A “generous gift” from a foundation closely linked to the royal family of Dubai and the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates is to fund four new professorships at Trinity College Dublin.
Following the forming of a ‘strategic alliance’ between the university and the Al Maktoum College of Higher Education in Dundee, TCD has announced it is to open a new centre of Middle Eastern studies to promote research of the subject in Ireland.
The development of the centre follows a “generous gift” to the university from the Al Maktoum Foundation, which was set up by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2007.
His son, Hamdan Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the crown prince of Dubai and minister of finance of the UAE, is the patron of the Al Maktoum College of Higher Education.
TCD would not reveal the amount donated by the foundation to develop the course but confirmed it will cover the appointment of four new professors, which will follow normal recruitment procedures in an open international competition.
TCD president and provost Dr Patrick Prendergast said: “Continuing a long-established tradition of Middle Eastern studies in the history of Trinity College, this generous gift comes at a time when society in Ireland must seize the opportunity to enhance the role which all can play in a pluralistic society."
To be named the ‘Al Maktoum Centre for Middle Eastern Studies in Trinity College Dublin’, the centre will be part of the TCD school of languages, literature and cultural studies within the university’s arts faculty.
In 2017, TCD established a new degree course in Middle Eastern and European Languages and Cultures.
Chairman of the board of trustees of Al Maktoum College and the Al Maktoum Foundation His Excellency Mirza Al Sayegh said the foundation was proud to support this initiative.
It continues a long commitment of the Maktoum family’s investment in both education and in Ireland.
Acting Head at the Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education Dr Abi Abubaker, said the strategic alliance is the first step towards a long-lasting academic collaboration between the two institutions.
"This is a key alliance that will be of major benefit to students seeking to undertake Middle Eastern Studies."
Meanwhile, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association will hold its 18th Jalsa Salana annual convention on Sunday, July 14.
The Imam of the largest mosque in Western European Imam Naseem Ahmed Bajwa is to appear at the event, which will see Muslims from across Ireland meet in Kildare.
TDs, councillors and Members of An Garda Siochana will also address the convention.
The focus of the conference will be on the role of spirituality in forming a peaceful society and ways to working for the betterment of fellow human beings and prayers will also be held.