HBKU’s First International OIC Model Initiates Football Diplomacy for Social Change

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Doha: “Football Diplomacy for Global Sustainable Development” was the theme of Qatar’s first Model Organization of International Islamic Cooperation (MOIC) Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) 2022 for university students, an event in collaboration with the Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum (ICYF).

The MOIC is an ICYF initiative that immerses participants in diplomacy and negotiation by creating an academic simulation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation – the second largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations with 57 member states.

HBKU hosted nearly 60 local and international students from several member states at MOIC Qatar, which was held in an online format from February 28 to March 1. The event was opened by Dr. Emad El Din Shahin, Dean of IEC, and Taha Ayhan, President of ICYF.

Dr Shahin said: “Under the banner of ‘Football Diplomacy for Global Sustainable Development’, this MOIC Summit is an important stepping stone laid on the path to the 2022 FIFA World Cup. This path is most important for our future change-makers – the participating students who joined us and who engaged intellectually and respectfully for two days. The organizers and participants found that we are perfectly located, both academically and geographically, to host this year’s summit, through HBKU’s College of Islamic Studies here in Doha, Qatar, the host of the upcoming World Cup.

Students took part in interactive simulation-based activities focused on understanding international football diplomacy and negotiation. These were framed by current trends in the theory and practice of international relations, effective communication and multilateral diplomacy. The aim was to initiate dialogue, debate and potential cooperation among the participants and also to encourage new members for the MOIC student clubs in Qatar.

Since signing a Memorandum of Understanding with ICYF in January 2020, HBKU, through its College of Islamic Studies, has established an active MOIC Club, with the aim of creating programs that contribute to the development academic and social of the region’s youth.

Speaking after the event, the ICYF President said, “MOIC has brought together students from diverse backgrounds and succeeded in its goal of establishing common areas of understanding to achieve change – through universal appeal of football. In this sense, the first international MOIC for HBKU and for Qatar, was an excellent platform to collectively exchange ideas and build capacities to engage in dialogue based on Islamic values. Beyond the event, our MOIC has laid the foundation for partnerships and knowledge networks to advance sustainability.

After the success of Qatar International MOIC 2022, participants will continue to develop sustainability-related projects and work to establish MOIC clubs at their respective universities.

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