The Context the Middle East and the Arab World in specific, has long held interest as a region for trade, cultural exchange and political dialogue.
More recently, the region has drawn significant attention specifically related to Australian strategic interests in the Middle East and geo-political events in the Arab world (comprising the 22 member states of the Arab League). The Australia Gulf Council (AGC) was established to bring together corporate, political and diplomatic representatives at the highest levels to facilitate trade, investment and cultural exchange between Australia and GCC countries.
The Council for Australian Arab Relations (CAAR) was established in 2003 by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to create links and promote relations between Australia and the Arab world.
Dr Anne Aly-MP , a key founder of the AAISA, was appointed to the CAAR by Minister Stephen Smith in 2009 and continues to serve as a board member with accountability for promoting Australian Arab relations through education.
The Purpose The AAISA will capitalize and strengthen existing and emerging synergies between Australia and the Arab region through education, Business, dialogue and exchange other mutual interests. It will identify common trade and business priorities and build links with the Arab world by facilitating collaborations between the partners and institutions in the Arab world to address those priorities.
It also focuses on issues pertinent to Australia’s interests and the development of its commercial, scientific and industrial ties within its areas of coverage. The network facilitates interactions among researchers with an interest in the region through seminars and regular emails.
In Western Australia, the University of WA’s Centre for Muslim States and Societies (CMSS) focuses primarily on issues related to Islam and Muslims globally and regionally, especially Australia. However, it does not produce research or outputs specific to the Middle East region or Arab World.
There is a clear deficit in Australia in these areas, regarding the Middle East research focus and academic activities that are secular and interdisciplinary.
AAISA was found to tackle all those needs and find a solution to them, all will be achieved by:
AAISA will be focused through elements of its Strategic Framework:
AAISA is a dedicated bridge between Australia and the Arab World.