Monday, December 29, 2014

THE ISDEV-BRUNEI TIES (PART 1): CHANNELING EXPERTISE

Upon arrival at the Brunei International Airport -ISDEV lecturers were welcomed by the Dean of Centre for Postgraduate Studies and Research  Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) Dr. Hjh Rasinah Hj Ahim (left), International Officer, Ustaz Yunus (second from right) and lecturer of Imam Shafi'e Centre Ustaz Hayatuddin (right).


ISDEV lecturers are much sought after in Brunei Darussalam to share some of their experience and expertise managing development based on Islamic epistemology and worldview. On 30 November 2014 ISDEV Director, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Syukri Salleh was accompanied by ISDEV Deputy Director Dr. Zakaria Bahari and ISDEV senior lecturer Dr. Wan Norhaniza Wan Hasan to fulfill an invitation to act as the facilitators in a research workshop organized by the Centre for Postgraduate Studies and Research Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA).
Such meaningful silence as participants work hard to prepare a research grant proposal.
The 2-day research workshop was held from 1 until 2 December, 2014. The workshop was well attended by over 30 lecturers from UNISSA. Through this workshop, participants were presented with the method of preparing a distinctive and comprehensive research grant proposal. The core of the presentation consists of the building up of the research background, problem statement, objectives and research questions presented by Prof. Syukri.
Prof Syukri in full concentration before his presentation.
Thereafter Dr. Zakaria guided participants with the structure of literature, research framework and research methods while Dr. Wan Norhaniza explained the details of a Gantt chart, project milestones and budget development which are necessary components for a research grant proposal. The facilitators also shared their personal experiences in conducting research.
Dr. Zakaria explaining to the participants on what constitutes a Literature Review (left) while ISDEV senior lecturer
Dr. Wan Norhaniza details on the essential components for a research grant proposal. 
As an added incentive to the participants, the organizers invited the Brunei Research Council (BRC) of the Department of Economic Planning and Development of Brunei Darussalam to give a briefing on the funds available for potential research which can contribute to Brunei Darussalam.
Some of the male participants from UNISSA with Prof Syukri (third from right) and Dr Zakaria (centre).

The commitment provided by these three ISDEV facilitators in guiding the participants has shown a resounding success. This is corroborated by the near to complete six research proposals that were able to be garnered at the end of the research workshop. These six research proposals consisted of multi-centered studies which are related to the Islamic perspective namely: charity, calligraphy, national development and munakahat (the Islamic laws of marriage).
Not wanting to be missed - a group photo of the participants in the research workshop.
The presence of ISDEV lecturers in Brunei was also filled with a sharing and exchange of ideas and expertise session. Such opportunities presented in a private meeting between ISDEV Director Prof. Syukri with the Minister of Education of Brunei Darussalam, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abu Bakar Hj Apong. This meeting aimed to further foster the friendship that was built when a delegation of His Majesty Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, visited Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) last November in conjunction with USM 50th Convocation Ceremony. During the meeting, among the ideas highlighted by Prof. Syukri was about the attitude of the people of the suffah during the time of Rasulullah S.A.W who were poor but yet never begged especially to the government.
Prof Syukri (right) having a private discussion with the Education Minister of Brunei Darussalam,
Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abu Bakar Haji Apong (left).
In addition, within the very limited time availed , ISDEV lecturers did not miss a beat to strengthen the silaturrahim (bond of brotherhood) with friends of ISDEV in Brunei Darussalam. Such opportunity presented itself through a dinner reception under the invitation of ISDEV Advisory Council member, Yang Mulia Pehin Orang Kaya Lela Dato Seri Laila Jasa Haji Awang Abdul Rahman Haji Abdul Karim.
Two close friends of ISDEV in Brunei, the Chief Executive Officer of Abdul Razak Holdings Yang Mulia Pehin Orang Kaya Lela Dato Seri Laila Jasa Haji Awang Abdul Rahman Haji Abdul Karim (centre),  and the Brunei Times Group Editor-in-Chief Tuan Haji Bujang Haji Masu'ut (left).
The travel to Brunei Darussalam did not just end with such a note. A mutual understanding was reached with a group of UNISSA researchers to produce three ISDEV USM – UNISSA collaborative researches. They are researches on Zikir Nation in Brunei Darussalam, Istibdal Awqaf, and Quality Management of Islamic Institutions.
A group of ISDEV-UNISSA researchers on "Policies of Islamic-Based Developement in the Context of Zikir Nation in Brunei Darussalam" will be coming to ISDEV in March 2015 to present their findings.

In Sha Allah (If Allah S.W. T. so wills), as an extension of the visit by these three ISDEV lecturers to Brunei Darussalam in successfully facilitating the research workshop, a group of UNISSA researchers is expected to come to USM in March, 2015 to present the results of their research.

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