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Why MIAS education courses?
Education has always been intrinsic to the work of the Society since its inception in 1977. A synchronicity of events has brought education into the mainstream of the Society’s activities in 2020. Firstly we became an educational charity in July 2018. Secondly the pandemic curtailed our symposium in conjunction with SOAS in May 2020. Thirdly Dr. Rim Feriani, an inspiring academic and teacher of Arabic, who was just about to run a MIAS educational event in conjunction with King’s College (London University), offered her services to the Society to run online courses on Ibn Arabi.
The Society’s 2020 series of online talks (Ibn Arabi and the Geometry of Reality) showed the way and educational courses appeared to be a perfect complement. Lastly the pandemic has greatly expanded the interest in Ibn Arabi – not least because of the worldwide attention generated by the Turkish historical series Ertugrul. The Facebook Group has grown to nearly 9000, and the YouTube subscribers to over 3000 – so there is a huge appetite for the wisdom of the ‘Greatest Shaykh’.
Who are the courses for?
The courses are for those who are interested in Ibn Arabi and in what he brings to answer the deep questions of reality. They bridge the gap between academic and intuitive knowledge and between those seeking to integrate traditional approaches with modern tools for learning.
What are the courses?
They are online – and will remain so in the foreseeable future. The courses are limited to 20 people which enables trust to develop through close conversations. Rim Feriani gives presentations alongside Ibn Arabi’s texts that are being read and discussed in small ‘break out rooms’ as well as in the larger group. Outside the online sessions there are things to read, texts to prepare and tasks to do for sharing within the group. New ideas are exchanged via WhatsApp groups – set up for each course.
Who has come on the courses?
People have come from all over the world – many have been studying Ibn Arabi for years, others are completely new. We encourage students by offering significant discounts, and reduced rates for people on low incomes who have a real desire and need to learn. There is a small group being developed of young postgraduates who are discussing and coordinating their work and projects.