Top Islamic scholar appointed to Abu Dhabi's new humanities university

Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah will serve in a senior role at Mohamed bin Zayed University for Humanities

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - August 21, 2018: HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Defence (L) and HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces (C), speaks with HE Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah (R), during an Eid Al Adha reception at Mushrif Palace. 

( Hamad Al Kaabi / Crown Prince Court - Abu Dhabi )

A leading Islamic scholar has been appointed to serve in a senior role at the new Mohamed bin Zayed University for Humanities.

Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah was named president of the Higher Academic Council, a day after the new institute was announced.

"The council will provide suggestions at a strategic level, enabling it to become a prominent international academic centre in the field of humanities," Abu Dhabi Government Media Office said.

The Mauritanian academic has served as head of the UAE's Fatwa Council, which was set up to deliver guidance and rulings for the faithful, and has been based in the Emirates for several years.

Prof bin Bayyah met Pope Francis on a number of occasions at key meetings of leaders from the three Abrahamic religions.

On Monday, President Sheikh Khalifa issued a law to set up Mohamed bin Zayed University for Humanities.

It will offer bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in social studies, humanities and philosophy.

The university's board will be chaired by Dr Hamdan Al Mazrouei. Other board members include vice chair Sara Musallam, chairwoman of Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge, and Maryam AlMheiri, vice chairwoman of twofour54.

"We aim to make MBZUH a leader in humanities and an embodiment of distinction and brilliance to be deserving of the name it carries – Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed," Dr Al Mazrouei said on Monday.