Haifa Alkhalifa has a BSc in Interior Architecture from the college of Architecture and Planning, King Faisal University, Bahrain, and an MBA in business administration from the New York Institute of Technology. In 2008 she joined the University of Bahrain as a graduate research assistant in the College of Civil Engineering and Architecture, and was granted a PhD scholarship in 2009.
Haifa's interests lie in the Islamic history of Architecture, and in particular, mosque design and its historiography. In Muslim countries mosques have played, and continue to play, a major role on the cultural and political scenes. Over the centuries mosque architecture has continuously changed as result of regional variations, among other factors. This research will develop an understanding of the identity of mosques in the Arabian Gulf.
The architectural design of mosques in the Arabian Gulf transformed in the late 1930s due to the discovery of oil. This newfound affluence had a large impact on society, politics and culture in the region and new trends in mosque architecture emerged.
The aim of this research is to answer the question: How can we achieve a contemporary mosque design that can absorb the social-cultural changes in modern Muslim societies while at the same time maintaining an Islamic identity?