CAIRO // The first branch campus of Egypt’s Al Azhar University will open in Al Ain next September after an agreement was signed on Wednesday.
Al Azhar, the major centre of Sunni Muslim learning, will offer bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees in Islamic studies.
“We will start to recruit instructors immediately and the syllabus is being reviewed by the Abu Dhabi Education Council,” said Dr Mohammed Al Kaabi, chairman of the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments.
The Ministry of Higher Education is also involved. A branch of the Moroccan Mohammed V University opened in the capital recently.
“We chose those universities because they present a moderate and balanced approach to fiqh [Islamic science] in the Arab and Muslim world,” Dr Al Kaabi said. “We are expecting a big turnout.”
Dr Al Kaabi and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Dr Sheikh Ahmed Al Tayeb, signed the agreement in Egypt on Wednesday.
“The cooperation and coordination is continuous between Al Azhar and the Islamic Affairs Authority for many activities, initiatives and conferences,” Dr Al Tayeb said.
“We pray the inauguration of the first branch of Al Azhar university outside of Egypt will complement these efforts.”
Dr Al Tayeb also thanked the President, Sheikh Khalifa, for his continuous support for Egypt and its people.