Qatar Foundation 2022: THE YEAR IN REVIEW


Progressing Education

Future plans for Qatar Foundation’s network of schools were unveiled at the start of a new academic year – including enabling them to provide even more children and young people with quality, personalized, and inclusive education.

Abeer Al-Khalifa, President of QF’s Pre-University Education, announced that specialized learning classes will be added to Qatar Academy Al Khor and Qatar Academy Al Wakra to accommodate the increase in registration for places at QF’s Awsaj Academy and Renad Academy, which respectively support children with learning challenges and autism.

QF has also launched foundation classes at Awsaj Academy for students aged 3-4 years with communication challenges, and a central admissions office which Ms. Al-Khalifa said is aimed at “strengthening the voice of QF schools as they speak to the community, with clarity, about their offerings, while encouraging parents to explore their child’s future with QF”.

“We create, build, and innovate to enhance our students’ passion for learning,” she added. “When a student comes to school every morning, she or he expects to learn new things in an environment that mixes learning with fun. Everything we do is to achieve this goal.”

The next steps and goals for pre-university education at QF were outlined as its schools welcomed back students – while the importance of national identity to Qatar’s youth was reinforced.

Our doors at QF are open to all, to serve our common goals of raising the level of education in Qatar.

Abeer Al-Khalifa
President of QF’s Pre-University Education

QF’s schools have more than 8,000 students of 55 nationalities


Learning Opens Up

Elevating QF’s ability to provide learning opportunities to young people who are facing academic challenges, QF announced the establishment of a new department dedicated to Special Schools and Special Educational Needs services, as its annual Pre-University Education Forum welcomed its teachers and faculty to the new academic year.

QF’s PUE now also includes the Open Campus initiative, where students from two of its schools – Qatar Academy Doha (QAD) and Qatar Academy Sidra – have access to a wider selection of courses that may not be available in their own schools, as well as more service-learning opportunities.

And the 2022-23 academic year at QF also saw 23-year-old disability rights activist Nawal Akram resume her educational journey after a 12-year gap, having been forced to leave school because her genetic condition which causes loss of muscle function meant she could not be physically accommodated.

Akram enrolled in Awsaj Academy’s Prime Program as she pursues a high school diploma, saying: “It gave me a renewed sense of hope and purpose, and a sense of happiness that no number of words can explain.”

The Open Campus initiative is a new experience, it’s never been done before, and we can learn a lot from it.

Batool Mahmoud
Grade 11 student, Qatar Academy Doha

QF’s PUE has more than 1,500 employees of 78 nationalities


Identity at the Core

The need to protect the national identity of Qatar’s children and young people, and equip the nation’s students with 21st Century skills, was emphasized on a QF platform for dialogue in September, by Her Excellency Buthaina bint Ali Al Jabr Al Nuaimi, Minister of Education and Higher Education.

Speaking during a special edition of the Education City Speaker Series Bel Arabi, Her Excellency told the audience: “It is imperative for us to have policies and frameworks in place to protect our young people and their national identity from cultural dissolution amid the unprecedented flow of information that comes to them across all communication channels.

“Our national and local identity and our culture – inspired by our religion, our customs and traditions, and our Arabic language – is the foundation of this. It is at the core of building the Qatari personality, which is rooted in our values while at the same time being open to the world.”

During her talk, Her Excellency also spoke about the goals of Qatar’s e-learning strategy and announced the My Skills, My Future initiative, aimed at supporting students to meet the needs and challenges of the labor market.

Education is a great responsibility that rests on everyone’s shoulders – let’s work together to keep the torch of learning glowing and make Qatar a beacon of science, knowledge, and peace in the world.

Her Excellency Buthaina bint Ali Al Jabr Al Nuaimi
Minister of Education and Higher Education

A Climate Conversation

Emerging research on Qatar’s climate and pathways to meeting the nation’s climate challenges were placed in the spotlight in September, as QF’s Earthna Center for a Sustainable Future hosted a national gathering of sustainability expertise.

Over two days, the Qatar National Dialogue on Climate Change focused on the role that academia and research can play in supporting policymaking in the field of sustainability, and the need for collaboration that stretches across sectors to identify sustainable solutions in fields such as transport, industry, and urban design.

The event was co-hosted with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, with the Al-Attiyah Foundation as partners, and saw researchers, representatives from international organizations, and academics share global insights and data that can help to guide Qatar’s climate change mitigation efforts.

Sessions also explored ways of mobilizing financing toward solutions and investments that can help address climate challenges, as well as the need to support developing countries build their capacity to tackle climate change.

We have identified tangible actions which will benefit Qatar’s climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts.

Dr. Gonzalo Castro de la Mata
Executive Director, Earthna

Making a Difference

As the eyes of the world turned to Qatar ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, QF helped to amplify football’s role as a tool for social impact, education, and sustainability – at the United Nations.

On the sidelines of the 77th edition of the UN General Assembly in New York, QF was part of a panel hosted by Concordia where the need to use sport to create equal opportunities and greater female representation was placed in the spotlight.

And Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation, met female footballers from Qatar who learned from industry leaders about how to pursue footballing pathways, as well as with young change-makers who travelled to New York through Ideas for a Bold Future – a QF initiative supporting them to use football as a way to address education, health, and sustainability challenges.

As student Nathan Wijaratne, a member of QF’s THIMUN Qatar, explained: “It showed me the extent to which youth-led initiatives can make a difference on a global scale – this week has helped galvanize action for the causes we are passionate about.”

Representation is very important to us as we embark on a journey of women in sports and encourage more women to be part of it.

Machaille Hassan Al-Naimi
Strategic Initiatives Executive Officer, QF, speaking at the Concordia panel session

Inspired by Football

Combining football tricks, dance, music, and acrobatics, the art of freestyle football came to QF in September, helping young people become more active and learn new skills – on the ball, and in life.

QF and the World Freestyle Football Association (WFFA) delivered a series of inclusive training sessions for teachers, coaches, and students from QF schools, who also learned how the sport can be part of educational systems.

Reflecting the place that education holds at the core of both QF and the WFFA’s mission, the sessions also promoted topics such as nutrition, anti-bullying, and accessibility, with Minna Marlo, Head of Development at the WFFA and one of the trainers, saying: “We want to inspire children to learn new skills, like persistence.

“When you’re learning a new skill, you have to do repetitions – you have to do it a certain number of times and then you are rewarded. And this applies to every aspect of your life.”

The training is amazing – when you start trying the exercises yourself, you realize you can do them. You just need patience.

Abeer Mostafa
session participant and QF Ability Friendly Program volunteer

Responding in a Time of Need

With Pakistan struck by the worst floods in its recent history, the sense of service and contribution to global society was once again seen across QF’s community, as institutions and individuals rushed to support those left homeless and devastated.

Students at QF’s Qatar Academy Doha launched a fundraising campaign, with QF’s partner universities all playing their part – Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar held a donation drive, Northwestern University in Qatar’s South Asian Student Association helped organize support efforts, and Georgetown University in Qatar opened up its public spaces as donation sites.

Meanwhile, the findings of a first-of-its-kind conference focusing on another global crisis – COVID-19 – and its impact on Iraq, presenting research into how developing countries respond to pandemics, were published to the world by QF’s Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press, through its open access platform

The platform also published the outcomes from Qatar’s first-ever allergy conference, with Rima Isaifan, HBKU Press’ Head of Academic and Journals Publishing, saying: “As we branch out to include conference proceedings of the leading summits in the region, we are providing our users with access to the most recent research available in the world today.”

It is heartening to see that, across QF, we share the same values to help when we can, because we are so fortunate that we can.

Ammar Baig
Head of Admissions, HEC Paris in Qatar, who sent funds and items to help the Pakistan flood relief effort

Partners in Knowledge

QF’s educational ecosystem is built for collaboration – and this was illustrated as two of its partner universities and Doha Film Institute combined to offer students a new film and design program that builds their media literacy and ability to tell visual stories.

The program, which brings together the expertise of Northwestern University in Qatar and Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar, aims to help meet increasing demand for trained professionals in the film and design industries.

And September saw QF’s global education initiative, WISE, recognize six pioneering projects for the positive impact they are making on both education and society: the 2022 WISE Awards winners.

Hailing from Qatar, India, Mexico, the US, and Kenya, the projects tackle access to quality education in disadvantaged areas, early childhood development, collaborative learning networks, climate action youth development, and social-emotional learning and wellbeing at school. They were named WISE Awards winners due to the contribution they have already made in their own communities, and their potential to set international standards and best practices worldwide.

Together we will provide students with an education that prepares them for a profession that will require both creativity and knowledge of traditional and emerging technologies.

Marwan M. Kraidy
Dean and CEO, Northwestern University in Qatar

Since its establishment in 2009, the WISE Awards have received over 4,900 applications from more than 150 countries


Fostering Dialogue

Focusing on equipping women to assume leadership roles in higher education, a groundbreaking national conference at QF tackled challenges facing female academics, and the need to support and champion women leaders.

The Women in Leadership conference at QF partner university Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, supported by academic institutions at Education City and organizations from across Qatar, showcased female thought leaders and also explored gender and diversity in higher education.

Meanwhile, QF’s pioneering women and children’s hospital and medical research center Sidra Medicine turned the spotlight on topics including research and clinical advances in precision medicine, as local and international experts joined its Precision Medicine Functional Genomics Symposium.

Sidra also published a new study on pediatric cancer tumors that outlined a precision health-based approach to guiding treatment for some childhood cancers, while showcasing its treatment programs that have saved lives – including those for patients with congenital heart disease – at a US symposium that featured the latest breakthroughs in cardiology.

The strength of some of our healthcare and research programs has positioned Sidra Medicine as a groundbreaking healthcare provider that is leading the way in patient care.

Professor Ziyad M. Hijazi
Chief Medical Officer, Sidra Medicine

50 medical experts and 640 participants attended Sidra Medicine’s Precision Medicine Functional Genomics Symposium


Spreading a Healthy Message

Placing good health at the heart of the national consciousness, the end of September heralded the start of Doha Healthcare Week – encouraging people of all ages to recognize the importance of maintaining and improving their physical and mental wellbeing.

Organized by QF’s global healthcare initiative the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) ahead of its biennial international summit; supported by partners including the Ministry of Public Health, the Primary Health Care Corporation, and the British Medical Journal; and sponsored by US medtech company Welwaze Medical, Doha Healthcare Week offered a range of health and wellness activities for all the community, alongside events including health-focused art exhibitions and film screenings.

A Cancer Awareness Walk at QF’s Oxygen Park was organized alongside an event where cancer survivors shared their stories with the public, while Doha Healthcare Week also encouraged people to donate blood by supporting Hamad Medical Corporation’s ‘Qatar…It’s In Our Blood’ campaign.

And as Doha Healthcare Week sparked into action, among those giving blood was Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation.