KSU professor visits Qatar as Malone Fellowship recipient
Tom Doleys among delegation of 15 U.S. faculty members and students KENNESAW, Ga. (…
Georgia (Feb 9, 2015) —
Tom Doleys among delegation of 15 U.S. faculty members and students
KENNESAW, Ga. (Feb. 9, 2015) — Kennesaw State University political science professor Tom Doleys was among 15 faculty members and students from American universities to receive a Joseph J. Malone Fellowship in Arab and Islamic Studies to visit and study in the central gulf State of Qatar.
Participants in the 10-day Qatar Study Visit Exchange and Malone Fellowship — all faculty advisors and student delegates of campus-based Model Arab League programs — traveled to the Qatari capital of Doha where they visited with government officials, civil society leaders, educators, students, journalists and artists.
The study visit and fellowships, sponsored by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, in cooperation with the Embassy of Qatar to the U.S., are designed to “bring positive and much-needed dialogue between Americans and Arabs and serve as a people-to-people cultural exchange.”
“A great benefit of this study visit and cultural exchange has been to gain insight into a region of the world that is mystery to most Americans,” said Doleys, who also is the interim director of the Master of Science in Internaional Policy Management program. “Qatar is an extraordinary country with enormous wealth, thanks to sizeable reserves of petroleum and natural gas. You see evidence everywhere that the government is reinvesting this wealth for the benefit of all Qataris — in education, healthcare, culture and the arts, sport, transportation, and information technology.”
Doleys observed that amidst the positive developments, the country still faces many challenges. He explained that Qatar’s policy choices occasionally irritate its larger, more powerful neighbors like Iran and Saudi Arabia, tensions amplified by suspicions over the role played by Al Jazeera, thesatellite broadcasterbased in Qatar's capital city of Doha.
In the West, Qatar has come under fire for its human rights record. Doleys explained that the government continues to struggle with issues arising from the more than 1.5 million mostly South Asian guest workers that constitute the bulk of the country’s labor force, notably those helping build the country's infrastructure in time for the 2022 World Cup.
“Managing these issues has required, and doubtless will continue to require, a deft and delicate touch,” Doleys said. “Still, one gets the sense that Qatar’s best days lie ahead. It is extraordinary to think that not 50 years ago, this tiny peninsula was a poor British protectorate and today is independent, wealthy, and self-confident. We Americans would do well to become better acquainted with this fast-emerging country and the strategically important region of the world it inhabits.”
Doleys’ visit to Qatar came as Kennesaw State observes the “Year of the Arabian Peninsula,” the University’s 31st annual study of a country or region of the world. Throughout the academic year, the University is hosting a series of more than 30 lectures, exhibits, performances and other events highlighting the history and culture of the seven nations comprising the region — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
Doleys was among five faculty members awarded the fellowship, including professors from Converse College, Northeastern University, the University of Arkansas - Little Rock and Oral Roberts University. Among the study visits’ 10 student delegates were students from two Georgia institutions, Georgia State University and Mercer University.
-- Sabbaye McGriff
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.