Students from the College of Islamic Studies (CIS) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) have visited Jordan to complement their studies within the college’s Master of Science in Islamic Art, Architecture and Urbanism programme.
Dr Tarek Swelim, associate professor of Islamic Art and Architecture and the programme co-ordinator at CIS, led the trip, organised and sponsored annually by the programme to a relevant destination in the Islamic world. Jordan and its pre-Islamic, Islamic and modern cultures are studied as part of the curriculum of the Islamic Art and Architecture programme.
Classroom instruction often complements unique situated learning experiences, offering students a high-value education within the College of Islamic Studies
The educational trip included visits to the pre-Islamic Roman sites of Jerash and Nabataean of Petra, the Biblical sites of Mount Nebo and the town of Madaba, Amman’s Roman theatre, and the Temple of Hercules. In addition, the group toured Jerash, the most complete Roman site in the world, the Mamluk Castle of Ajloun, and the magnificent site of Umm Qais, which provided views of the Golan Heights, Lake Tiberias, Lebanon and Palestine.
Dr Swelim said, “The students benefited a great deal from such an immersive experience in which they managed to meld their cultural and academic knowledge and avail the many benefits of travelling to a new destination. They embarked on historic site visits that had fascinating characteristics for their time in history. These sites provide a missing link to understanding the connection between different civilizations in this part of the world at large.”
Comprising the basic division of Arabia by ancient geographers into Arabia Felix, Arabia Petra and Arabia Deserta, cities and archaeological sites such as Jerash, Ajloun, Umm Qais, Madaba, Mount Nebo, Mshatta, Qasr Kharana, Qusayr Amra, Little Petra, Petra, and Amman provided the needed practical experience to some of the courses in the CIS programme.
Master of Science in Islamic Art, Architecture and Urbanism student, Mohamed Madandola, said: “The field trip to Jordan provided a better understanding of the art, architecture, and city planning system employed by the ancient civilizations during the Nabatean, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic eras.”
Students from CIS have previously visited Cairo and Istanbul as part of the recently introduced Islamic Art, Architecture and Urbanism programme.
The programme which re-launched in 2018, is multidisciplinary in nature and conducted in collaboration with the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom and the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha.