On 28 January Habiba Fathi, Research Fellow at AKU-ISMC spoke at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Centre of Contemporary Central Asia and the Caucasus. Fathi spoke about the research that she is currently conducting at the Institute, entitled Islam, the State and the Transformation of Rural Space in post-Soviet Central Asia: A Study of the Family Through its Exchange Strategies.
Fathi provided an overview of her project, noting that it seeks to understand the new relationships developing between independent states and Islam, from the perspective of social change. Her research explores family structures in the rural areas of post-Soviet Central Asia.
Fathi’s research seeks to cover the following topics: the role and status of religion in the context of nation building; the impact of land privatisation on rural dwellers; and, the Muslim actors within society who are involved in these processes of social change.
More generally, her research analyses relations between the religious, political, and economic fields. To this end, the project takes into account both local and national levels affected by rural transformation of Post Soviet Central Asia in order to identify endogenous factors that may influence the redefinition of the norms, socio-cultural and religious values of a given group.
Rather than deploying a political science approach, Fathi’s project focuses on the link between religion and social practice, and the manners in which this contributes to the evolution of post-Soviet Muslim societies.
The seminar was attended by scholars and students with an academic interest in the Central Asian region from SOAS and other institutions. The Institute’s Research Fellowship Programme offers scholars working on predominantly Muslim contexts the opportunity to gain exposure to academic resources about their areas of research outside of their home contexts as well as the opportunity to work with other scholars on a range of topics related to Muslim cultures.
Coordinator, Planning & Academic Development
Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations