Monday, December 5, 2016

FBSHApost@ 1 December 2016: End of Fellowship in Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies

I am happy to be coming home after a short stint during the Michelmas term as a visiting fellow at OCIS, Oxford. The experience was enriching and rewarding. I was able to meet other fellows & visiting fellows of the Centre. Everyday we will meet for a healthy lunch of soup, salad, bread and fruits. We sit at the long bench eating together as well as exchanging views and ideas. We have a common room to sit down for coffee or tea & very nice biscuits. The library of the centre is superb with a lot of books to do our research. 

We also have access to the Bodlein Library of Oxford University in person or electronically. In term of acquisition of knowledge it's just fantastic. Additionally we have well known personalities to give lectures on very interesting & current topics. The last lecture was by Lord Dyson a former Master of the Rolls of the UK Courts who spoke about Law and Religion. His lecture reminded me of my law lecture quoting cases and distinguishing when ever necessary of one case to the other. Nothing spectacular. 

I had to adhere to the tradition of the Centre by doing a Seminar on OIC & Myanmar. With me to discuss was Dr Mattew Walton a Burmese expert and writer who is ASSK Scholar at St Anthony's College Oxford University. It went well and well attended. The UK Foreign Office Director of Training thank me profusely for sharing my experience & knowledge as a former FM of Malaysia. 

She said it was useful for the MPhil Diplomacy students who are diplomats to gain insights on their role as a diplomat. I felt humbled & honoured. Today I attended another lecture by the author of a new book just published titled the Pearl of Khorasan about the Herat Province of Afghanistan with the rich history and civilisation of the Tajiks.

Now that I have completed my fellowship for the Michelmas the Director of the Centre Dr Farhan Nizami has asked me to extend for another year. I need to think.

FBSHApost@ 1 December 2016

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