The Ministry of Culture organized a symposium entitled “The Other Side of the Intellectual”, as part of the activities of the 32nd Doha International Book Fair, which is currently being held under the slogan “By reading, we rise”.
Dr. Nayef bin Nahar, the Director of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Social and Human Sciences at Qatar University, said during his speech at the symposium that “the title of the lecture talks about the other side of the intellectual, which shows the existence of two faces of the intellectual, at least one of which is a bright face when the intellectual is a bright spot in his society and a maker of awareness and a place for the questions of the public and society in resolving its problems, and this is the original situation in human societies, just as this is the original in the intellectual. The true intellectual is a qualitative addition to society, not one that is considered a random addition or a burden on society.
Besides, he added in the symposium – which was moderated by the writer and journalist Jassim Salman, in the presence of a group of intellectuals and a large audience of book fair visitors – the term intellectual was previously present in the heritage, but it was not used in the way it is used today. Therefore, the intellectual in the past is the polite and rectifying person. Also, the Arabs used the word “educated” in the sense of the intelligent and skilled in perceiving something, pointing out that this indication shows that the true intellectual has two basic conditions: scientific mastery and then the ability to practice criticism.
Afterwards, the director of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Social and Human Sciences addressed the intellectual’s relationship with morals, and is it required for the intellectual to be of morals, pointing out that he believes that there is no relationship between the two matters, as science and culture are a subjective characteristic of man, and the relationship between culture and ethics is a moral relationship, as the scholar and the intellectual are committed to morals, and he may not be committed. In addition, he may be a man of morals, but he is not a scholar, and therefore what counts is the role that the intellectual plays.
He pointed out that science is not an end in the Islamic conception, and culture is not an end as well but rather a means. Therefore, we should not judge the intellectual before we know his purposes and whether he wants good or not? pointing out that judging the intellectual as being positive or something else is related to the extent of his job and role he plays its society, stressing that the real criterion for an intellectual is the purpose with which he leads the benefit to society.
It is noteworthy that the activities of Doha International Book Fair continue until June 21 at Doha Exhibition and Conference Center, with the participation of more than (500) publishers from (37) countries, and presents readers with about 180 thousand titles and 750 thousand books, in addition to the rich cultural program.