Qatar Foundation 2022: THE YEAR IN REVIEW


The Champions of Change

The power of football – and the FIFA World Cup™ – lies in its ability to be a platform for building a stronger, more understanding, and more united world. And a vivid demonstration of this power came at Education City in the weeks leading up to the 2022 edition of the tournament.

The Street Child World Cup (SCWC) 2022 – an eight-day sport-for-good event held by Street Child United in partnership with Qatar Foundation (QF), and supported by local and international volunteers – saw 28 teams from 25 countries representing some of the world’s most vulnerable children gather in Doha for a tournament that came with a call for change.

Alongside the SCWC, which saw Team Brazil Girls and Team Egypt Boys emerge as the winners – and lift sustainable trophies designed by students at QF’s Qatar Academy Doha - a child-friendly congress was held to champion the rights and the voices of young people living in street situations worldwide, raise awareness about their circumstances, and demand that they be treated with equality and fairness.

With the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 just around the corner, QF was the scene for a football tournament with a powerful message, a global summit that connected wellbeing to sports – and a new football-themed landmark.

This is the World Cup for those that have been on the margins, on the edges, in the shadows. You are now center stage.

John Wroe
co-founder and CEO of Street Child United

15 boys teams and 13 girls teams participated in SCWC 2022, with 10 teams being represented by refugee or displaced children.


Making Voices Heard

At the General Assembly held during the SCWC 2022, a collective pledge was made to help improve the lives of young people in street situations: The Qatar Commitment.

Crafted by 290 street-connected children, refugees, and young leaders, the document was signed by, among others, Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation.

On the pitch, the teams taking part in the fourth edition of the SCWC - with audio descriptive commentary provided by QF accompanying games – included two sides from Qatar, comprising students from Assalam Schools and QF schools Qatar Academy Doha and Qatar Academy Sidra, as well as, for the first time, a team from Palestine consisting of girls from the Tulkarm Camp in the West Bank whose participation was supported by Palestine: Sports for Life.

And off the field, a study commissioned by Street Child United and the Consortium for Street Children in collaboration with QF’s World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) was launched at WISH’s biennial summit, with the aim of addressing health concerns and healthcare access for street-connected children.

By signing this document, we want to help break down barriers and challenge stigmas, and in doing so, ensure street-connected children are being recognized, supported, included, and – most importantly – given a voice.

Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani
Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation

Almost 50 per cent of the teams competing in the SCWC 2022 were female


A Source of Inspiration

Major sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ can be a catalyst for healthier societies, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, told a global audience of healthcare expertise as WISH 2022 began in October.

Speaking at the summit’s opening ceremony, Her Highness Sheikha Moza said such events “have always been a source of inspiration”, and that they can “inspire us all, here in Qatar and across the world, to rebuild our healthcare systems, making them robust and accessible to all”.

Placing a focus on the role of sport in promoting accessible, inclusive, and equitable healthcare, the summit included the launch of the WISH Declaration on Disability Inclusion in Sport and Health – a call for action for inclusive sporting participation.

And WISH 2022 sessions addressed topics such as sport’s role in nurturing the wellbeing of people with disabilities, and how mega sporting events can promote physical activity and healthier lifestyles, while Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah spoke about coping with mental health challenges as an elite athlete.

We look towards transformative events to inspire individuals and remind them of their responsibility towards their personal health and the community.

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser
Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, speaking at the opening of WISH 2022

WISH 2022 was the 6th edition of the biennial healthcare summit


A Tribute to Progress

The strides made by Qatar to ensure workers’ rights are protected amid the country’s rapid development were praised by the head of the world’s largest trade union body during WISH 2022.

“As one of the early critics of Qatar when the World Cup was awarded, and having seen labor camps and construction sites a decade ago, it has all remarkably changed,” Sharan Leslie Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, told a summit session that discussed a WISH research report on promoting health and safety among migrant workforces.

“There is a ‘now’ and there is a ‘before’ Qatar. There is a huge difference between the two. I absolutely pay tribute to the progress made by the country. If we could move as fast in other countries, as a union leader, I would be delighted.”

The WISH report calls for global minimum standards and health policies for migrant workers; action to empower workers to take charge of their health and wellbeing; and an international collaboration hub to share data and best practices designed to protect workers’ health.

Around 1,000 migrant workers were medically assessed through a study by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy and QF partner university Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar


Art With a Message

The art landscape at QF’s Education City welcomed a new, colorful, and eye-catching addition in October One – Come Together, a public art installation with an attention-grabbing appearance, and a message that matters.

Inaugurated by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, in October, Come Together – designed by leading South Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa – is made up of workers’ helmets, mirror balls, and traditional Qatari objects. Resembling a dandelion spore, it represents the excitement, passion, and joy that FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ fans spread across the world.

Come Together is recognition in creative form of everyone in Qatar who played their part in realizing the dream of staging the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, with its design notably commemorating workers who made such an essential contribution to the tournament being possible – and helping to ensure their role continues to be acknowledged beyond 2022.

The commissioning of Come Together illustrates how QF uses public art to reflect, respect, and convey Qatar’s cultural heritage, and to spark dialogue on social issues, while using its platforms to catalyze conversations and affect change.

Come Together is about co-existence and symbiosis. The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is a festival on a global stage, and a festival of this kind can’t be carried out alone.

Choi Jeong Hwa
artist and designer of Come Together

Education City is home to more than 150 public artworks


Globalization of education

Providing quality education with a local focus, and with promoting knowledge and innovation at its core, Rasekh – an educational platform connecting QF’s centers of education with other academic institutions in Qatar – was launched in October.

Rasekh is designed for ‘glocalization’: helping students make new connections between global and local issues, while placing an emphasis on preserving Qatari identity and heritage, and the Arabic language. Available in both Arabic and English, it reflects QF’s commitment to progressive education, and toinnovating for learning.

“It is crucial for building bridges of collaboration between various organizations and creating multidisciplinary projects, both inside and outside Qatar,” said Sheikha Noof Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani, Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships at QF’s Pre-University Education. “Additionally, it aims to assist students in making new connections between various fields of knowledge, as well as between local and international facts, topics, and issues.

“We hope that high-quality education that incorporates both local and global perspectives will produce generations that are both firmly rooted in their local context and deeply connected with the world at large.”


Creativity for Sustainability

The innovative spirit that exists within QF’s classrooms was illustrated in October by two Grade 11 students from one of its schools, whose project to transform school courtyards into green and sustainable spaces saw them receive the MYP Innovators’ Grant for 2022.

The grant is awarded by the International Baccalaureate in partnership with Ashoka to Middle Years Program students who start or advance an initiative focused on social impact. And Alina Qaiser and Elana Firdaus, both students at Qatar Academy Doha – part of QF’s Pre-University Education (PUE) – were among the latest recipients.

“The idea of having a sustainable garden in the school sparked our interest, because of our need for green spaces which enhance the cognitive development of students, and motivates us to be creative,” said Qaiser.

Meanwhile, PUE hosted its annual Teaching and Learning Forum, where teachers and educators from QF and across Qatar gathered to exchange experiences and develop educational processes, with its 2022 edition focusing on inspiring students to be active in their own communities, and beyond.

It is amazing to know we have done something for Qatar and made a difference in our community and school.

Elana Firdaus
Qatar Academy Doha Student

Almost 1,500 teachers and educators participated in QF’s Teaching and Learning Forum


Opening Minds

Under the theme ‘Dare to Discover’, and with the Moroccan city of Marrakesh at its stage, the third regional event under the first-of-its-kind TEDinArabic initiative – formed through QF’s three-year partnership with TED – drove home the importance of sharing the stories and ideas of Arabic speakers across the world.

At Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Ben Guerir, TED speakers tackled topics such as the role of Arabic-speaking scholars in fostering communication between nations, the importance of science to global progress, and climate change. The event also hosted interactive workshops on the history of the Arab world, community initiatives, entrepreneurship, culture, and media, and Arabic language debates.

Among the speakers were Syrian researcher Dr. Charles Muhannad Malik, Moroccan architect and urbanist Aziza Chaouni, and Lebanese writer and poet Suzan Talhouk, who said TED is a place to “communicate ideas easily, clearly, and with energy that does not carry the sentiments of hesitation and fear”.

And Saudi Arabian biotechnologist Dr. Hayat Sindi told the TEDinArabic audience: “We can make a scientist more open to society by opening their minds to the endless possibilities out there, and by removing obstacles and accepting new ideas.”

We consider our partnership with TED a prominent step to communicating pioneering ideas and inspiring initiatives to all those interested in the issues of the Arabic speaking world.

Machaille Hassan Al-Naimi
Strategic Initiatives Executive Officer, QF

80 students from 6 countries were among those who attending the TEDinArabic regional event in Morocco


Advancing Research

In the world of science at QF, researchers at Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) Qatar Computing Research Institute, together with Hamad Medical Corporation and the Mayo Clinic in the US, produced the first disease-centric study in the MENA region on the genetic architecture of coronary heart disease – and how it can predict the condition.

Fellow HBKU research center Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute, with Qatar’s public transport company Mowasalat, began a project to test the battery power of the nation’s eco-friendly e-buses ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, while HBKU researchers launched a study of regional mega-events – such as the FIFA World Cup – to investigate the resilience of urban infrastructure.

And QF’s Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press was the sole MENA publisher at an international conference on open access publishing, outlining its approach to opening up scholarly work to the world.

Meanwhile, in the same month that it brought medical experts from across Qatar together for a conference focusing on women’s health, QF’s Sidra Medicine expanded its women’s services by launching its Menopause Clinic.

More than 100 million genetic markers were analyzed in the disease-centric study

We want women in Qatar to know about the support options that are available to them and, most importantly, that they continue to have choices when it comes to their health.

Dr. Johnny Awwad
Executive Chair of Women’s Services, Sidra Medicine

Another Star is Born

When the result was announced, live on television around the region, the smile said it all – Sumaiya Said Sulaiman Al Siyabi was the first woman to be named the Arab world’s top innovator through QF’s Stars of Science.

The history-making Omani claimed the title as Season 14 of the innovation TV show reached its finale, thanks to her sustainability-focused invention: a floating sphere comprised of microbial mats and nanomaterials that dissolves the microplastics it comes into contact with, enabling it to dispose of waste polluting oceans.

“This is a truly special honor,” Al Siyabi said as her victory sunk in. “Arab women have a key role in shaping the future of science and technology in the region, and I hope that I can inspire the next generation of female innovators to pursue their dreams and introduce new technologies that benefit our communities.”

Al-Siyabi and the other six top innovators from Stars of Science Season 14 will join its growing alumni community, who are developing and delivering technological solutions that meet challenges and drive positive change in their communities, across the Arab world and beyond.

161 innovators are now part of Stars of Science’s alumni community