HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation’s Board of Directors, yesterday met with Prince Charles of Wales in her QF office. At the outset of the meeting, HH Sheikha Moza welcomed Prince Charles to QF and briefed him on the existing partnerships between the foundation and a number of British universities, research institutes and technology firms. She hailed the efforts by Prince Charles to promote dialogue among religions and his charity work that seeks to enhance local social development. The meeting also reviewed means of co-operation so as to create programmes that promote dialogue and deepen understanding between religions and cultures. The two sides also agreed to meet again to discuss future plans of these programmes, along the lines of the festival: “Qatar-UK 2013: Year of Culture.” PICTURE: Aisha Al Musallam / HHOPL
By Joseph Varghese/Staff Reporter
In a move aimed at further consolidating the already strong bilateral relations , Prince Charles launched the Qatar-UK Alumni Network yesterday at a special event at the Four Seasons Hotel Doha.
Minister of Energy and Industry HE Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada, who holds a doctorate from the University of Manchester, is the chair of the newly launched network.
Prince Charles and Dr al-Sada interacted with the invited members of the network who are prominently involved in many of the developmental activities of the country. Both of them went around and met with the alumni members who had assembled in different groups and had discussions with each group. A large number of Qataris graduated from the UK universities were present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr al-Sada said that it was a great occasion for celebration. “The bond between both the countries is stronger than ever before and the UK is one of the most important trade partners of Qatar. Furthermore, the initiatives of HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, in education and research have further strengthened the relationship between both the countries and resulted in the establishment of a number of British institutions in Qatar.” He further said that there were around 15,000 UK citizens living in Qatar and some 40,000 British nationals visited Qatar yearly. Martin Hope, the Director of British Council Doha, welcomed the gathering.
Thousands of Qatari students have completed their studies in the UK over the years. One of the members of the network, Sheikha Aisha bint Faleh bin Nasser al-Thani, a member of Supreme Education Council and the Chairperson and Founder of Al Faleh Group, said that it was a great opportunity for the graduates of different British universities to interact (for professional development).
She continued: “We have been waiting for such an initiative to happen and it is a real honour to have the launch of the network in the presence of HRH Prince Charles. Cultures of both the countries have jelled well to support the initiatives and the Qatar-UK Year of Culture 2013 is a great example of it .”
She said that in the early years, a large number of Qatari students had completed their education in the UK due to its geographical proximity to Qatar (when compared to the US). Sheikha Aisha holds an MBA and a doctorate from two British universities.
The alumni network is for citizens of Qatar who have graduated from a UK university with an undergraduate, postgraduate or doctorate qualification. The programme of the network includes an annual celebration of the new graduates returning to Qatar after completing their studies in the UK. The network also will have sector focused events which offer opportunities for professional development and exchange. There will also be a quarterly e- newsletter celebrating the achievements of Qatar-UK Alumni who are contributing to the development of the nation. Page 3
HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser hosted yesterday a luncheon banquet, at Al Wajbah Palace in honour of Prince Charles of Wales and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.