Safei-Eldin Hamed is an environmental and international development scholar who practices in North America and the Middle East. He holds a Bachelors degree from Cairo University, a Masters degree from the University of Georgia, and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. As an educator, he has taught at the University of Guelph and the University of Nova Scotia in Canada, King Faisal University in Saudi Arabia, University of Georgia, Virginia Tech, and the University of Maryland in the United States. From 1994 to 1996 he worked as an environmental assessment specialist for the World Bank. Currently, he is on the faculty of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Texas Tech University. He has also served as consultant for several national and international organizations, including Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies, Smithsonian Institute, Parks Canada, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Agency for International Development, Aga Khan Award for Architecture, Arab Development Institute, and USIA. As a scholar, Dr. Hamed's research activities cover a wide range of studies including urban and regional planning, environmental strategies and management of arid lands, Islamic art and architecture, and Arab-Muslim cross cultural issues.
Abstract of paper given at Islam
and Ecology conference:
The experience of the developing countries during the colonial era and the years of independence points to a few trends: a) The gap is widening locally between the rich and the poor and globally between the North and the South; b) The conditions of the ecosystems are deteriorating quickly and on all fronts; and c) The imported economic models and borrowed development systems have failed in most Muslim countries. As a result, some scholars suggest that examining the relationship between Islam and environmentally sustainable development is very critical in the few closing years of the twentieth century.
The objectives of this session are twofold: 1) To examine the historical resource management institutions in Islam including Hisbah, Haram, Hema, Waqf, and Ihya; and 2) To evaluate the claim of international development scholars who suggest that these traditional Islamic institutions are capable of providing the operational components needed for achieving environmentally sustainable development within our global economic system.