Call for Papers: Birzeit University, Department of History and Archeology‘s Second Annual International Conference

Call for Papers

Birzeit University, Department of History and Archeology‘s Second Annual International Conference

The Historical Role of Waqf in Achieving Sustainable Development

April 18th and April 19th 2018

Organized by the department of history and archeology, Birzeit University

*The conference organizers welcome all papers that are concerned with the general concept and themes detailed below conference. Deadline for submission of titles and abstracts no later than 1 March 2018.

The conceptual framework for this conference centers on the positive role of the Waqf system and its inherent components over the course of history in achieving complete sustainable development in terms of the economy, architecture (material infrastructure), and various aspects of the local society. As such, the Waqf system has been an alternative to the state and its institutions either in the sense of community development or legal counters to deal with poverty, famine, begging/solicitation, security in achieving a permanent dignified life for the poor and the impoverished. The Waqf system has also provided funding for education to build schools, scientific colleges and libraries as well as providing for a dignified life for all the students in these school and educational institutions. Perhaps even more importantly, the Waqf system guarantee to ensure the independence of these institutions: materially, financially and intellectually. This in addition to providing loans to support people in small projects that work towards achieving a dignified life, representing a theoretical and practical application for banks and other modern loaning institutions.

This progress occurred under the guidance of religious scholars who transformed and modernize the laws of waqf and its institutions to conform with local society’s developments in order to avoid being an obstacle to growth. Many current Muslim states (Turkey and Malaysia for example) have begun considering re-implementing the Waqf system and employing it in local society, in particular in the field of education towards constructing and funding universities through Waqf funds to counter the weakness of the contemporary state in funding the educational sector, specifically in terms of institutions of higher learning. In this sense, Waqf funding does towards providing students with the intellectual tools – both social and economic – towards gaining a higher degree without great economic cost or disadvantage and without student tuition being the main source of funding for the universities, as is the case in Palestine. 

Main themes for the conference:

The conference will cover a number of issues, including:

  • Development of the Waqf in theoretical and juridical terms
  • The role of the Waqf in education
  • The role of the Waqf in combatting poverty and famine
  • The role of the Waqf in architectural development and the urban development
  • The role of the Waqf in economic development
  • Implementation and role of the Waqf in the case of Palestine

Deadlines and details of participation:

  • Deadline for submission of title and abstract of a paper: 15/3/2018

(abstracts can be in either English or Arabic)

  • Acceptance of papers will be announced on 20/3/2018
  • The conference will be convened in both English and Arabic
  • The conference organizers will cover your stay in Ramallah (for four days).

Contact the conference organizers through this email address:

Dr. Musa Sroor

Chairperson, Department of History and Archeology

Birzeit University