Monday, January 30, 2012

Arabic and English language instruction at QU

The Faculty of Law requires students complete 42 credits in English language law courses,  comprised of  27 compulsory credits in English and additional English electives totaling another 15 credits.  The list of English and Arabic courses is here. Legal research, writing and legal English classes are required in the College of Law to build on the English language skills gained in the first year Foundation Program.  As Dr. Talal Abdulla Al-Emadi said, offering a mixture of  English and Arabic in law courses provides the Qatari community with bilingual law graduates to meet the needs of the legal market . Law students are in high demand and almost all are hired immediately upon graduation in the energy sector , banks, real estate, and investment. Many international law firms hire QU law graduates with strong English skills.
The Qatari Supreme Education Council issued a decision this week  requiring Arabic to be the medium of instruction at Qatar University. The short decree  states that students are to be directly accepted in departments without the need to study the Foundation Program and Arabic will be the medium of instruction at the Faculty of Law, International affairs, Communication, and Business Administration in Fall 2012. Here is the SEC decree.
The Peninsula newspaper has the best article so far discussing the reaction of faculty, students, and the public to the announcement. My own hope is that courses at the College of Law will be altered to meet the expectations of the decree, especially the elimination of the Foundation Program, but instruction will remain bilingual. Library resources and legal research instruction will continue to support both languages.
From the front page of the Peninsula 29-Jan-12

Legal Skills Prof Blog

Thanks to my friend Jim Levy of Nova Southeastern University School of Law (NSU) for allowing me to guest blog at his wonderful Legal Skills Prof Blog. Jim and I collaborated many times the four years I was a law librarian at NSU and I highly recommend his blog extraordinaire. Cheers Jim!
Here are my three posts:
·         click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2 and here for Part 3

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Library Move Pictures

The move into the new library is going well . The two Hallett library move specialists from Ohio are great and the boxes are holding together too. All the special carts and boxes were shipped from the US. The Arabic collection is going first as the local movers understand the move process in that language and order much better than the LC move. For example, the order the boxes are loaded with books is the inverse in the Arabic collection than the boxes must be packed in the LC order!

Some pictures from today:

Reference 2nd floor

Monday, January 16, 2012

The American Resource Center at Qatar University Library

The American Corner at QU Library is a special collection partly funded by the US Government since 2006. Americana titles in Jazz, Hollywood lore, US history, economics, and education are frequent subjects sent to us from the US embassy in Doha, Qatar. I learned there are more than 400 American corners in libraries across the world part of the Bureau of International Information Programs at the Department of State. My contact at the US Embassy here in Qatar with Praveen Menon, IRC Director , Public Affairs Section, was constructive and I am now being sent US Government documents and popular culture material. The purpose of the program is to ‘promote American voices’ at schools and colleges internationally. American corners cover the Globe and I noticed ‘Lincoln Corners’ in two libraries I visited in Malaysia recently under the same program. We will be expanding the American Corner in the new QU library building.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Qatari primary law sources

Over the course of this week I  had meetings at both the Ministry of Justice and the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The meetings contrasted the ongoing relevance of print resources in Qatar legal research while eGovernment and open access is in full implementation.
My first meeting on Wednesday was at the ICT with Mr. Hassan Al Sayad. In addition to many other duties, he is in charge of an almost completed project of establishing a comprehensive legal portal to Qatari Law. The aim of the legal portal is excellent from a public access to law perspective and will provide full text access to primary Qatari legal materials. The legal portal will provide multiple formats of the documents, including Adobe PDF that preserves the integrity of the Arabic language better than HTML formatting. The database will be searchable by title, keyword, citation and other standard field searches. Also, translation is provided and material will be in English and the original Arabic, of course. Mr. Hassan was kind enough to provide the offer of early access to the database to me for comments and usability.

My second meeting was with Mr. Mohd Bin Younes at the Ministry of Justice. He is head of the Gazette and codification efforts in Qatar. I enjoyed this meeting very much and obtained a complete catalog of Qatari primary law available from the Gazette Department. This includes bound yearly compilations of the Gazette, subject specific compilations in hard bound and soft bound format, and the ongoing regular editions of the Gazette. Examples of subject specific titles include corporation law and e-commerce for Qatar. All resources in print are in Arabic and available retrospectively.
The presence of ICT’s legal portal to Qatari primary law does not, in my opinion, make the collection of these print resources unnecessary. As Mr. Mohd indicated, the print version is the official version of edicts, regulations, rules, and selected cases, and the electronic versions are not as reliable and are not official. Not yet. Using the electronic and print source together will provide the best combination of search, translation, and authenticity.  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Qatar Library almost completed

The new library at Qatar University is almost complete. I took a tour today and the interior is ready for the books to move there starting January 19th. Services should start in February. Here are my pictures.

Existing Women's Library

New Library Drawing

Library staff on tour of New Library



New Stacks

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dubai and Abu Dhabi travels

My family and I spent New Years in the UAE. The big city feel and amazing buildings are not to be missed. Great times.

Allison at Heritage Village

Burj Kalifia by Day