Qatar Foundation 2023: THE YEAR IN REVIEW


Symbolizing QF’s belief in what education makes possible, its latest batch of graduates were celebrated in traditional style – as alumni from across the years reunited at Education City.

Progressive Education

A Step into the Future

They dedicated themselves to learning, discovery, and service throughout their years at Education City – and, in May, it was their time to shine in the QF Convocation spotlight. 

QF’s annual celebration of the graduates of its universities saw its latest batch of future leaders and change-drivers follow in the footsteps of so many before them, as they strode through the Door to the Future – the traditional Convocation moment symbolizing the end of one chapter of their journey, and the opening of the next. 

The ceremony was attended by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, who also honored 16 graduates from across Education City with Al Ihsan awards – recognizing not only their academic achievements, but also their qualities of leadership, innovation, and creativity.  

And each member of QF’s Class of 2023 was presented with a special piece of jewelry – designed in Qatar, and inspired by Education City – as a Convocation gift, and a memento of their time within an education landscape that has no comparison.

For so many of these graduates, the next step on their path will see them make valuable contributions to the development of Qatar, as they bring their talent into our nation’s workforce.

Her Excellency Buthaina bint Ali Al Jabr Al Nuaimi
Minister of Higher Education, speaking at QF’s 2023 Convocation ceremony
  • 874 students graduated from QF universities in the 2022-23 academic year
  • The Class of 2023 represented 77 nationalities – including 313 Qatari graduates
  • Over 8,800 students have now graduated from QF universities

Progressive Education

Dreams Without Limits

In fields ranging from medicine, engineering, art and design, communication, and international affairs, to Islamic studies, law and public policy, computing, humanities and social sciences, and business, the Class of 2023 gained a world-class education that also provided opportunities for cross-cultural learning, social contribution, and nurturing new interests.  

Among them was Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar) graduate Fatima Al-Mannai, who said: “The breadth of opportunities – beyond just academic – that were available to me as a student in QF’s unique ecosystem is undoubtedly what made me into the person graduating today.”  

And Aisha Al-Mohannadi, who graduated from Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q), explained: “The biggest lesson I’ve lived and learned during my time as a student at Education City is that there are no limits to our dreams if we are willing to work hard.”  

Alongside Convocation, QF’s Hamad Bin Khalifa University and its partner universities – VCUarts Qatar, GU-Q, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, HEC Paris in Qatar, Northwestern University in Qatar, Texas A&M University at Qatar, and Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar – each celebrated their graduates amid a sense of reflection, pride, and individual and collective achievement. 

QF fueled my passion and motivated me to pursue this dream, which is being realized today with my graduation.

Shaikha Al-Majed
Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar Class of 2023 graduate

Progressive Education

One Community…Reconnected

As QF’s global community of alumni grew with the graduation of the Class of 2023, hundreds of past graduates of its ecosystem of education – which, as well as universities, also includes 13 schools – were brought together at Education City to reconnect, and share their stories and experiences. 

QF’s annual Alumni Forum, held days after Convocation, also allowed its alumni to build their networks and air their views on topics such as career pathways and job opportunities – explaining the challenges they face to key decision-makers, and discussing solutions for addressing them.  

And they received a message from Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, who, speaking at the Forum, said: “Most innovations around the world – especially in the fields of education and health – have stemmed from new ideas that students share.  

“This Forum is intended to enhance the relationships between our alumni, and is an opportunity for you to meet your peers, turn relationships into friendships, and then turn these friendships into partnerships and projects.” 

Our alumni are the greatest embodiment of QF’s investment, and belief, in the power of education to allow everyone to define their path, realize their potential, and benefit Qatar, the region, and the world.

Francisco Marmolejo
President of Higher Education, QF
Over 14,000 students have graduated from QF’s schools and universities

Progressive Education

Discovering an Ecosystem

And following Convocation, QF invited the community of Qatar to join in the celebrations of its students and alumni, and discover the landscape of knowledge that sets them on the path to successful careers and lives – at its annual Aljam’a event. 

Across three days, members of the public mingled with alumni of QF’s schools and universities as, together, they participated in a series of educational workshops and showcases, and learned more about the full depth and breadth of the QF ecosystem. 

Professional development, academic, and cultural workshops spanned a range of topics, including elevator pitches, startup guides for entrepreneurs, calligraphy, sadu weaving, and bukhoor mixing; while Aljam’a also featured musical performances, fashion exhibitions, innovation displays, and demonstrations of the research being carried out by QF students within and beyond the classroom. 

And in the event’s Market Zone, QF alumni who have gone on to launch successful businesses showcased their products and services, and told visitors about their own entrepreneurial journey. 

The learning opportunities available to students across QF enable them to connect with each other and use resources in ways that would not normally be possible, and Aljam’a is a celebration of this.

Dr. Mohammad Shaheen Al Kuwari
Director of Student Life, QF

Progressive Education

Guided by Values

With good moral character and strong values in their minds and hearts, they are role models for others and catalysts for positive change in society – and, in May, they were recognized through QF’s Akhlaquna Award and Akhlaquna Junior Award.  

Launched in 2017, Akhlaquna emphasizes the interconnectivity between knowledge, education, and morality, and promotes ethics as a basis for success in life, with the morals adopted by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) at its core. 

And the 2023 winners of the awards were honored by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, at a special Education City ceremony which included two new categories: the Akhlaquna Appreciation Award – won by Sidra Medicine’s Chief of Pediatric Chest Diseases, Dr. Ibrahim Al-Janahi, for his ethical leadership – and the Initiative Award. 

“Through my initiative, I aspire to spread gratitude and embody the virtues of humility and thankfulness,” said Al-Nawar Al-Thani, one of three winners of the Initiative Award, whose project thanks workers by providing them with meals and messages of gratitude. “It is my belief that, by practicing these morals, we can foster a stronger sense of unity, compassion, and appreciation within our society, making it a better place for everyone.” 

Morals play a crucial role in our lives, and it is our duty to embrace them and inspire others to follow suit.

Muhammad Mahmoud Al-Hail
Akhlaquna Junior Award winner

The Akhlaquna Award for 2023 was won by student-led initiative Asehaa, which raises awareness about eating disorders and was developed by:

  • Al Dana Al Sulaiti
  • Amna Al Hammadi
  • Alanoud Al Matwi
  • Shikha Alanood Ahmed AlThani
  • Leen Alabdulrazzak
  • Haya Weal

The Akhlaquna Junior Award was won by 12 students across 3 age categories

Progressive Education

An Accessible Achievement

Providing equal opportunities for people with diverse abilities to embrace and enjoy sport, all year round, QF’s Ability Friendly Program is an empowering dissolver of barriers – and a symbol of the organization’s belief in inclusivity. 

And in May, its participants and coaches were lauded for their achievements and their dedication at an Ability Friendly Recognition Awards ceremony, where the bonds between the program’s growing community were strengthened further.  

Among those receiving awards was Jassim Al-Ali, whose mother Aisha said: “The program has been a tremendous blessing, offering him opportunities for growth and development.  

“Through his commitment to training, he has not only acquired valuable skills, but also blossomed in his ability to communicate and connect with his fellow colleagues. I am grateful for how this program has positively impacted his life, fostering a sense of belonging and empowering him to reach his full potential.”  

For more information about QF’s Ability Friendly Program, or to participate or volunteer, email  

He no longer sees his disability as a hindrance, but rather as an opportunity for growth and contribution.

Nabila Fadaoui
the mother of Ability Friendly Program participant Yossef Ahmad

QF’s Ability Friendly Program offers:

  • A football program
  • A swimming program
  • A playball program
  • A movement and meditation program
  • Summer and winter camps

Progressive Education

The Pillars of Learning

The essential role of local teachers in shaping young lives and building a stronger society in Qatar was reinforced in May, as QF brought together teachers from across the nation to share their stories, experiences, and practices – and help build the foundations of lifelong learning. 

The second annual Qatari Educators Gathering, organized by QF Pre-University Education’s (PUE) Education Development Institute, encouraged teachers to invest in their professional development, serve as role models for those they teach and empower, and build networks of communication between each other, with a particular focus on Qatari teachers. 

Abeer Al Khalifa, President of Pre-University Education, QF, told the teachers who attended the gathering: “Teachers are the main pillars in our schools, the driving force behind the success of our students and their progress toward building a better future – as well as a source of pride in their heritage and national identity. 

“Teachers are role models; they instill important values and beliefs in young people.” 

50 local teachers attended the Qatari Educators Gathering

Progressive Education

Global Perspectives

International experts in education headed to the Colombian city of Medellin in May for one of Latin America’s biggest educational events – with QF’s global education initiative WISE being instrumental in connecting them to help chart new paths for the future of learning.  

Together with the Global Education Forum (GEF), WISE organized the GEF & WISE@Medellin international summit under the theme “Beyond Education: Involving a Whole New Society in Learning’, with sessions focusing on topics including what future education models could look like, and the evolution of what it takes to be a true educational leader. 

Social Progress

Driving Dialogue

QF’s Doha Debates was also building connections through the podcast route – bringing its signature approach to debate to its new ‘Doha Debates Podcast’, where guests representing different and often opposing viewpoints on key global issues try to find common ground.  

And QF-founded QatarDebate organized the first International Conference on Debate and Dialogue, where over 800 experts and youth from around the world exchanged ideas about debating and learned from debate-focused research and insights.  

This summit is a great example of WISE’s mission as an organization that promotes and supports innovation in education in all its aspects.

Stavros Yiannouka
Over 800 participants – including scholars, educators, and thought leaders – attended the GEF & WISE@Medellin Summit, which featured nearly 100 speakers

Progressive Education

Arabic Exploration

Key questions and themes that shape the teaching and learning of Arabic in Europe and the UK were placed in the spotlight by Qatar Foundation International (QFI) in April, at a Brussels symposium that enabled educators, policymakers, and academics to share their perspectives.  

QFI has, for 14 years, encouraged the teaching of Arabic as a global language offered in classrooms beyond the Arab world, by supporting the professionalization of Arabic teaching, and research-driven methodologies and practices. In this vein, the symposium explored topics such as changing perceptions about the language and building sustainable Arabic programs for schools.

Social Progress

Reinforcing the Family

And QF’s Doha International Family Institute marked the International Day of Families with an Education City event emphasizing the socio-cultural value of the family in Qatari society.  

The talk also saw Her Excellency Dr. Hind Bint Abdul Rahman Al Muftah, Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations Office in Geneva, highlight the impact of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ on the world’s view of Qatari culture, saying: “We have been able to showcase ourselves as a role model for the social and cultural integration of many nationalities from different countries of the world.” 

We need to aim high – Arabic teachers should receive no less support than teachers of any other foreign language.

Paula Rötscher
QFI symposium panelist
Representatives from 14 countries attended the QFI symposium in Brussels

Progressive Education

A Message Through Art

Highlighting, in the words of its creator, “the strength of the nation and how it has overcome challenges”, the latest addition to the public art landscape at QF’s Education City was unveiled. 

‘Al Azzm’ comprises three granite sculptures depicting Qatari women wearing abayas and battoulahs – the region’s traditional clothing. Located close to the 2015 building (QF Headquarters), it was designed by His Excellency Sheikh Hassan Bin Mohammed Bin Ali Al Thani, Advisor of Cultural Affairs at QF, with the three women signifying the three pillars of QF: education, science, and community development. 

“The work showcases the women walking into the wind, which is illustrated by the angle of the sculptures as they lean into the wind and the rippling of the abayas,” explains His Excellency Sheikh Hassan, who designed the piece to commemorate QF’s 25th anniversary.  

“This aims to showcase a woman’s strength, confronting challenges faced in life, while the smooth granite was chosen to show the silk cloak, which embodies the strength and solidarity of the women.” 

Art is the jewel in the crown of civilization – it reflects the renaissance of nations and the advancement of societies.

His Excellency Sheikh Hassan Bin Mohammed Bin Ali Al Thani
Advisor of Cultural Affairs at QF