UNISSA hosts conference on philanthropy and humanitarian assistance


THE Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) yesterday held a launching of the Conference on Philanthropy for Humanitarian Aid (CONPHA) 2017, themed ‘Philanthropy for Humanitarian Aid as a Mechanism to Alleviate Poverty and Maintain Human Dignity’, for the discussion of current issues and the challenges of present-day humanitarian crises.

The conference was jointly organised by UNISSA and the International Research Centre of Islamic Economics and Finance (IRCIEF-KUIS) at the Kolej Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Selangor (KUIS) Malaysia, with the collaboration of the Islamic Research and Training Institute and the International Islamic Development Bank (IRTI-IDB) of Saudi Arabia.

The guest of honour at the opening ceremony was Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports.

The ceremony began with a recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah, followed with welcoming remarks by Dr Hajah Rose binti Abdullah, the Programme Chairperson, who said that the main goal of the conference is to mobilise philanthropic researchers around the world for effective humanitarian aid action.

The event will serve as a high-profile, leading edge forum for students, researchers, and practitioners to present state-of-the-art research in the respective fields of philanthropy.

Programme Chairperson Dr Norzalina binti Zainuddin also delivered a speech, stating, “During the conference, we will be taking the next step towards full compliance with the global agenda – sustainable development goals (SDGs) 2015. Every country has adopted a set of goals to end poverty and ensure prosperity for all, as part of a new sustainable development agenda.




From left: Programme Chairpersons, Dr Hajah Rose binti Abdullah; Dr Norzalina binti Zainuddin; and Professor Abdul Ghafar bin Ismail of UNISSA

Later, Professor Abdul Ghafar bin Ismail, from the Faculty of Islamic Economics and Islamic Finance at UNISSA, gave the first keynote address on the topic of ‘Philanthropy and Humanitarian Aid’.

In his presentation, Professor Abdul Ghafar discussed the need for human-centred economic development, while also highlighting Islamic injunctions on pure altruism; and how an Islamic worldview and institutions can help in contributing towards the effective mobilisation, institutionalisation and utilisation of social savings and philanthropy for humanitarian assistance.

The presentation also raised other issues, such as the state of development assistance; aid and concessional debts in selected member countries within the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC); and the role of Islamic social and redistributive institutions to effectively mobilise, institutionalise and utilise social savings.

The event later saw the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UNISSA and KUIS, with the Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University of Turkey.

Signing on behalf of UNISSA was its Rector Dr Haji Norarfan bin Haji Zainal. KUIS was represented by Professor Dato’ Dr Ab Halim bin Tamuri, the university’s Rector; and Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University by Professor Dr Mehmed Bulut, the university’s President.

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