Qatar Foundation 2023: THE YEAR IN REVIEW


The QF community showed its sense of compassion in a time of need for millions of people – as QF advanced inclusive sporting opportunities, and took learning beyond the classroom and into the city.

Social Progress

Sport…and Solidarity

Each year, Qatar Foundation’s (QF) Education City is a community focal point for the nation’s annual celebration of sports. In 2023, this celebration was blended with a show of solidarity. 

In the wake of the devastating earthquake in Türkiye and Syria, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, began QF’s National Sport Day activities by leading a walkathon in aid of the victims of the disaster. 

‘Walk for a Cause’ was held in collaboration with Qatar Charity to raise funds for those affected by the earthquake, and led to donations totaling QAR2.1 million being received. 

Following the walkathon, people of all ages and abilities from across Qatar’s community got into the National Sport Day spirit across Education City – with Qatar Olympic Committee as QF’s main partner – including by participating in a triathlon, a fitness challenge, ability friendly basketball and football games, and sports activities organized by QF schools. 

It was the perfect way to start this year’s National Sport Day by using it as an opportunity to show our wholehearted support for the people in Türkiye and Syria.

Fatima Al-Mohannadi
National Sport Day participant

Social Progress

Driven by Conscience

QF’s support for the people of Türkiye and Syria in their time of need saw a donation drive being launched at Education City – with members of Qatar’s community answering the call. 

Large amounts of warm clothes, blankets, and food were donated – with donations in the first 24 hours of the drive alone amounting to 2.5 tons of aid – as volunteers from across the QF community and beyond supported the collection process during the drive, organized in cooperation with Qatar Charity. 

Among them was Nora Al-Jaouni, a student at QF partner university Weill Cornell-Medicine Qatar, who said: “It has been wonderful to see members of the QF community and others come together to prepare the donations and send them to victims of the earthquake. 

“And if we do not have much to give, we can give our time to volunteer, which makes this time more valuable. The large quantity of donations indicates the level of awareness among people in Qatar of the importance of donating.”

Just thinking that these materials will reach people who desperately need them, and that they will warm them and alleviate their suffering, gives us a feeling of gladness.

Adam Khoder
Student and volunteer

Social Progress

A Hub of Sporting Inclusivity

One of the highlights of National Sport Day at QF was the Education City Stadium’s hosting of sports activities for women and girls only – and this reflected its post-FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022legacy role. 

In February, QF unveiled how the stadium that witnessed some of the World Cup’s most dramatic moments will be transformed into a hub for women’s and girls’ sports, with a focus on health, education, and wellbeing, in line with QF’s commitment to making sports open and accessible to all. 

This will harness sports to open up opportunities for women and girls and create a space specifically designed for their needs, from programming and facilities to apparel. It will also aim to attract talented female athletes from across the region, with plans for the stadium to house a sports academy and high-performance training center catering for women. 

QF is working with local and international entities and experts, and consultants who are former athletes, to drive forward the legacy plans for the stadium, which will also house two QF schools.

Women have different needs and requirements when it comes to playing sports and exercising. We want to respect their needs, understand them, and make it possible for them to exercise easily and comfortably

Alexandra Chalat
Executive Director, Partnerships and Strategic Alignment, QF

Social Progress

Overcoming Barriers to Learning

And QF’s belief in offering access to, and empowering people through, sports was also illustrated through its sponsorship of 10 members of the Palestinian girls football team that participated in the Street Child World Cup 2022 in Qatar. 

QF partnered with Street Child United to host the tournament ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and 100 days after the event, it announced it will support nine young Palestinian female footballers to continue their education in their home country, with one – Abu Habayeb – receiving education and coaching in Qatar. 

“We have listened carefully to the challenges that female students in Palestine still face, and expressed our readiness to make additional efforts to overcome them,” said Abeer Al-Khalifa, President of Pre-University Education, QF. 

“This initiative helps to create a stimulating environment where their full potential and abilities can be unleashed. We believe these girls can achieve excellence and prove their ability to succeed when they have an educational environment that is focused on meeting their needs.” 

I am very proud that I have received this support along with my fellow team members, and that I will be able to represent Palestine here in Qatar.

Abu Habayeb
Palestinian girls football team player
The Palestine girls’ team was one of 28 teams from 25 countries that participated in the Street Child World Cup 2022 in Qatar

Progressive Education

Putting Learning at the Community’s Core

Throughout Doha, February saw education taken beyond the classroom – with children and young people, families, and the whole community invited to explore what learning means by QF’s global education think tank WISE

The three-day Doha Learning Days festival in Msheireb Downtown Doha offered hands-on learning activities in informal settings, centered around the theme of youth empowerment, with workshops and activities ranging from advocacy, arts, and wellbeing to entrepreneurship, technology, and science. 

They included an experiential tech workshop where young learners got to grips with coding and created their own arcade games; an entrepreneurship workshop teaching students how to work together to solve challenges; and a session, My Different Friends, where students aged 8-10 learned about autism, and wrote messages to the community urging them to make the world a better place for people with autism. 

“Differences are everywhere, even in the types of play we prefer and the ways in which we express our feelings,” said Fatima Al Muraikhi, one of three Qatari mothers who established the Autism Parents Platform, the session’s organizers. “Diversity in us, and in all aspects of life, is what makes it more beautiful.”

When children are engaged in a learning activity outside the classroom, it takes them out of their routine and comfort zone – it offers them a challenge that makes them start to ask questions, investigate, and even compete.

Zaid Abusini
Ed-tech Engineer, Studio 5/6, and Doha Learning Days workshop instructor
More than 50 learning activities took place during Doha Learning Days.

Progressive Education

Startups and Service

Education through entrepreneurship was also on the agenda at one of QF’s schools in February – with the launch of a competition designed to help students start, run, and market their own business. 

‘Have an Impact’ was created by Tariq Bin Ziad School, part of QF’s Pre-University Education (PUE), in collaboration with Qatar Charity, Qatari Women Association for Economic Awareness & Investment, and delivery platform Snoonu, with the aim of giving young learners a grounding in how to turn their ambitions into reality. The students’ final products went on sale through Snoonu, with proceeds going to Qatar Charity. 

Meanwhile, teachers, educators, and experts from across Qatar shared methods and strategies for teaching the Arabic language at the third edition of the Education Forum on Heritage and Identity, organized by PUE’s Education Development Institute and the Arab Center for Policy and Research Studies – Tarsheed. 

The event included interactive workshops delivered by Arabic teachers on topics ranging from writing Arabic and making Arabic classes accessible to those with learning challenges, to how technology, music, drama, and electronic platforms can support Arabic teaching strategies.

Teaching our younger generations skills of productivity, entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity is crucial to make sure they grow to be positive change agents in our communities, and leaders.

Maha Al-Romaihi
Director, Tariq Bin Ziad School
  • More than 60 teams applied to take part in ‘Have an Impact’, with 24 projects shortlisted.
  • Over 300 teachers from government and private schools in Qatar participated in sessions at the Education Forum on Heritage and Identity.

Progressive Education

A New Dimension

A world-first approach to 3D printing which can embed self-healing properties into materials – and could help pave the way for a new generation of electronics, sensors, and solar cells – was demonstrated by QF’s Hamad Bin Khalifa University in February. 

The university has formed a research partnership with Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop a full-scale system that allows the Self-Assembled Molecular 3D printing approach to be taken into real-world use. 

“Molecular self-assembly in 3D printing is a novel and disruptive approach that could define new frontiers,” said Dr. Rachid Zaffou, Senior Planning and Research Director, HBKU. 

HBKU also sealed its place among the world’s top 200 universities in human biological sciences, in the latest edition of ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects, based on the work of its College of Health and Life Sciences (CHLS), Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), and Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) in this field. 

This is a monumental achievement for HBKU that reflects its commitment to developing world-class multidisciplinary academic programs.

Dr. Georges Nemer
Interim Dean and Professor, College of Health and Life Sciences, HBKU

Precision Health

Insights for a Healthier World

QF researchers unveiled new studies into a tumor-based molecular signature that can predict clinical outcomes for patients with seven different cancer types, with the project being led by QBRI and QCRI together with QF’s Sidra Medicine and Hamad Medical Corporation. 

And Sidra Medicine published a groundbreaking study into how COVID-19 vaccines act, which identifies the molecular mechanisms that can predict the severity of the disease and can support the development of new vaccines, as well as patient treatments. 

The women’s and children’s hospital and medical research center – which, together with four other hospitals in Qatar, was placed among the world’s top 250 Academic Medical Centers in a survey by Brand Finance that featured input from 2,500 global healthcare experts – also launched a benevolent healthcare grant, ‘Precision Medicine for All’. 

It will allow young patients of all backgrounds – particularly those with genetic, rare, or hard-to-diagnose conditions – to access the cutting-edge diagnostics at Sidra Medicine. 

Through this grant, we are generating a change that will positively impact the lives of hundreds of patients living with rare or complex diseases in Qatar.

Dr. Iyabo Tinubu-Karch
CEO, Sidra Medicine

Social Progress

Ambassadors for Change

They are among the world’s up-and-coming drivers of change – and through QF’s Doha Debates, 33 emerging leaders were given the chance to hone their abilities to make a difference by being selected for its 2023 Ambassador Program

Reflecting Doha Debates’ goal of empowering young people to bridge differences and build consensus through discussion and debate, the group – including several members from Qatar – embarked on a 12-week program to develop their facilitation and negotiation skills, by tackling issues such as climate change, gender, equality, and disability justice and seeking common ground with others who have diverse viewpoints. 

During February, high school students from around the world gathered at QF partner university Georgetown University in Qatar for an international Model United Nations conference, where they simulated the roles of UN diplomats to debate and negotiate solutions to global security challenges. 

And elsewhere among QF’s partner universities, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar hosted 500 students from 82 Qatar high schools as they tested their powers of logic and reason in its Pi Day Mathematics Competition

We’re looking forward to helping Ambassadors develop the solutions-oriented dialogue and debate skills that are so urgently necessary in this era of unprecedented polarization.

Amjad Atallah
Managing Director, Doha Debates
The Doha Debates 2023 Ambassador Program cohort represent 17 countries across 4 continents.
450 students representing 51 schools across 13 countries participated in Georgetown University in Qatar’s Model United Nations conference

Social Progress

A Sporting Showcase

In a month that saw sport being celebrated across Qatar, records fell, stories unfolded, and crowds were entertained by equestrian excellence at QF’s Al Shaqab

The equine and equestrian center that preserves and promotes the treasured Arabian horse breed hosted three days of world-class action at the Commercial Bank CHI AL SHAQAB Presented by Longines event, with top riders from around the region and the world on show. 

The showjumping, dressage, and para dressage competition is one of only five CHI-accredited competitions worldwide – and the only one in the in the Middle East and Asia – with those appearing in 2023 including Palestinian dressage rider Diana Al Shaer. 

“I saw many talented riders in Palestine who have great desire and motivation, but no opportunities,” she said. “I want to do everything in my power to help, by raising the profile of Palestinian sport.” 

CHI AL SHAQAB is one of my favorite competitions, being at home in Doha. So to win here means a lot to me.

Bassem Mohammed
Qatari showjumper
91 riders from 28 countries participated in the 2023 edition of CHI AL SHAQAB