KARACHI - Research is the intellectual backbone of a society; it has the potential to bring about a qualitative change in the political, social and economic milieu of a society, said Prof Dr Moonis Ahmar.

Addressing at the concluding ceremony of a two-day workshop on “Research Methodology,” he further added that the purpose of holding such a workshop is to enhance the capacity of students to develop substantial expertise and skills in different areas of research.

The workshop was organised by the Department of International Relations, University of Karachi from April 2-3.

The workshop also aims to provide practical assistance to students to write research reports and in future, research articles. He expressed his hope that this kind of interactive exercise in research methodology will prove to highly meaningful for students and researchers.

Prof Dr Shaista Tabassum, Chairperson, Department of International Relations, said in her address that without research there cannot be any genuine process of intellectual and technological growth. She complemented the efforts made by Prof Dr Moonis Ahmar.

Prof Malahat Kaleem Sherwani, Dean Faculty of Arts, said in her concluding address that no society had ever progressed without having a vibrant culture of research. There is an urgent need to facilitate the culture of research at all levels particularly in higher education. Dr Anila Amber Malik, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and the main resource person of the workshop said in her concluding address that the culture of research is of immense significance for a nation to steer successfully in today’s world.

LECTURE: A lecture was held on the topic of History through Archival and Scientific Sources by Prof Dr Valeria Piacentini on April 3 at the Area Study Centre for Europe (ASCE), University of Karachi.

In her introductory remarks Dr Uzma Shujaat, Incharge, Area Study Centre for Europe, University of Karachi introduced the renowned scholar from Milan, Italy Prof Dr Valeria Piacentini at the Centre. She has historian and an archaeologist, she has worked a lot in Macran and Sindh. Right now she is responsible for the French-Italian-Pakistani excavation team in Banbhore (Sindh) and since 1986, Director of a multidisciplinary-interdisciplinary Research-Project focused on patterns of settlement in Makran and Kharan (Baluchistan) and the history of peopling of this region. Until November 2011, she was also full professor of History at the institute of Muslim countries in the catholic University of Milan.

Now she is the Scientific Director of the CRISSMA (Research Centre on the Southern System and Wider Mediterranean), Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan. She is the author of many books, monographs on history, culture and archaeology. She is also editor of many studis including Encyclopedia Europea, Encyclopedia Vallardi Milano, De Agostini Atlas.

“Within the shared perspective of encouraging cultural experiences in our urban spaces and territories, we can develop effective joint projects aimed at knowledge-creation among and between our peoples and regions,” these views are shared by Professor Dr Valeria Piacentini while speaking to the faculty and students of Area Study Centre for Europe, KU on the topic of ‘History through archival and scientific sources’.

University of Milano, Italy, Professor Dr Piacentini termed 13th century as the ‘golden age’ of trading and sharing of knowledge. According to her, thirteenth century was the ‘magic moment’ when West and Orient met. She deliberated that ‘All in all, the 13th Century was a period of expansion of knowledge in all directions: artistic, scientific, geographical and philosophical. A new atmosphere pervaded and animated European culture and its courts.’ Highlighting the importance of Makran she told the students that Makran was a natural East West and North South road. It represents natural access of link and has always been practiced not for warfare but for trades.

She said: “Pearls, silk, horses, semi-precious stones, various qualities of cloths like velvets and brocades from China and Central Asia, glass, bowls and metal objects wonderfully chiselled attracted merchants from every corner of the world since very ancient times.”

According to Dr Piacentini, “Iraninan world of ancient times, Turkic world and the great Indian centres and markets were the main commercial partners of Genoa.” The Vice Concul General, Italian Consulate, Giulio Iazeolla and the Consul General, French Consulate, Christain Ramage and Professor of Italian Philology, University of Karachi, Pietro Lauretta also attended the lecture.