Taking the microphone in an exhibition hall at Qatar National Convention Centre, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser looked back over two-and-a-half decades of the organization she envisioned, and summed it all up in 10 words. “It was a dream, and we made it come true”
The dream was an ecosystem of education that offered a world-class learning experience rooted in Qatari culture, heritage, and identity. And its realization – and everything Qatar Foundation (QF) has made possible over its 25-year lifespan – was celebrated in February at I AM QF.
The QF community, and others who have been part of the organization’s 25-year story, came together to mark a quarter-century of making positive change happen – and to recognize how collaboration can write new chapters of success.
Welcoming people from across QF’s community – staff, students, teachers, faculty, researchers – along with ministers, university and industry leaders, and other guests, the event reflected on what QF has achieved since its 1995 establishment, and cast an eye to the future.
“The main challenge that we faced was always to try convincing others to make a positive change, and that is through education, because education is our true wealth,” said Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser at I AM QF.
“We focused on building our education ecosystem based on our heritage, not against it. And looking at the activities here today, I was pleased to see how proud and confident the Qatari youth are in their culture and identity, and in speaking the Arabic language. This is what we have been aspiring to create through Qatar Foundation, as well as throughout other educational institutions in Qatar.
We focused on building our education ecosystem based on our heritage, not against it
Speaking to the I AM QF audience, Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation, emphasized how QF’s journey has been about “producing knowledge, generating ideas and perspectives, and nurturing talent”, adding: “We share all of this with the world, from our unique perspective as a nation proud of its Arab and Islamic heritage.
“Now, we’ve reached a milestone in our journey, and so it’s time to ask ourselves: where do we go from here? How do we build on everything we have already achieved? And what do we need to do to realize everything we now want to achieve?
“For QF, I believe the answer rests on all elements of our ecosystem shaping, informing, and benefiting each other. We need to disruptively collaborate in a way that allows everyone to see the big picture, and recognize their role in creating it – because QF is a platform for everyone to engage, and contribute.”
We need to disruptively collaborate in a way that allows everyone to see the big picture, and recognize their role in creating it – because QF is a platform for everyone to engage, and contribute
I AM QF also reflected how, in Her Excellency Sheikha Hind’s words, collaboration has underpinned QF “from its first day to its 25th year”.
During the event, an agreement was signed that will give QF a central role in supporting the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy in developing the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ visitor experience, including providing sensory rooms in stadiums, air quality management, organizing campaigns to reduce single-use plastic, and using smart monitoring for crowd monitoring and control.
Further agreements at the 25th anniversary celebration saw QF and Qatar University strengthen their existing links to provide new opportunities for students, faculty, and the generation of research; while a Memorandum of Understanding with ExxonMobil Qatar – one of the international partners at QF’s Qatar Science & Technology Park – involves creating closer ties between academia and industry, and advancing the development and use of innovative technologies.
At the I AM QF event, QF signed agreements with:
It was in the context of Qatar’s efforts in research, innovation, and technology that QF welcomed His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Amir of Qatar, in February, as he reviewed the Qatar Research, Development and Innovation Strategy (QRDI 2030) during a visit to QF’s Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) Research Complex
His Highness the Amir gained an insight into the work and achievements of QF member HBKU’s three research institutes, as well as current and future plans for the complex where they are based.
Each of these institutes is making scientific breakthroughs and developing innovative solutions focused on Qatar’s priorities, including addressing climate change and improving air quality; the prevention, treatment, and diagnosis of diseases prevalent in Qatar and the region, such as diabetes and cancer; and enhancing Qatar’s cybersecurity and preparing the nation for an Artificial Intelligence-influenced future.
QF’s HBKU Research Complex houses:
A new future for a Qatari school steeped in history and the nation’s cultural heritage has now begun, and in February His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Father Amir, and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser attended the official opening ceremony of Tariq Bin Ziad School, under the umbrella of QF’s Pre-University Education (PUE).
The school’s educational program follows the International Baccalaureate curriculum, but with additional aspects reflecting Qatari heritage. Its relaunch under PUE was celebrated with a student performance depicting the school’s environment in the 1970s, and an exhibition telling its story from its establishment in the 1960s to the present day.
Tariq Bin Ziad School aims to:
In the 2019-20 academic year, Tariq Bin Ziad School had:
“Tariq Bin Ziad School is seen as being one of the educational edifices of Qatar, embraced by generations of young people who have gone on to become leaders and impact-makers in different sectors across the country,” said Buthaina Ali Al-Nuaimi, President of PUE, with the school’s director, Maha Al Romaihi, saying: “We will continue to carry forward the message of why quality education is so important, and nurture a new generation of Tariq Bin Ziad School students.”
The school’s official opening also saw it host the fifth edition of the Education Forum on Heritage and Identity, organized by PUE’s Education Development Institute, as educators and researchers placed the spotlight on the role of Qatar’s schools in preserving and promoting Qatar values and the country’s national identity, and the importance of the Arabic language in promoting a sense of cultural and social belonging among Qatar’s youth.
We will continue to carry forward the message of why quality education is so important, and nurture a new generation of Tariq Bin Ziad School students
110 QF teachers participated in the Education Forum on Heritage and Identity
Within another QF school, a stand against the use of plastic bags was taken by a group of young activists, as they lent their voice to the global call for action to tackle crucial environmental issues facing the planet.
The Activists in Action campaign saw students at Qatar Academy Doha – part of QF’s Pre-University Education – cover the school’s walls and floors with plastic bags and bottles in February, illustrating the amount of plastic waste society creates. They also launched a petition on which they planned to collect 10,000 names, calling for Qatar to ban single-use plastic bags.
Meanwhile, new perspectives on the role of public art in creating connections between people, and opening eyes and minds, were shared at a February forum staged through a partnership between QF, Qatar Museums, and the British Council. Outside The Box: Public Art in Qatar brought together local and international experts to discuss the use of art in the public realm.
130 Qatar Academy Doha students joined the Activists In Action campaign
For Qatar, February is a month for celebrating the country’s love of sport, and QF’s National Sport Day celebrations brought together thousands of people to enjoy a range of activities, exercise, interact, and embracing healthy living – with Qatari sporting stars like Olympic medal-winning high-jumper Mutaz Barshim and footballer Abdulkarim Hassan joining in.
A key focus of the sporting fun on offer at Education City was a range of ability-friendly sporting activities, from football and goalball to chess. Yasmeen Tebroon and her daughter Sarai, who is blind due to albinism in her eyes, were among those taking part, with Yasmeen saying: “The fact such events are organized on such a large scale shows how inclusive QF is – the number of people with different needs who have come here today clearly shows they have come to associate QF with such initiatives. “I’m just grateful to live in a country where the leadership makes people like my daughter feel included as much as those without any disability.”
I’m just grateful to live in a country where the leadership makes people like my daughter feel included as much as those without any disability
The sporting theme of the month was also represented in the February edition of QF’s Education City Speaker Series – a dialogue platform that allows the public to listen to, learn from, and interact with experts on a range of key topics shaping the world – as it welcomed His Excellency Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, who spoke about how the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ will be “fuel for people to change their lives”.
Speaking at Qatar National Library on the eve of National Sport Day, His Excellency said: “Every tournament has to have a unique innovative element to make it close to people’s hearts. For us, innovation is at the core of our preparations. “We want to provide the most advanced, enhanced, and engaging fan experience for people from Qatar and all over the world. And we continue to work closely with Qatar Foundation on various elements in this regard.”
Every tournament has to have a unique innovative element to make it close to people’s hearts