The 1st Student Conference of the Human Rights Program was held on Thursday, March 31, 2022, on: "The Future of Human Rights in the Arab Region... Reality and Expectations ", with the participation of 11 researchers from various academic programs at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies.
The conference first discussed the idea that “the reality of human rights in the Arab region faces many challenges, represented in armed conflicts and the disparity of existing political systems, in addition to the fragility of the economic and security components of many countries in the region”. Then various topics were discussed including women’s rights in the Arab world, the reality of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, in addition to the role of governmental and civil society institutions in promoting human rights.
At the opening session, speakers stressed the importance of this conference, which discussed the future of human rights in the Arab world, as a step that constitutes a real contribution by the students of the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies to anticipate the human rights situation in the future by using the knowledge and curricula of the humanities, social and economic sciences offered by the institute. The conference speakers included Dr. Thomas Dombrowsky, Visiting Assistant Professor at the Human Rights Program at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, Dr. Amal Ghazal, Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Dr. Moataz Al-Fajiri, Head of the Human Rights Program, and Nasser Adnan Thabet, a student in the program spoke.
The conference included three different sessions, where Dr. Fawzi Al-Ghuwaidi from the History Program opened the first session by discussing the experience of women's rights in Yemen "from building the modern state to the Arab Spring", and tried to determine the most important obstacles and stimuli for the development of Yemeni women's rights and what they could lead to. Mashael Al-Shammari from the History Program addressed the possibilities of developing the protection of women's rights in Hanafi jurisprudence, by presenting jurisprudential developments within the Hanafi school of thought in some multiple temporal contexts.
In the second session of the conference, Aya Al-Wakeel from the Human Rights Program addressed the crime of forced displacement against Palestinians, pointing out that the crimes of forced displacement in Jerusalem began in 1948 and continue to this day, and they include the policy of canceling permanent residence of the Palestinians in East Jerusalem, and the policy of consolidating their difficult living conditions, in addition to homes demolitions, forced evictions, and others.
"The crime of Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian territories" was the title of the paper presented by Rewaa Abu Helu, from the Human Rights Program, in which she discussed the state of conflict between the settler-colonial system with its roots that go back to traditional international law and the concepts of the contemporary international legal system that oppose colonialism, exemplified by the Fourth Geneva Convention concerned with the protection of civilians and their property in times of war. The second session concluded with an intervention on the future of indigenous rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, presented by Nasser Adnan Thabet from the Human Rights Program.
In the third session, Heba Hassan from the Human Rights Program discussed the role of national human rights institutions in strengthening the protection of human rights in times of crisis: The National Human Rights Committee in Qatar as a model, while Shamma Al-Dosari from the Critical Security Studies Program shed light on the self-accountability initiatives of the Government of Qatar to protect human rights. The paper presented by Mohamed Abdel Razek Hussein dealt with the role of civil society in the Arab world in fostering human rights, the case of Tunisia.
Regarding the conference, Dr. Moataz Al-Fajiri said that this student conference, which was held at the initiative of the students of the Human Rights Program, represented an opportunity for the institute’s students to use the knowledge and research skills they acquired in their various academic fields for an in-depth and critical understanding of the interactions of the international human rights system with the Arab cultural, social, and political contexts.