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08/12/2017 - 20:51hs

Course ‘The Islamic World’ ends with a panel on markets

Devised by the Federation of Muslim Associations and taught at diplomacy school Instituto Rio Branco, in Brasília, the program featured a lecture by Arab Brazilian Chamber president Rubens Hannun.

São Paulo – The fifth edition of course ‘The Islamic World’ ended this Friday (8) with several lectures on economics, markets and international trade. Organized by the Federation of Muslim Associations in Brazil (Fambras), the course happened throughout this week at Instituto Rio Branco, the Brazilian Foreign Ministry’s school for diplomats in Brasília.

Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce president Rubens Hannun was one of the speakers this Friday. He discussed markets and consumption habits, and the need for companies to be aware of these aspects in order to achieve success in Muslim countries.

The highlights of Hannun’s lecture included data from a recent study showing that the concerns of young Arabs are changing. “They are not as concerned about politics as they are about in practical, day-to-day issues.” “They are critically-minded and they keep abreast of political, economic and educational developments. They exhibit fiercely critical, albeit productive stances that are geared towards future improvements,” he added.

In previous days, the course covered subjects including religion, history and geopolitics. Fambras vice president and course coordinator Ali Hussein El Zoghbi said this was the best edition ever in terms of lecturer quality, level of presentations and historical juncture, after all the event took place in the week United States president Donald Trump said he is moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “This has never been as important a subject as right now,” said Zoghbi.

Unlike other editions, this time the course had two debate groups on “Media narratives and their impact on relations with Islam” and “Inter-religious dialogue as a tool for a culture of peace and its role in the world crisis,” plus the lectures.

“Our intention is to show a pluralistic, peaceful Islam that contributes to civilization, and we have been able to achieve this goal,” said Zoghbi. Instituto Rio Branco students, career diplomats, personnel from ministries, military personnel and academics attended the course. “It’s a very heterogeneous audience,” he said. According to him, the course provides input for these people to carry the concepts they learned over to their workplaces or schools.

About the content of the last day, Zoghbi said that the purpose is to break paradigms by portraying Muslims as consumers, underscoring the potential of markets and taking the focus away from geopolitical issues. “That ended it on a high note,” he said.

“The course is very good, it relays information that diplomats must have,” said Rubens Hannun. “And this last day ties everything together, since [the content] covers all areas [throughout the course] and ends by discussing how to access the market,” he concluded.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum and Sérgio Kakitani

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