Over the past two decades, in excess of 200 individuals have graduated from a range of human resource development initiatives of the IIS. These alumni are now engaged in a wide range of exciting endeavours across the world. Although many of them have remained in touch with their alma mater, the Institute has now taken the initiative to create formal structures to enable a sustained and mutually beneficial relationship with its alumni. The establishment of the Asian Chapter Group follows the creation of Chapter Groups in North America and Europe.
At the meeting in Dubai, Dr Farhad Daftary welcomed the alumni and spoke of the contributions of the IIS to Ismaili and, more broadly, Islamic Studies during its relatively short lifespan, examining specifically its publications agenda and contributions to multiple encyclopaedias.
Mr Shiraz Kabani, Head of Operations, Finance & Development at the Institute, provided an overview of the Institute’s current endeavours as well as how the Institute intends to support and contribute to the alumni’s continued professional development and career enhancement. He also facilitated a discussion on how alumni could enhance their engagement with AKDN and Ismaili community institutions.
The Head of Graduate Studies at IIS, Dr Alnoor Dhanani, shared with the group how the curriculum of the current Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities has evolved over the years and invited them to audit courses and contribute to the mentor programme. In addition, the Alumni Relations Officer, Selina Kassam Ramji, discussed with the alumni the new initiatives that the Institute is developing to strengthen its ties with the alumni.
The agenda for the day also included a review and ratification of the by-laws of the Alumni Association, which yielded useful recommendations. The participating alumni also discussed the proposed terms of reference for office bearers and initiated the process of nominating candidates for these positions. This process will be completed next month and will be followed by the election of the office bearers from amongst the alumni.
During the farewell dinner, Mr Nizar Shariff, Planning and Construction Management for the Ismaili Centre Dubai, delivered the keynote address, sharing with the alumni and invited guests details about the upcoming Ismaili Centre. The following afternoon, participants were offered a tour of the Ismaili Centre, which is still under construction.