Local and Global Scholars Attend Georgetown’s Inaugural Loiy Hammad Memorial Lecture Series at QF

Thomas F. McDow

The Indian Ocean Working Group (IOWG) research initiative at QF-partner Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) organized the inaugural Loiy Hammad Memorial Lecture by Dr. Thomas F. McDow from Ohio State University on the subject of his book, Buying Time: Debt and Mobility in the Western Indian Ocean.

In Buying Time, a finalist for the Bethwell A. Ogot Book Prize for Best Book in East African Studies, Dr. McDow analyzes Swahili and Arabic financial records that reveal new connections between trade relations, familial connections, colonial expansion, and environmental change across a vast region that extends from the Arabian desert to the Congo River.

This memorial lecture series was recently launched in memory of GU-Q student Loiy Ahmed Hammad, a senior who would have graduated at the end of the current academic year. The dean of GU-Q, Dr. Ahmad Dallal, said: “The passing of this cherished young scholar has affected all of us. This commemorative lecture series is one way to recognize the deep impact Loiy had on us as a community. By bringing the community together in his name for scholarship, we are celebrating the memory of a special individual.” 

Professor of Anthropology, Dr. Rogaia Abusharaf, shared that it was Loiy’s love of ethnography, and “the marvelous world of the Indian Ocean” that led to the group’s decision to lend his name to the IOWG’s scholarly work. “Loiy was the student that every professor wished to see. His intelligence and quick wit will be greatly missed. To honor his loving memory, we plan to dedicate our lectures to him throughout this academic year.” 

An active student immersed in a host of student clubs and activities, Loiy was majoring in Culture and Politics, and had enrolled in several courses with IOWG professors over the years.

Assistant Professor of Government, Dr. Uday Chandra, noted that “Loiy took my course on populism, and he shone. He was very interested in learning more about matters of race and slavery in the Arabian Peninsula and how they related to Gulf-Africa connections. This is a subject that really captured his imagination.”

Upcoming lectures in this series will feature distinguished scholars working on different aspects of the Indian Ocean, and will be open to the public as part of the GU-Q Virtual Hub for Global Dialogue: Engaging Communities, Finding Solutions initiative. The Virtual Hub platform gathers the university’s broad efforts to bring the community together for engaging discussions on salient issues affecting our world today.  Since 2014, the Indian Ocean Working Group (IOWG) at GU-Q has brought together scholars from across the world to build collaborative multidisciplinary networks that study the rich and complex histories of the places and peoples of the Indian Ocean rim.