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Under the Patronage of H.E. the Minister of Education, Dr. Majid bin Ali Al-Nuaimi, the American University of Bahrain (AUBH) concluded its first international Conference on Innovative and Learning, which took place from May 24-26, 2021. In line with Covid-19 safety guidelines, the event was hosted online seeing all participants, speakers, and panelists participating virtually, while in keeping with the limited number of attendees, H.E. Dr. Shaikha Rana bin Isa Al Khalifa, Secretary General of the Higher Education Council and H.E. Margaret Nardi, U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires delivered opening remarks on the AUBH Campus.

In her speech, H.E. Dr. Shaikha Rana bint Isa bin Duaij Al Khalifa praised the efforts of AUBH in raising the quality of education and thanked the organizing committee for their efforts to strengthen the Educational sector through such initiatives during these unprecedented times. She also added that such conferences have a great impact and help emphasize the importance of innovative teaching and learning.

H.E Margaret Nardi, gave her opening remarks highlighting the way the pandemic presented itself as a challenge and an opportunity for institutions, at different levels, on different scales. She also thanked the Kingdom’s leadership, for taking every safety precaution promptly to ensure the pandemic stayed within control. 

Mr. William Hurt, AUBH Chief Operating Officer commented: “When the COVID pandemic hit us, we all faced the same challenges, at the same time on a global scale. This conference has shown tremendous success, highlighting Bahrain as an educational destination globally, and has provided a unique opportunity for professionals and academicians from myriad fields around the world to discuss and share their findings and lessons learned from this pandemic”.

Bringing together experts from 21 countries and five continents, 16 think tank sessions including keynote speeches, panel discussions, alongside student-led sessions and competitions were hosted. Speakers included Prof. Riyadh Hamzah, President of University of Bahrain; Prof. Mansoor Ahmed Al-Aali, President of Ahlia University; Prof. Flower Darby, Faculty in Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University; Dr. Maha Bali, Professor of Practice, American University of Cairo; Prof. Tom Crick, Professor of Digital Education & Policy, Swansea University; Dr. Stephanie Moore, Assistant Professor Organization, Information and Learning Sciences, The University of New Mexico; Dr. Reem AlBuainain, Acting CEO, Bahrain Polytechnic; Dr. Azza El-Shinnawy, Head of Education for the Middle East and Africa and Head of Egypt, Public Sector, at Amazon Web Services (AWS); Ewoud de Kok, CEO, FeedbackFruits; Hamad Al-Saie the Education Leader for the Middle East Cluster, Microsoft, Dr. Nina Abdul Razzaq, Higher Education Academic Consultant under the Review Director at the Bahrain Education and Training Quality Assurance Authority (BQA) and Dr. Amal Alqallaf, the Head of Language and Culture Unit at The Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI-Bahrain).  

The Conference’s Closing Ceremony was led by the Chair of the Conference and AUBH Associate Professor, Dr. Hanan Naser, who thanked our Patron, panelists, speakers, student, participants, and all attendees for their contributions to the success of this event, before announcing the winners of the Creative Teaching Competition - Dr. Maria del Mar de Fez Laso, American University of Bahrain and Dr. Maryam Al Mahdi, Ahlia University. She also announced the winners of the Best Paper Award - Dr. Lama Al Mahadin, University of Bahrain, and Dr. Lillian Hallak, American University of Bahrain.