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Feltham, UK
December 3, 2016 @ 0:00

AMRA Conference

The 7th AMRA Conference was held on the 3rd of December 2016 in Baitul Wahid, in Feltham. The conference was designed around a theme of ‘Revealing the Unseen’.

The aim to encourage Ahmadi researchers to think about how their respective research informed us of knowledge of the Unseen? How did their endeavour fit into the larger motivation of revealing knew frontiers?

On a larger scale, however, the purpose of the conference was to facilitate the networking and development of Ahmadi researchers in the UK. The conference programme was also designed fundamentally to encourage the delegates to think about Qur’anic Treasures and how research can be carried out in light of qur’anic teachings.

The preparation of the conference began many months in advance. The committee started advertising and looking into obtaining speakers from October onwards. An initial visit was made to the mosque to assess the layout and general proceedings of the conference. The food and hall preparation for the conference was organised by the local jama’at and region, whom were highly complimented by the.

To make sure the conference was in line with high standards of professionalism that were being aimed at, changes to the conference pack publicity and posters were introduced. A conscious design theme was used throughout the conference materials and communications. New posters and conference booklet were designed, and printed.

The mosque was prepared for the conference the night before and by 1030 pm on friday night the mosque was ready for the AMRA Conference and the delegates.

Conference team and the conference delegates started trickling in from 730 am onwards. With a continental breakfast graciously organised by local khuddam, from the outset discussions and laughter of AMRA members could be heard.

The conference started just after 0900 in the morning with the recitation of the Holy Qur’an by Murabi Silsila Atta-ur Rehman sahib, followed by introductory speeches by Akram Ahmadi sb, and Dr. Naveed Malik. Both emphasising the importance of research in light of Qur’anic teachings. Naveed sahib, who is the outgoing Chairman of AMRA also outlined the vision of AMRA and its main objects namely to produce high-calibre of ahmadi researchers in coming 20-30 years.

The introductory talks were followed by key talks by ahmadi researchers, each lasting 15 minutes. In total there were 4 ahmadi researchers giving a talk in the morning session covering topics such as ‘Combat bacterial drug resistance’ (by Sinwan Basharat), ‘Aquafarming’ (by Ataul Quddus), ‘Carbon-based nanotubes for battery storage’ (by Dr Muhammad Ahmad Pannu), and ‘Design for Sustainability’ (by Ahsan Khan). These talks were received with a packed hall in Baitul Wahid and immediately after a short break the workshop on Holy Qur’an began with delegates breaking up into groups addressing key issues from new research ideas from the Holy Qu’ran to new ways to study the Holy Qur’an. Fundamental to this workshop was to encourage groups to think about about research in light of the Qur’anic teachings and coming up with plans to systematically investigation some key question from the Qur’an.

The workshop was followed by keynote talk by Dr Sami DeGiosa from Oxford University, on the Role of Women in Islamic history. This enlightening and gripping talk was followed by subway-style lunch once again organised by the local khuddam of Hounslow South. [1]

The hearty lunch and lots of discussion, lead to the first ever AMRA general election for the office of chairman, vice chairman and general secretary of AMRA. The results were submitted later to Sadr MKA UK for approval and the names are as follows: Chairman – Muddassar Rashid, Vice-Chair – Mussawar Ahmad, General Secretary – Rizwan Safir.

The conference proceedings after this short interlude returned with further talks on ‘The brain and its health’ (by Dr Jalil Miyan), Gravitational waves (by Dr Furqan Yusuf), ‘Complex Emergencies, Humanitarian Logistics and Food Security’ (By Prof Amir Sharif) and finally the series of talks were ended with Research career guidances (by Dr Ata Khalid) for the current and future researchers to take advantage off.

Before the concluding session an intense open discussion on the Holy Qur’an and Research and how this can be carried out took place. The discussions no doubt was food for thought for the delegates and future AMRA programmes will endeavour to build on such discussions. The conference concluded by speeches from Anas Rana Sb, Mohtamim Amoore-Tulaba (Student Affairs), thanking Naveed Malik sahib and the conference committee for delivering a highly successful and memorable conference. Naveed Malik sahib also closed the conference with a worth of thanks to the attendees. The conference concluded with discussion over dinner.