With the rising number of global Muslim population, businesses around the world have started to pay more attention to the needs of that growing and lucrative market segment. The travel sector is no exception to that trend, giving growth to a variety of Muslim Friendly Tourism products and services.
Armenia is becoming a rather popular destination for tourists from neighboring Muslim countries, such as Iran, as well as from Arab States of Persian Gulf. Islamic nations are setting new benchmarks in the international travel and tourism market, while more Muslim travelers, particularly from the rising middle classes are exploring the world. In spite that tourism has become one of most impressive sectors for growth in Armenia during the recent years, we still lack a phenomenon called “Muslim-friendly tourism”, mostly because of the insufficient, or rather, gap of knowledge about the culture, traditions and civilization of the neighboring countries.
This course provides a short introduction to the Muslim civilization and culture, with particular emphasis on the insights into Islamic tradition through topics such as religion, social customs, relations, food and entertaining. It explores the key texts, central beliefs and rituals, as well as the main branches and traditions of religious thought and practice, which developed over the centuries following the rise of Islam up to the modern period.
The main aim of the course is to achieve a better understanding on what makes up value for different customer groups that come from various cultural backgrounds. The case in point is therefore “how can we develop and manage the possible ways to meet the needs and expectations of Muslim consumers?” and “how and why it is different from other types of tourism consumption?” The course will analyze such phenomena as: lack of proper identification of halal food outlets; islamophobia driven negative sentiments towards Muslim; limited availability of attractions including theme parks and etc.
The goal of this course is to provide a window into how Muslims, in varying social-historical contexts, view themselves and how they view others. We will address specific topics such as Islamic science and arts, history, belief and ritual life that will help to understand Islamic culture, as well as meet the expectations and needs of Muslim travelers.
Guest Speaker, Gegham Azatyan, the co-founder of “Picnic Hotels” will share with the participants his experience, including data on the Muslim tourists in Armenia, as well as provide key recommendations applicable to various stakeholders in the tourism industry to enable them to successfully meet the growing global demand for a Muslim-friendly travel.
Duration: 10 hours
Schedule: Tuesday, Thursday, (6:30 PM – 9 PM) and Saturday (10:30 AM -1:00 PM)
Course Fee: AMD 40,000
Language of instruction: English/Armenian
About the Instructor: Ruben Mirakyan is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at the Yerevan State University and Fulbright Visiting Scholar (2009-2010) at University of California, Santa Barbara. After Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program, Ruben continued his researches at the University of California, Berkeley and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, His research area is – study of historical and current realities of Muslims in the West. That includes the rise and development of Islamic institutions and forms of leadership, Islamic education and the range of issues involved in living as Muslims in a Western society.
Enrollment: To enroll in AUA Extension courses, please go through the following steps (see below for the Armenian version):
- Visit im.aua.am.
- Create an account by clicking New User Registration.
- If you are not a new user and already have an AUA account (having previously taken the AUA e-Math Test or applied to AUA), you should log into the account that you had created at that time.
- If you just registered as a new user, you will get an email asking to activate your account.
- Now, for registering to take a course, go to the Open Education tab, choose Extension, then Extension Applications, and apply for the course(s) you choose.
- After you register online, your application will be reviewed and you will receive an email acknowledging your application.
- Closer to the course start date, you will receive another email confirming your enrollment, requesting that you make payment before the course start date. The fee can be paid online via credit card or through the EasyPay terminal (located at the entrance to AUA). Alternatively, you may pay the fee via bank transfer to the American University of Armenia Fund, account 001-006402-001, HSBC Bank Armenia, indicating your full name (as in the registration) and the course you are paying for.
- The completed application together with the record of payment completes your enrollment.