It is my pleasure, in extending a warm welcome to all those accessing this page, on behalf of the School and the Institute, to add a special welcome note. We are proud to welcome the five new programs that are joining the School this term: Social Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Social Work, Conflict Management and Humanitarian Action, and Critical Security Studies. We regard this new addition to our School, from within the DI family, a significant boost in terms of specializations, expertise, interests and creative energies. It will also make an important contribution to enhancing the School's interdisciplinary capacity, thus furthering DI's policies in this area. Welcome to colleagues from the teaching staff in these programs, whose scientific, professional, educational and human contributions are well-known and valued. We also welcome the students and look forward to their contributions to all areas of study and research in the School.

A special welcome as well to all the new teaching staff who have joined this year, visiting or permanent, and also the new administrative and technical staff. A warm welcome also to the record number of new students who joined us this term. This year, we have witnessed a significant rise in the numbers and quality of applicants, causing admissions to rise by over a third.

We renew our welcome to all those accessing this page, and especially students keen to pursue postgraduate studies, and academics keen on promoting centres of learning excellence in our region in the area of humanities and the social sciences. We greet you all, and call on you reach out to us as an establishment that prides itself in its commitment to provide to its students with a quality of teaching and learning at par with the highest international standards.

We renew our welcome in particular to students planning to undertake graduate studies, and to academics aspiring to multiply centers of academic excellence in our region. We invite them all to reach out to us. We take pride in an ethos of service and a commitment to offer students a graduate education of the highest calibre. While Arabic is the main language of instruction and research at our Institute, students are also required to master English, to boost their access to knowledge and enhance their international competitiveness. Our institute encourages its graduates to proceed to doctoral studies, offering them assistance in this. The Institute is currently working to launch its own doctoral program.

Our commitment to providing an ideal environment for excellence in learning and research starts by attracting outstanding professors in their fields, and also choosing students competitively. We have a lively research community, bolstered by sharing our campus with the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS), a distinguished research establishment, where some of the Arab world's highest quality researcher is being produced. Together, the ACRPS and the Institute attract to their many events top Arab and international researchers in various areas of expertise. The Institute has also initiated partnerships with several leading universities around the world, in the Arab world, Europe, the USA, and China.

Our aim is to help a new generation of outstanding researchers to make its mark in international knowledge production, and to harness its skills to improving people's lives. We invite students keen to take part in this unique adventure to apply to one of our two-year master's programs, all designed with an eye to excellence and an interdisciplinary ethos. The application process starts in October every year. So please watch this website, and eligible students benefit from generous grants. I look forward to welcoming those admitted in person at the beginning of next years.

We take this opportunity to thank the State of Qatar for its initiative in creating this unique academic institution, and for its generous and unstinting support. This longstanding Arab dream could not have been fulfilled without that unconditional support, which comes as part of Qatar's long-standing policy of support for learning as the foundation for a contemporary Arab renaissance.

Dr. Abdelwahab El-Affendi

Professor of Politics, Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Humanities