Qatar Foundation 2022: THE YEAR IN REVIEW


Schooled for Success

Having completed one stage of their academic journey within Qatar Foundation’s schools, hundreds of young people began preparing for the next step in their lives in June – as years of learning and discovery were celebrated.

Graduation ceremonies were held at eight schools under QF’s Pre-University Education, recognizing the achievements of 544 students, of 28 nationalities, who have excelled in their studies while also learning what it takes to be a change-maker and an active contributor to society.

2022 marked the first graduations from Qatar Academy for Science and Technology and Qatar Academy Al Wakra, as well as from Awsaj Academy’s Prime program, which supports students to make the transition from school to university to career.

“As we celebrate the latest batch of graduates from our network of Qatar Foundation schools, the overriding emotion for us is pride,” said Abeer Al-Khalifa, President of Pre-University Education, QF.

“We are proud of how they have overcome the challenges of the past two years, their dedication to learning and to contributing to their communities, their determination to excel, and the values they demonstrate every day.”

QF celebrated the achievements of the latest batch of graduates from its schools – and launched initiatives aimed at making the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, and sport in general, more accessible.

The advice I’d give to the younger generation is not to settle for a safe life. Fill it with purpose, meaning, and – most importantly – adventure.

Ali Ali-Kuwari
a member of Qatar Academy for Science and Technology’s first graduating class

544 students from 28 nationalities graduated from 8 QF schools in 2022


Perseverance, Dedication…and Friendship

“The time for the harvest has come,” was how Awsaj Academy valedictorian Shaikha Al Kubaisi described the emotions of herself and her fellow graduates, while Awsaj Prime graduate Maha Al Mohamed said: “The joy of graduation cannot be matched by any other feeling.”

Qatar Academy Al Khor valedictorian Sara Ali Al Mannai said the “hardships” of COVID-19 had made graduation all the sweeter, saying: “We are all preparing for the next phase of our lives with passion, perseverance, and a dedication to making our dreams come true.”

Graduates at Qatar Academy Sidra were urged to “conquer your fears and face the challenges that come before you” by valedictorian Sara El Sallabi, while Qatar Academy Doha graduate Khaled Al Binali reflected on the “unbreakable friendships” made during his time at the school.

And Aliya Niaz, a Class of 2022 graduate of QF’s Academic Bridge Program, called on her peers to “see that life is a fascinating mystery full of opportunities to be seized”, with Qatar Leadership Academy valedictorian Mohammed El Essae describing the school “a spring that is every flowing and a tree that is always fruitful”.

The road may look endless, and the dream a mirage, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. All you need is to believe in yourself, and work hard to get there.

Amna Ali
a member of Qatar Academy Al Wakra’s first graduating class

More than 6,600 students have graduated from QF’s schools


Students Of The Game

More than six months ahead of the FIFA World Cup™ final, students from a QF school brought their own twist on the sporting showpiece to a conclusion – in one of the tournament venues.

The Qatar Academy Doha Road to 2022 competition saw students from kindergarten to Grade 5 represent 10 teams from the nations who qualified for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ – and go on a journey that stretched beyond sports and into wellness, social interaction, and cultural discovery.

With the players on each team learning about the culture of the nation they represented during the tournament, and acting as ambassadors for their ‘adopted’ countries, the tournament also helped students reconnect with each other after the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to study remotely.

And with the finals of the competition taking place in the Education City Stadium in June 2022, it meant the young footballers had the opportunity to get a taste of what awaited the best players in the world later in the year.

Participating in this tournament has helped us become more prepared to help host the World Cup as a society.

Al-Anoud Al-Thani
Grade 5 student, Qatar Academy Doha

1,080 matches were played during the Qatar Academy Doha Road to 2022 competition


Inclusivity and Empowerment

With the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ making Qatar’s sporting scene more vibrant than ever, in 2022 QF set out to enhance the nation’s capacity to teach sports to children with disabilities – by launching its Coaching the Coach program.

A partnership between QF’s Ability Friendly Program – which provides year-round inclusive sporting and developmental opportunities – and the Translation and Interpreting Institute at HBKU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the program teaches theoretical principles and practical sessions where participants interact with expert trainers and children with special needs.

The program’s goal is to develop multi-skilled coaches capable of training children with a range of needs, who use appropriate terminology, are disability confident, and can plan coaching sessions that engage young players. Each of its four levels focuses on a particular profile, providing a safe and nurturing environment for children who love sports.

It is open to mainstream football coaches, PE teachers, and others involved in providing sports training to children and young people, and more information can be found here.

I hope that the football coaching community will use these opportunities to create inclusive spaces that offer football for all.

Dr. Josélia Neves
Professor and Associate Dean of Social Engagement, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, HBKU

The Coaching the Coach course profiles are:

  • Bronze Level: Disability, autism, and moderate to severe learning disorders
  • Silver Level: All Bronze Level profiles and visual impairment
  • Gold Level: All Bronze/Silver Level profiles and physical impairment
  • Platinum Level: All Bronze/Silver/Gold Level profiles and deafness

Painting a Picture

QF had an inclusive vision for how it could support a truly accessible FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ – and, in the case of one initiative that supported the tournament experience, quite literally.

Live audio description of the opening and closing ceremonies, and the tournament’s matches, was provided to blind and partially sighted fans by a team from the Master of Arts in Audiovisual Translation Program at QF member Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS).

This described to users of the service everything happening around the stadium – from the pitch to the stands – to create a ‘verbal picture’ allowing them to imagine the scene and fully immerse themselves in the action and excitement.

Meanwhile, students from QF school Qatar Academy Sidra adapted a silent graphic novel exploring themes of migration, diversity, community, and acceptance into an audio-tactile format for people with visual impairments. Supported by CHSS, they developed a multisensory adaptation of Shaun Tan’s ‘The Arrival’, using touch and sound to allow blind and partially sighted readers to vividly experience the story.

We strive to create a space where everyone can be part of the event, even if they don’t see it with their eyes.

Nahwan Al-Aswadi
a graduate of the Audiovisual Translation program and an audio description volunteer

4 audio description commentators – 2 English, 2 Arabic – covered the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ opening and closing ceremonies

19 volunteers were trained to provide the audio description service throughout the tournament


Embodying Values

With its goal being to counteract the negative effects of social media on Muslim girls, and strengthen their Islamic values, an Arabic language app created by a team of socially aware students was named the winner of the fifth cycle of QF’s Akhlaquna Award.

The Strong Muslim Girls App – the brainchild of a team of students from Moza Bint Muhammad Primary School for Girls – emerged victorious from the three shortlisted projects for the award, recognizing young people whose projects and actions embody ethical behaviors and good moral character.

The app, available on Google Play, is designed for Muslim girls aged 10 and above, allowing them to share content in a safe environment while also enhancing Islamic identity, cultivating values such as honesty and good manners, and encouraging them to reflect and practice acts of worship on a daily basis.

Its creators were honored at QF’s annual Akhlaquna Day ceremony, where the latest batch of winners of the Akhlaquna Junior award – celebrating young people from Qatar’s schools who embody strong values and encourage others to adopt them – were also recognized.

We want to make a positive change for our fellow students, and urge them to adhere to our Arab culture and the good values Islam urges us to emulate.

Maya Khaled Naasa
a member of the Strong Muslim Girls app project team

The winners of the Akhlaquna Junior Award were:

  • Saeed Fahad Saeed, Ali bin Abdulla Model School for Boys
  • Shoaa Mohammed Alsuliti and Almaha Hassan Alsubaey, both from Qatar Academy Doha
  • Hind Hassan Aljaber, Qatar Academy Al Wakra
  • Mubarak Saleh Alkuwari, English Modern School, Al Khor
  • Mohammed Abdulla Alfakhroo, Al Jazeera Academy
  • Shaikha Khalid Alnasr, Tariq Bin Ziad School
  • Hamad Saad Almohannadi, Qatar Academy Al Khor

A Platform for Stories

The Jordanian capital of Amman was the venue for the second regional event to be held under TEDinArabic – a groundbreaking initiative by QF and TED to spread ideas in the Arabic language around the world – in June.

Held under the theme Unlocking Potential, Elevating Stories, the event saw international experts and TED speakers being joined by students and graduates of schools and universities throughout the Arab world. It also launched the ‘Share Your Ideas with TEDinArabic’ platform, a search for 16 creative change-makers from the Arabic-speaking world to share their ideas at the flagship TEDinArabic Summit in March 2023.

Among the speakers was Sheikha Al-Jassasi, the first visually impaired Omani to obtain an MBA from the University of Bedfordshire in the UK, who spoke about the challenges she faced in her education and career, and the Arabic podcast called ‘Noor’ that she created to help the blind and visually impaired community.

The event also heard from Palestinian writer and artistic director Amir Nizar Zuabi, who told the story of his artwork Little Amal – a giant doll representing a refugee child – and Palestinian activist Muna El Kurd.

Language to its speakers is like tools for the maker of things. The diversity of tools enables them to decorate their products, and the Arabic language is full of these tools.

Ahmad AlMansoor
teacher, Qatar Academy for Science and Technology, speaking at the TEDinArabic regional event

TEDinArabic – TED’s first initiative in the Arabic language – has seen:

  • More than 2 million visits to its website
  • Its content reach more than 16 million people and receive more than 36 million social media views

Going Global

Two Qatari startups were set on the path to growth and impact through a QF program that provides promising technology ventures with a launchpad to reach international markets.

EMMA Systems – an Artificial Intelligence-enabled airport operations platform – and Conical Systems, which creates business solutions and has developed a self-driving electronic vehicle, were selected for year-long placements in international accelerator programs thanks to ELV8; a Qatar Science & Technology Park program, in partnership with a top Silicon Valley tech incubator, that nurtures local startups and provides mentorship and funding opportunities.

New avenues for SAQR – an Artificial Intelligence-based social media analytics platform that supports searches in Arabic, developed by HBKU’s Qatar Computing Research Institute – were also opened up through an agreement to distribute it nationally and internationally through Qatar-based deep technology innovator ADGS Computer Systems.

And scientists at HBKU’s College of Science and Engineering developed an Artificial Intelligence-based system that can be used to diagnose cardiovascular diseases through retinal images and bone health data, with the research funded by QF’s Qatar Biobank.

We are pleased to advance our Arabic language technologies and contribute to Qatar’s reputation for leadership in innovative research and technology.

Dr. Ahmed Elmagarmid
Executive Director, Qatar Computing Research Institute

Safeguarding Welfare

As a regional leader in promoting and ensuring worker welfare, QF teamed up with its partner university Georgetown University in Qatar, and the institution’s home campus in the US, to host an educational program on the ethical treatment and management of Qatar’s migrant workforce.

Held in consultation with the United Nations’ International Labour Organization, the program gave managers from QF-contracted companies that employ migrant workers a better understanding of the important of worker welfare, through both a commercial and an ethical lens.

Elsewhere within QF’s partner universities, an undergraduate reporting team from Northwestern University in Qatar were selected for a Pulitzer Center 2022 Reporting Fellowship, as they produce a film focusing on the challenges facing survivors of acid attacks in Pakistan.

And work by an alumna of Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar, Bouthayna Al Muftah, that would soon become familiar to the world was unveiled – she designed the eight official posters for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, symbolizing football fandom across the Arab world, and Qatar’s passion for both football and family.

Implementing welfare standards that protect the living and working conditions of every person who works in Education City is indispensable to Qatar Foundation.

Stephen Brigg
Executive Director, QF Health, Safety and Environment

40 supervisors representing 18 companies participated in the educational program on worker welfare


The Show Goes On

For students and teachers from QF schools who spent two years and dozens of rehearsals creating a musical extravaganza that demonstrates how performing arts support learning and discovery, June meant only one thing – it was SHOWTIME!

That’s the name of Qatar Foundation Schools Productions’ stage show featuring classic songs from famous musicals, and June saw it performed in front of a live audience for the first time – after the COVID-19 pandemic delayed its debut – as students trained by West End choreographers strode onto the Education City stage.

And creativity was blended with cultural heritage at QF as the D’reesha Stage played host to three Qatari poets – Radhi Al Hajri, Ahmad Al Muftah, and Abdulrahman Al Dolaim, together with oudist Ali Nakuzu – for an Arabic Poetry Night.

The D’reesha Stage is part of its D’reesha Performing Arts Festival – which, later in the year, would capture the attention of the nation and the world during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ – and gives Qatar’s arts community a platform to perform and engage with fellow artists, reflecting QF’s commitment to promoting the nation’s arts and culture, and the Arabic language.

Watching my son performing today made me feel so proud…we have already felt the impact of this whole experience on him.

Murad Al-Malawy
the father of a QF student who performed in SHOWTIME!