01 January 2009

Dubai School of Government Announces Launch of Arab Council for Social Sciences in Cairo

Scholars and researchers from throughout the Arab world gathered in Cairo, Egypt to officially launch the Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS) on December 17 and 18. The Dubai School of Government played a vital role in the development of the ACSS, offering organizational leadership and support, with the Council becoming fully independent upon its launch in Cairo.

Leading Arab social scientists present at the Cairo launch of the ACSS included Ibtisam Al-Kitbi from the UAE, Ragui Assaad from Egypt, Mustafa Hamarneh of Jordan, Rahma Bourkiya from Morocco, Abdul Karim Barghouti from Palestine, Amr Hamzawy from Egypt, Raoufa Hassan of Yemen, Ahmed Baydoun from Lebanon, and Naser Jaby of Algeria.

Dr. Tarik Yousef, Dean of the Dubai School of Government and member of the Council’s steering committee, commented that “The launch of the Council will pave the way for a larger role for social science research in the Arab region, and empower leaders to make policy decisions based on sound research.”

Dr. Yousef added: “The Council will strengthen social science research in the Arab region and promote links between Arab scholars and their regional and international counterparts, fulfilling one of the primary tenets of our mission at the Dubai School of Government.”

The Arab Council for the Social Sciences is an effort by leading Arab scholars and experts to address the region’s deficiency in self-produced research. A number of UN reports on human development have emphasized the need for the Arab world to address the “knowledge gap” in order to meet the challenges of development, good governance and security. Likewise, many reports have focused on the weakness of research in the Arab world, highlighting the need to establish indigenous institutions to explore social, economic, political and environmental issues at the regional level.

Developed initially with the support of the Dubai School of Government, the ACSS is the fruit of collaboration between experts from a number of regional and international organizations, including the Regional Office of Arab States at the United Nations Development Program, the International Development Research Centre, the Social Science Research Council and the Regional Office for West Asia and North Africa of The Population Council.

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