Qatar Foundation 2022: THE YEAR IN REVIEW


One Journey Ends, Another Begins

Reflecting on their experiences and achievements during their years at Education City, and looking ahead to what the future holds, a new wave of graduates from universities at Qatar Foundation (QF) took center stage at its annual Convocation ceremony – and the 2022 edition of the event was extra-special.

With His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Amir of Qatar, in attendance, Convocation celebrated more than 800 Class of 2022 graduates from QF’s Hamad Bin Khalifa University and its partner universities, and also the Classes of 2020 and 2021, who – due to the COVID-19 pandemic – were not able to experience a physical Convocation. In their time at QF, each of the graduates has been equipped to innovate, excel, and drive positive change in Qatar and beyond.

The Convocation ceremony also saw QF pay tribute to its first president, Dr. Fathy Saoud, who played an instrumental role in QF’s evolution and the creation of its education ecosystem, and who passed away in January 2022.

During the ceremony, it was announced the position of Chair Professor in HBKU’s College of Health and Life Sciences will be created in Dr. Saoud’s name, with biological sciences having been his field of study.

After two years of a pandemic, QF graduates were once again able to gather to celebrate a landmark moment in their lives – as a new QF program brought its alumni back together.

Take the time to understand what our forefathers stood for and why. Then take the time to understand what your role is in this journey. Your learning journey has just started.

Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani
Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation, speaking at the Convocation ceremony

Almost 8,000 students have now graduated from QF’s education ecosystem


Creativity and Commitment

Alongside Convocation, universities at QF hailed the accomplishments of their graduates at ceremonies which captured the joy of goals being realized, and the excitement of moving into a new phase of life.

HBKU’s “exceptional” Class of 2022 were praised for their “commitment, creativity, and willingness to develop critical research skills” amid the challenges of COVID-19 by the university’s Provost, Dr. Michael Benedik; while 41 new doctors – including 12 Qataris – were awarded their degrees at QF partner university Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar.

The 122 Class of 2022 engineering graduates from QF partner university Texas A&M University at Qatar, 49 of whom are Qatari, were urged to “have a driven determination to use your knowledge and skills to make a difference” by Her Excellency Buthaina bint Ali Al Jabr Al Nuaimi, Minister of Education and Higher Education, their graduation ceremony’s speaker.

And 66 graduates of QF partner university Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar’s Class of 2022 received words of encouragement from one of its alumni, Fatma Al Jaidah: “You are our future leaders, artists, designers, and creative minds – you represent the best of Qatar and what we have to offer.”

Today marks the end of a momentous chapter, but also the start of the rest of our lives. Today marks the beginning of the responsibility that has been bestowed upon us.

Dana Al-Ali
a member of Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar’s Class of 2022

HBKU’s Class of 2022 comprised 215 graduates from 47 nations, with 144 being female and 52 being Qatari


Celebrating a Milestone

With the COVID-19 pandemic having prevented physical graduation ceremonies for two years, universities at QF brought an added dimension to celebrating their graduates in 2022.

QF partner university Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q) held three ceremonies in three nights, one for each of its Classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022. Its most recent batch of graduates included 89 students, 39 of whom were Qatari.

At Georgetown University in Qatar, its 14th commencement ceremony honored 87 Class of 2022 graduates – who were urged to “use the past as a source of knowledge and develop this knowledge to fit future challenges” by speaker Ibrahim Jaidah, Group CEO of the Arab Engineering Bureau – while another ceremony celebrated its 131 Class of 2020 and 2021 graduates.

And Northwestern University in Qatar’s largest-ever graduating class – 110 students made up its Class of 2022 – were encouraged to “be forthright and unwavering in your principles” by graduation speaker Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, CEO of Doha Film Institute, with Class of 2020 and 2021 graduates returning for a special ceremony to mark their achievements and resilience.

No matter where life takes us next, I want the entire Class of 2022 to remember one thing: never stop taking chances.

Mubarak Al-Sulaiti
a member of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar’s Class of 2022

QF’s higher education ecosystem comprises Hamad Bin Khalifa University and 7 international partner universities


Connected for Life

QF’s alumni are the embodiment of its belief in education, opportunity, and the power of human potential – and in May 2022, hundreds of them reconnected at Education City for a new milestone in the QF calendar.

Attended by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, the first Qatar Foundation Alumni Reunion saw young people who were set on the path to realizing their goals and their dreams at QF share their stories, successes, and challenges, with a call for them to unite and collaborate to make a difference to the world.

The reunion took place as the QF Alumni Program was launched, providing its thousands of alumni with a pathway to make new connections, share experiences and expertise, and identify new opportunities – including those which enable them to remain in and return to Qatar, to support the country’s development.

“QF students have a long history together, and they share a great deal of passion and nostalgia for the place where this history was made,” said entrepreneur and CMU-Q Class of 2015 graduate Mohammed Al Matwi. “We need to stay connected, to see where all of us have reached in our lives.”

Our graduates come from diverse backgrounds, countries, and cultures from east and west. What unites them is that they carry with them the philosophy of Qatar Foundation, spreading our values: creating, sharing, and advancing knowledge.

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser
Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, speaking at the Qatar Foundation Alumni Reunion

Through the QF Alumni Program’s app, alumni can:

  • Connect and reconnect with each other
  • Form mutual interest groups
  • Find and apply for jobs
  • Provide mentorship to younger graduates

Taking Flight

A new partnership between QF and the world’s best airline, Qatar Airways – announced in May 2022 – is giving alumni of QF universities the chance to get their careers airborne within the aviation industry.

The long-term collaboration aims to create an array of opportunities, from full-time roles to internships, with the airline for graduates from QF’s education ecosystem, and will be customized to ensure alumni are equipped to join the award-winning carrier.

Meanwhile, Hamad Mubarak Al-Hajri – whose own QF studies led to the birth of his successful delivery app Snoonu – explained how he wanted to give something back to his fellow alumni through a partnership that will provide 50 job opportunities annually for QF graduates.

Describing QF as “my first home”, the Snoonu CEO and HEC Paris in Qatar graduate, said: “QF graduates have the skill of quickly acquiring information, continuous learning, sincerity, and passion for their work, which are important for the success of any pioneering project.

“That is why we have great hopes for QF graduates and the positive impact they will make.”

It enables us to look within our country, amongst some of the most prestigious universities from across the globe, to find skilled talent, creative thinkers, and curious minds.

His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with QF

Meeting an Icon

14.5in high, weighing 13.5 pounds, and made of 18-karat gold, it’s one of the most coveted prizes in sport – and in May, past and present students of QF and members of the community had the chance to meet the FIFA World Cup™ trophy.

During its tour of Qatar, the world-famous trophy was displayed at Education City during the Aljam’a festival, which brought QF’s current students and alumni together and invited the public to enjoy its activities; and at Qatar National Library through a partnership between VISA and QF’s global education think tank WISE, who also organized a youth panel where students exchanged ideas on themes including equity and access, resilience, and education in a sporting context.

May also saw the 15 finalists for the 2022 WISE Awards announced, recognizing projects from 10 countries that are tackling urgent global educational challenges.

These projects focused on areas ranging from the global skills gap, early childhood and foundational learning, empowering students impacted by conflict, and training and supporting female entrepreneurs, to special needs education, social financing for schools, and using education as a means of maintaining cultural identity and raising climate awareness.

The work celebrated by the WISE Awards is critically important in highlighting the possibilities offered by innovation in education.

Stavros N. Yiannouka

The WISE Awards have celebrated around 90 projects from over 30 countries


Telling the Story

So many people have a story to tell about the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ – and these stories were brought to life ahead of and during the tournament by a special QF initiative and exhibition: GOALS.

Run with the Generation Amazing Foundation, The Sport Creative, Goal Click, and Salam International, GOALS – which launched in May - saw everyone from workers and students to artists and football coaches relate their personal, inspiring stories of football, culture, and community in Qatar, through photography, video, and writing.

These unique experiences, journeys, and stories were brought to life through the multidisciplinary GOALS exhibition at Education City in November and December – showing how football can be a catalyst for change, and for opening eyes and minds. In 2023, the exhibition will tour cities and global events beyond Qatar, bringing the stories and the impact of the first World Cup in the Middle East and Arab world to a wider audience.

Qatar 2022 will send a strong message that football belongs to the world, that there is no ‘us’ and ‘them’ in football, and that we are all much more similar than we are different.

Mehreen Fazal
GOALS storyteller

The GOALS exhibition featured the work of more than 40 storytellers


Engagement for Peace

With the war in Ukraine uniting people around the world in support of the country, a senior figure in US politics, diplomacy, and foreign policy shared his perspective on the conflict and other international issues during a talk at QF in May.

Michael Pompeo, who served as the 70th United States Secretary of State and is the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, was the guest at an edition of the Education City Speaker Series – a QF platform that enables the local, regional, and global community to engage with thought-leaders on topics shaping the world.

Among those attending was Ukraine’s Ambassador to Qatar, His Excellency Andriy Kuzmenko, who told Pompeo that Ukraine is “a nation of warriors, and a peaceful nation that wishes to live in harmony with the world.”

Pompeo called for “statesmanship” to be the global response to the Ukraine situation, saying: “We should make sure there is an enormous amount of engagement from everywhere, from all sides, in trying to find that place where we can reduce the continued loss of life.”

Learning also comes from sharing your ideas and thoughts with people from different cultures and backgrounds. These are the ways a force for good can move forward.

Michael Pompeo
70th United States Secretary of State, speaking at the Education City Speaker Series

Reimagining Schools

Dialogue in education was fostered at an international conference on transforming education at QF in May, as experts gathered to discuss the future of schools on a global scale.

The Leading Educational Advancement through Progressive Schools (LEAPS) summit, organized by QF’s Pre-University Education, welcomed representatives from progressive schools around the world, with sessions centering on reimagining education, wellbeing in schools, and ‘The Power of Play’.

On the international stage, QF’s QatarDebate hosted an event on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, in collaboration with the New York Times, where experts debated whether the metaverse opens up new and exciting opportunities, or instils bad habits, instincts, and addictions.

And a three-year international research project between Qatar and Turkey, involving QF member HBKU’s Qatar Computing Research Institute and part funded by QF, led to the building of a cybersecurity defense platform named ‘WARNING’, powered by Artificial Intelligence technology and capable of detecting threats against organizations and critical infrastructure.

If we really want to solve the big world problems in the long term, we need to engage the next generation – today’s young people.

Mitchel Resnick
LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research, MIT Media Lab, speaking at the LEAPS Summit

Communicating for a Cause

Over the course of six months, a group of QF school students who were determined to voice their ideas from an early age shone the spotlight on bullying – showing their communication skills to raise awareness of an issue they are passionate about.

Led by, and designed for, students, the group of young change-makers from Qatar Academy Doha – part of QF’s Pre-University Education – were supported by QF alumni and QF communication teams to create an integrated media campaign illustrating how bullying, a topic they chose to address, affects everyone and its impact on mental health and wellbeing.

Their campaign, Bullying Hurts Everyone, included ideas such as an animation video and photo stories capturing the feelings of students who are bullied, as the students unlocked their inner storyteller and learned how to communicate the causes they believe in to the world.

“Primary and secondary school students met at a brainstorming session,” said QAD Grade 9 student Alia Ahmed Al Maadeed, “and we agreed that bullying is a major topic we need to address and to try to find a way to stop this behavior.”

Every student thought of different ways to raise awareness, such as photos, social experiments, and newsletters.

Hissa Al Hitmi
Grade 9 student, Qatar Academy Doha