Contributor: Kante Hamed | Editor: Supriyono
The Center of Islam and Global Challenges (IGC) at Universitas Islam Internasional Indonesia (UIII) successfully hosted the 2nd Annual Masterclass on Practical Training in Digital Islamic Studies. The event took place from July 3rd to July 5th, 2023, in the Teleconference Room of Faculty A, featuring renowned experts, Dr. Yusuf Çelik and Dr. Emad Mohammad, as the instructors.
The ceremony commenced with a welcome speech addressed by Prof. Komaruddin Hidayat, the Rector of UIII. In his opening speech, Prof. Hidayat underscored the necessity of embracing digital advancements in Islamic studies. He emphasized the significance of adopting cutting-edge research methodologies to unlock new dimensions of understanding Islam's role in contemporary society.
Following the speech, the ambiance of the event exuded warmth and hospitality as the attendees were introduced to the Center of Islam and Global Challenges (IGC) by Dr. Muhammad Al-Murckeby, the director of the center. Dr. Al-Murckeby offered valuable insights into the center's mission and goals, highlighting the critical relevance of embracing global challenges and harnessing digital approaches to amplify the impact of research in Islamic studies on an international scale.
The opening ceremony set the tone for an intellectually stimulating and collaborative journey in digital Islamic studies, guided by the expertise of Dr. Yusuf Çelik and Dr. Emad Mohammad.
Dr. Yusuf Çelik, an Assistant Professor at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, is a specialist in Digital Humanities and Islam, boasting extensive experience in the field. He has contributed significantly to various projects, papers, tools, and datasets, focusing on digital topics such as intertextuality, digital hadith scholarship, and comparative Semitic studies.
Meanwhile, Dr. Emad Mohammad, an Assistant Professor of Business Analytics at the Bradford School of Management, brings his expertise in natural language processing, computer vision, cultural analytics, and digital humanities to the table.
The program encompassed a comprehensive range of topics, with a central focus on practical training in Python programming. Participants delved into machine learning, Python functions, string manipulations, lists, and dictionaries. Moreover, the program explored file processing, frequency analysis, and other pertinent practices through immersive hands-on sessions
Throughout the three-day event, participants gained invaluable insights and honed essential skills that have the potential to revolutionize their research in Islamic studies. As the field of digital humanities continues to evolve, these new methodologies and tools hold promise in enabling groundbreaking research, making this Masterclass a significant milestone in embracing the digital age.
The Masterclass garnered enthusiastic feedback from the attendees, with Mohamed Ali, a participant from the Faculty of Social Science, expressing that the Masterclass was truly an exceptional experience. “I gained invaluable insights into the text and big data analysis through Python programming,” he said.
Concurring the statement, Bamba Abdoulaye, a participant from the Faculty of Islamic Studies, said "The practical nature of the program made it accessible even to those without advanced computer skills, and that was personally very significant to me."
The resounding success of the 2nd Annual Masterclass on Digital Islamic Studies marks UIII's ongoing commitment to fostering cutting-edge research and innovation. By empowering students with the tools of digital humanities, UIII's Center of Islam and Global Challenges paves the way for the future of Islamic studies, enabling researchers to address complex issues in the digital age.
As the field of digital humanities continues to evolve, UIII remains steadfast in providing platforms for scholars to explore and harness these transformative methodologies. Through initiatives like the Masterclass, UIII is poised to lead the way in pioneering research and driving innovation in the digital era.