one season! And, of course, we will be happy to see even more applications, even more interesting topics, and even more heated (why staying well-mannered) discussions!