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AMIDEAST Students Meet Grand Mufti at Al-Azhar

By Anya Vanecek
February 27, 2013

Cairo, Egypt
- The Grand Mufti of Egypt, Dr. Ali Gomaa, honored AMIDEAST students in Cairo with a meeting held in Dar al-Iftaa, Cairo. The 21 American students were introduced to the role of the Islamic legal code in daily life, adding to their ongoing study of Egyptian culture.

Prior to the meeting, the students and AMIDEAST faculty spoke with the Grand Mufti’s senior advisor, Dr. Ibrahim Negm. Dar al-Iftaa is considered a leading Islamic institution that conducts research and issues fatwas in the Sunni Muslim world. After introducing the institution, Dr. Negm invited the students to ask questions, which addressed topics ranging from the process of writing and issuing a fatwa to the institution’s stance on the prevalence of female harassment in Cairo.

In recognition of the forthcoming end of the Grand Mufti’s tenure in office, AMIDEAST Program Manager Matthew Kuehl presented him with an engraved silver plate, which reads:

AMIDEAST recognizes and honors the prominent role of the Grand Mufti Dr. Ali Gomaa in strengthening mutual understanding and cooperation between Americans and the peoples of the Muslim world.

The Grand Mufti will be retiring from his post this week after ten years in office. “I felt so honored that he took the time to meet with us during his last week on the job. That was really special,” said AMIDEAST student Eliza Norris. “I just wish we could have spoken to him more!” Many students shared this enthusiasm for the timing of the meeting, thankful for insight it provided into such an influential actor in Egyptian life.