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Thursday, February 02, 2023 | Daily Newspaper published by GPPC Doha, Qatar.
 Joseph Varghese
Joseph Varghese
A journalist with a penchant for reporting events, Joseph Varghese digs deep to unearth facts. With several years of experience, including at Gulf Times, Joseph handles health, science and technology, IT and education in addition to everyday developments.
Sheikh Dr Khalid bin Jabor al-Thani is at the forefront of the fight against cancer in the country. PICTURE: Thajudheen.
Qatar
Qatar Cancer Society plans to gift innovative food products for cancer patients

Qatar Cancer Society (QCS) is planning to gift some innovative, organic and nutritional food products for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy, chairman Sheikh Dr Khalid bin Jabor al-Thani told Gulf Times. “We are in discussion with a group of researchers who have developed some healthy food that can help cancer patients, especially during the chemotherapy or radiotherapy period. Pending all the government and regulatory approvals, we plan to introduce it at the earliest possible, mostly by early 2023,” he explained in an interview. “ It is very difficult for cancer patients, during chemotherapy or radiotherapy, to eat. I met two scientists who have developed this food basket and discussed the feasibility of getting this novel organic food for our patients at discounted price so that we can gift it to our patients to support them in their hour of need,” explained Sheikh Dr Khalid. The QCS chairman said the programme will be discussed in detail at the next board meeting of QCS and a final decision taken on the modalities. “This food can be used as a chocolate bar as well as other types of food. It is all organic and has all the nutrients that a patient under treatment needs. As the patients cannot properly eat or have a proper meal during a chemo or radiotherapy, this would fulfill their needs,” he continued. Sheikh Dr Khalid noted that the food basket can be conveniently consumed by the patients during the course of chemotherapy or radiotherapy. “We are looking at the feasibility of providing the food basket to the eligible patients and we have to look at the cost factor. It all depends on the board decision about the financing part of it or getting a suitable sponsor for the programme. It will be very helpful for the patients as they eat only a little but it gives all the requirements that they need for the body,” he remarked. As for the new type of food, Sheikh Dr Khalid said that one of the scientists had in fact developed it for his wife who was undergoing treatment for cancer. He described: “They started a research about the right amount of food and nutrients that a cancer patient needs, did all the work and developed the food. In the beginning they used to make it at their house for their personal needs and later they turned commercial.” "Once we get the board approval, we have to approach other regulatory bodies for necessary permission to use the food. We need to get regulatory approvals from various organisations, government approvals that includes the Ministry of Public Health as well as other healthcare institutions in the country,” he added. The chairman added that QCS will enter into some major collaborations with several organisations in the country very soon that will help the society to efficiently continue the fight against cancer.    

Mohamed Nabeel al-Atwaan at the roundtable on Wednesday. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam.
Qatar
Lusail Stadium to be non-sporting facility post-World Cup

Leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come, the iconic Lusail Stadium, which will host the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 final and other matches, will be turned into a non-sporting facility after the completion of the tournament, an official disclosed on Wednesday. “This will be a legacy of the tournament with several components suitable for the Lusail City Master Plan,” revealed, Mohamed Nabeel al-Atwaan, FM director, Stadium 974 Operations, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy and projects director, Old Doha Port. "More details are being finalised," he explained at a roundtable organised by Ibtechar on 'Delivering Innovation Through 2022 - World Cup' which discussed the technological innovations for the tournament. “Khalifa International Stadium will retain the 40,000 capacity, that of five other stadiums are to be reduced and Stadium 974 fully dismantled. Most stadiums will have some other facilities added to them as the legacy of the tournament. “This World Cup will be the most sustainable with five pillars of sustainability and more than 70 initiatives incorporated in the whole planning. Sustainability was at the core of the planning, design, delivery and legacy right from the beginning.” According to the official, Stadium 974 is the most discussed and with a lot of innovation. “Using 974 containers which can be fully dismantled and used for various purposes or recycled into other forms, it is one of the best examples of sustainability, a legacy that will be remembered for a long time to come,” al-Atwaan added.    

Panelists at the roundtable. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam.
Qatar
Major tournaments in future will need cooling technology: expert

Most stadiums around the world will have to use the cooling technology in future irrespective of the tournaments being held in winter or summer, noted the master brain behind the cooling technology in the stadiums of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Dr Saud Abdul-Aziz Abdul-Ghani mechanical engineer, Professor at College of Engineering, Qatar University said “ With global warming and climate change, such technologies will have to be part of the design of any major stadiums,” said Abdul-Ghani. He was taking part in a panel discussion on organised by Ibtechar on “Delivering Innovation Through 2022 - World Cup” which discussed the technological innovations that will be used during the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2020. Abdul-Ghani was joined in the discussion by Mohamed Nabeel al-Atwaan FM Director, Stadium 974 Operations at the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy and projects director, Old Doha Port, and Abdelrazek Aly, co-founder and CEO at Bonocle, Inc. The session as moderated by Nayef al-Ibrahim, CEO and Co-founder of Ibtechar. Abdul-Ghani said: “We use clean energy to run our stadiums. They all come from PV panels. We use them sustainably as we want to make sure that whatever we do is sustainable and the energy is coming from clean source.” “But in many places the upper brink of the stadium go very heated even in winter times. It is called the brink of fire. This is because people breathe and they emit out a lot of heat. So no matter whether the tournament is in winter or summer, you need cooling system to offset the heat breathed out by people,” he continued. He stressed that those countries building new smart stadiums will need some cooling or air tempering for spectators and players. He also discussed the major challenges in the cooling technology for the stadiums in Qatar. “The main challenge in providing the cooling technology for an open stadium is to make sure that the cold air does not escape especially with the wind. So the prime focus was how the shape of the stadium should help you to make sure that the cooling generated stays inside,” he explained. Abdelrazek Aly highlighted how Qatar World Cup will be the most accessible one and the innovative ideas used to make it accessible for everyone. Al-Atween pointed out the innovations used in the design and construction of the stadiums and how the legacy part is taken care of. He highlighted the most sustainable stadium, the 974 Stadium.    

The winning design on a limousine. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam.
Qatar
QT announces winner of 'Iconic Limousine Design Concept' competition

  Maya Maasri Shaybane is the winner “Iconic Limousine Design Concept” competition, organised by Qatar Tourism (QT) in partnership with Mowasalat (Karwa). Shaybane, whose design is to be displayed on the new fleet of limousines, won an award of QR100,000. With over 6,500 votes, Chamseddine Chakroun’s received the biggest number of public votes and rewarded with QR50,000. In addition, the 20 shortlisted participants received a cash prize of QR 1,500 for their contribution. The winner of the competition, Maya Maasri Shaybane with HE Akbar al-Baker and HE Dr Saad Ahmed al-Muhannadi The winning entry – chosen from over 450 submissions -was announced on Monday at a function attended by top officials of various organisations. The winners were awarded by the chairman of Qatar Tourism and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, HE Akbar al-Baker and Public Works Authority (Ashghal) president and chairman of Mowasalat, HE Dr Saad Ahmed al-Muhannadi presented the awards. The contest was aimed at creating the design for the fleet of iconic limousines, inspired by Qatar’s cultural heritage and touristic experiences. The jury consisted of HE al-Baker, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy Secretary General HE Hassan al-Thawadi; Mowasalat CEO Fahad Saad al-Qahtani; Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar dean Amir Berbi?; and Qatar Museums' Liwan Design Studios and Labs director Aisha Nasser al-Sowaidi. Speaking at the event, HE Akbar al-Baker that the competition was truly one of a kind. “Through this initiative, we had the unique opportunity to engage creatives across our nation and provide them with the chance to submit a design that would be branded on iconic limousines across the country,” he explained. “Placed on the upcoming fleet of Iconic Limousines, these designs would surely leave a mark on visitors to Qatar. The designs we received highlighted our country’s cultural identity, and showcased Qatar’s incredible growth, evolution, and authenticity,” added al- Baker. Al-Qahtani said the project tapped into the creative wealth of the country and shines a light on a greener future of transportation. "We have seen amazing designs with powerful messages, based on the love for our country and the responsibility for its future." Al-Thawadi said: "We have some incredibly talented designers in our community and competitions like this shine a light on their skills.” Qatar-based artists followed the three distinctive themes for the Iconic Limousines’ design: Qatar’s culture and heritage, its progressive future, and its sustainability and eco-friendly vision. The qualifying designs were initially shortlisted by a panel at QT, followed by a public vote, and lastly, an evaluation by a jury of expert Qatari personalities, which selected the winning design. The design was unveiled at M7 in Msheireb in the notable presence of representatives from leading national organisations. As part of QT’s Service Excellence programme, the branded fleet of limousines will be available for booking through the Karwa mobile application and customer service centre. The limousines will offer a unique, and best-in-class service to visitors, showcasing Qatar’s renowned and authentic hospitality.

Dignitaries at the launch of the Qatar Sustainability Week 2022 yesterday. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam
Qatar
Earthna Centre kicks off Qatar Sustainability Week 2022

* Environment minister stresses importance of concerted efforts to protect environment amid unprecedented global challenges       Earthna Centre for a Sustainable Future (Earthna), centre along with its partners has launched seventh edition of Qatar Sustainability Week (QSW) 2022. HE Sheikh Dr Faleh bin Nasser bin Ahmad bin Ali al-Thani, Minister of Environment and Climate Change; and Dr Gonzalo Castro de la Mata, executive director of Earthna, among others, were present at the event held at Msheireb Downtown. Earthna, a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), in partnership with strategic, commercial, community, media and gift partners has launched the campaign that will last until October 15. The week-long campaign aims to promote the nation’s sustainability vision, and will bring together government and private sector organizations, businesses and the local community to deliver over 300 sustainability-related activities, events and initiatives. The campaign will focus on taking action to encourage efficient use of resources including water, energy, and food, as well as reduce waste and promote recycling. Sheikh Dr Faleh delivered a speech during the event, stressing the importance of having concerted efforts to protect the environment in the midst of the unprecedented challenges facing the world, affirming Qatar's keenness to achieve sustainable development and conserve the environment. He said: “To realise Qatar’s ambitions of achieving sustainable development, it is crucial that we work together as a society. Government, the private sector, non-profit organisations, education institutions and members of the community must collectively plan for and deliver continual action, focused on preserving Qatar’s environment and making the country a safe, healthy place to live and work for current and future generations. I am delighted to be here today to celebrate what this looks like in practice at the launch of Qatar Sustainability Week 2022, one of the largest community-focused initiatives of its kind in the region.” He said Qatar Sustainability Week, which is considered one of the major societal initiatives of its kind in the region, is primarily highlighted through the practical obligation of Qatar to work collectively, especially since it brings together over 30 companies and enterprises in one place as partners, emphasising that over 200 companies and enterprises will converge over the week to demonstrate their dedication to supporting the sustainability efforts in Qatar. He pointed out that Qatar Sustainability Week this year will focus on the efficient utilisation of water, energy and food, reduction of waste, enhance recycling and the preplanned activities, initiatives and events within the framework of these themes which are manifestly and concretely connected to the goals the State is striving to achieve. Opening the event, Dr de la Mata, explained the wider benefit that local action can have on people and the environment: “While the primary focus for Qatar Sustainability Week 2022 is on delivering practical, tangible actions, many of the planned activities are linked to broader sustainability ambitions, and contribute to cultivating healthy spaces in our individual lives and as communities, improving physical, social and mental wellbeing, and taking care of the environment.” The conference was also attended by representatives from QSW 2022’s strategic partners, including the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Msheireb Properties, Qatar Museums, Ministry of Public Health, Qatar Rail, Tarsheed/Kahramaa, Qatar National Bank, Education Above All, United Development Company, Seashore Recycling and Sustainability, Qatar Tourism, Alwakra Municipality, Microsoft, Expo 2023 and Ooredoo, who spoke on the involvement of their organisations during the campaign. This year’s commercial partners include Carrefour Qatar, LuLu Hypermarkets in Qatar, Mega Mart, talabat and Abdullah Abdulghani & Bros. Co, while community partners include DEAP, Bedaya, Classtap, HADIQAA, Enbat, GWC, Greener Future, Wahab, Engineers Australia, Qatar Natural History Group, Paper Cut and Saad bin Moath Primary School for Boys.    

Dr Gonzalo Castro de la Mata.
Qatar
Qatar Sustainability Week 2022 to host over 415 events

Over 415 events, activities and initiatives will take place as part of this year’s Qatar Sustainability Week, disclosed Dr Gonzalo Castro de la Mata, executive director of the Earthna Centre for a Sustainable Future in an interview with Gulf Times. “This includes a number of technical workshops by Earthna, HBKU, Qeeri and others; a tree planting marathon by Expo Qatar 2023; activities for families and children at Heenat Salma Farm, The Pearl and Kahrama Awareness Park; the creation of several new recycling hubs; mangrove conservation with Mandarin Oriental; beach cleanups with Deap Qatar; and gardening workshops as well as community garden building at Hadiqaa among many others,” said, Dr de la Mata. The official explained “Qatar Sustainability Week 2022 looks to build on the successes of previous editions and involve the local community in variety of sustainability-oriented activities, to raise awareness of sustainability issues and showcase the progress Qatar has made in recent years. This year’s QSW will run until October 15 and will focus on taking action to encourage efficient use of resources including water, energy, and food, reduce waste and promote recycling.” The executive director of the Earthna centre clarified that the Qatar Sustainability Week 2022 is a legacy initiative of the Qatar Green Building Council, which was transitioned by Qatar Foundation into what Earthna is now. “It is a privilege for us to build on the great work that has been done by QGBC over the past six years, including the successful delivery of over 1,260 sustainability focused events and the engagement of more than 200,000 members of the public. We also look forward to many more milestones and successes as we look to start a new chapter of sustainability work in Qatar,” he remarked. “Bringing people together to take action is at the heart of Qatar Sustainability week, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our partners and sponsors for their relentless support and their belief in our vision to generate a more sustainable future for all of us,” added the offical.    

QF officials Khalifa al-Kubaisi and Mashal Shahbik announcing the World Cup campaign on Sunday. PICTURE: Thajudheen.
Qatar
QF launches World Cup campaign

Qatar Foundation (QF) on Sunday launched the World Cup campaign 'It’s Only Football if it’s For All' and announced a number of events in the run up to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. “Several events and activities will be taking place at Education City ahead of and during the tournament. All these programmes are open for everyone to enjoy,” said, Khalifa al-Kubaisi, director of Media, QF. At a press conference at the QF headquarters he was joined by Mashal Shahbik, director of Events & protocol, QF. The World Cup campaign video by QF was launched at the event. QF’s World Cup campaign reflects how the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and the Arab world is intended to be the most accessible ever, and the organisation’s own commitment to providing inclusive opportunities for everyone to explore and benefit from. HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad al-Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation, said in a press statement: “The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is all about people, and about bringing people together to enjoy a shared and unforgettable experience – one that everyone can be part of. “Placing accessibility and inclusivity at the core of our World Cup campaign, 'It’s Only Football if it’s For All', reflects QF’s commitment to providing opportunities for everyone to engage in and benefit from, and our support for Qatar’s aim of hosting the most accessible FIFA World Cup ever. Our mission is built around empowering people, and we believe that empowerment happens when pathways for involvement, engagement, and discovery are opened up to all.” Hassan al-Thawadi, Secretary General, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, said: “Qatar Foundation is a critical national partner in delivering a successful FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Education City Stadium will host games up to the quarter-finals stage of the tournament; and throughout our preparation over the last 12 years, QF has played a vital role in many different areas, including research, development, technology and collaboration on social programmes. QF’s plans for the World Cup work towards an important ambition for us – ensuring the tournament brings people together and leaves a lasting legacy of accessibility and empowerment for people from all walks of life.” The QF officials also told the press conference that the commitment to accessibility will be demonstrated in the weeks leading up to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and during the tournament itself, through an array of festivals, activations, and fun for the local, regional, and global community at Education City, which will be open to all every day. Among QF’s line up of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 activities is the second edition of its D’reesha Performing Arts Festival, from December 11-17 at Oxygen Park in Education City and providing a platform for people from Qatar, the region, and the world to celebrate creativity and culture. Under the theme of Travel and Adventure, D’reesha will showcase the richness and vibrancy of Arab culture, language, and heritage through the lens of music, theatre, poetry, storytelling, education, and science. This year’s festival will include D’reesha of Invention and Innovation, a STEM-focused element sponsored by ConocoPhillips Qatar and highlighting scientists, scholars, and researchers from across the Arab world. Education City will also be the venue for the Generation Amazing Festival from November 15-20 which will see school groups from all FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 nations participate in workshops, activities, and a Generation Amazing football tournament. QF is currently hosting the Street Child World Cup 2022 which runs until October 15 and brings together street-connected children from throughout the world for a football tournament, an arts festival, and a platform to advocate for their rights. Leaving a lasting legacy of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 for education, Qatar Foundation (QF) will house two of its schools at the Education City Stadium after the mega event is over, disclosed Khalifa al-Kubaisi, director of Media. “The Qatar Academy for Science and Technology and Academyati School are to be housed in the Education City Stadium,” he told Gulf Times in reply to a question at the press conference on Sunday.    

The Translation and Training Centre at the Translation and Interpreting Institute (TII) of QF's Hamad Bin Khalifa University has developed audio-descriptive commentary services in Arabic providing inclusivity for all sections of the fans. The services provided in collaboration with the Centre for Access to Football in Europe were introduced during the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021 for 10 matches and will be expanded to cover all the matches during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Qatar
QF to house two schools at Education City Stadium after World Cup

Leaving a lasting legacy of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 for education, Qatar Foundation (QF) will house two of its schools at the Education City Stadium after the mega event is over, disclosed Khalifa al-Kubaisi, director of Media. “The Qatar Academy for Science and Technology and Academyati School are to be housed in the Education City Stadium,” he told Gulf Times in reply to a question at the press conference yesterday. Al-Kubaisi said there will be several events and activities before and during the World Cup within the Education City and will highlight and reflect QF’s efforts at bestowing a lasting legacy of the tournament. “We will also be launching an Accessibility Guide to support people with disabilities -from and beyond Qatar – to explore the nation during the tournament. The guide, which will be launched before the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, highlighting accessible activities and programmes at QF’s Education City and those available across the country,” continued al-Kubaisi. “We are developing sensory rooms for the special needs people to experience the World Cup in a better way. There will also be programmes for women as well as workshop among others,” he explained. From its Ability Friendly sports programme and the platforms it provides for increasing the participation of women and girls in sports, to its role in ensuring the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is accessible to people with disabilities and fostering a culture of volunteering in Qatar, QF is contributing to a sporting and social legacy for Qatar that endures far beyond the tournament. As it invites the community of Qatar and the global community to be part of its celebrations of this milestone in Qatar’s history, QF is aiming to harness the power of sport to amplify the message that accessibility and inclusivity are cornerstones of a strong society, and a united world. And with the Education City Stadium being a FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 venue, there will be a full lineup of activities on both matchdays and non-matchdays for football fans and the general public alike, with Education City being fully open to everyone at all times. QF’s support for the World Cup includes helping to make the tournament more accessible for people with disabilities, through partnering with FIFA to provide specialised training for Accessibility Volunteers who will play a key role in ensuring all fans attending the tournament have a welcoming and unforgettable experience. This reflects QF’s commitment to cultivating the spirit of volunteerism across Qatar, a commitment that will continue after the World Cup.    

HE Sheikh Dr Faleh bin Nasser bin Ahmad bin Ali al-Thani, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Dr Gonzalo Castro de la Mata and Meshal M al-Shamari along with others at the launch event. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam.
Qatar
Earthna Centre kicks-off Qatar Sustainability Week 2022

Earthna Centre for a Sustainable Future (Earthna), centre along with its partners has launched seventh edition of Qatar Sustainability Week (QSW) 2022. HE Sheikh Dr Faleh bin Nasser bin Ahmad bin Ali al-Thani, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Dr Gonzalo Castro de la Mata, executive director of Earthna, Meshal M al-Shamari, senior director, Streategic Initatives and Stakeholder Engagement among others were present at the event held at Msheireb Downtown. Earthna, a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), in partnership with strategic, commercial, community, media and gift partners has launched the campaign that will last until October 15. The week-long campaign aims to promote the nation’s sustainability vision, and will bring together government and private sector organizations, businesses and the local community to deliver over 300 sustainability-related activities, events and initiatives. The campaign will focus on taking action to encourage efficient use of resources including water, energy, and food, as well as reduce waste and promote recycling. Sheikh Dr Faleh delivered a speech during the event that stressed the importance of taking a collaborative approach to sustainability He said: “To realise Qatar’s ambitions of achieving sustainable development, it is crucial that we work together as a society. Government, the private sector, non-profit organizations, education institutions and members of the community must collectively plan for and deliver continual action, focused on preserving Qatar’s environment and making the country a safe, healthy place to live and work for current and future generations. I am delighted to be here today to celebrate what this looks like in practice at the launch of Qatar Sustainability Week 2022, one of the largest community-focused initiatives of its kind in the region.” Opening the event, Dr de la Mata, explained the wider benefit that local action can have on people and the environment: “Whilst the primary focus for Qatar Sustainability Week 2022 is on delivering practical, tangible actions, many of the planned activities are linked to broader sustainability ambitions, and contribute to cultivating healthy spaces in our individual lives and as communities, improving physical, social and mental wellbeing, and taking care of the environment.” The conference was also attended by representatives from QSW 2022’s strategic partners, including the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Msheireb Properties, Qatar Museums, Ministry of Public Health, Qatar Rail, Tarsheed/Kahramaa, Qatar National Bank, Education Above All, United Development Company, Seashore Recycling and Sustainability, Qatar Tourism, Alwakra Municipality, Microsoft, Expo 2023 and Ooredoo, who spoke on the involvement of their organisations during the campaign. This year’s commercial partners include Carrefour Qatar, Lulu Hypermarkets in Qatar, Mega Mart, talabat and Abdullah Abdulghani & Bros. Co, while community partners include DEAP, Bedaya, Classtap, HADIQAA, Enbat, GWC, Greener Future, Wahab, Engineers Australia, Qatar Natural History Group, Paper Cut and Saad bin Moath Primary School for Boys.    

Gulf Times
Qatar
HBKU gears up to host 9th Sports Tournament for GCC Universities

Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) is gearing up to host the 9th Sports Tournament for GCC Universities and Higher Education Institutes and has welcomed Qatar Olympic Committee’s announcement of the establishment of the Qatar Collegiate Sports Federation (QCSF). Wadha al-Saud, the sports and recreation activities supervisor at HBKU Student Affairs, said that the HBKU welcomes the establishment of the QCSF and how it reflects a great awareness of the importance of sports for university students. She highlighted the HBKU’s commitment to provide students with opportunities to practise various sports activities to help promote their abilities, and encourages them to take part in organising and managing these events. The HBKU will host the 9th Sports Tournament for GCC Universities and Higher Education Institutes from February 4-10, 2023. “The university has always been a pioneer in co-operating with higher education institutions (HEIs) in Qatar,” al-Saud said. “Prior to the establishment of the QCSF, the university organised many events that brought together these institutions, and has paid attention to co-operating with the QCSF, the Qatar Olympic Committee and Qatari sports federations,” she added. “Reflecting these aims, the HBKU is currently gearing up to organise and host the 9th Sports Tournament for GCC Universities and Higher Education Institutes 2023.” The official said that the Committee of Student Affairs Deans decided, during its 32nd meeting held in Oman under the umbrella of the General Secretariat of the GCC, that the HBKU would organise and host the event in 2023. “Since then, the HBKU has been preparing for this big event, both at the level of participation and organisation,” al-Saud said. “A complete restructuring is currently taking place for the participating university teams to ensure a good representation for the HBKU, especially as it is the host university.” “On the other hand, we have developed a comprehensive plan for hosting these games,” she added. “Our university co-operates with the Qatar Olympic Committee, represented by the QCSF, as well as other Qatari sports federations.” According to al-Saud, the HBKU is keen to form various sports teams in different games in which students can participate and develop their capabilities. “This is not limited to sports participation only,” she stressed. “The university also involves its students in organising and managing these events. There are many students who take part in refereeing and coaching in addition to playing." “The HBKU has always been a pioneer in co-operating with Qatar’s HEIs,” the official said. “It has organised many events to bring together HEIs even before the establishment of the QCSF.” “This role also extends to co-operating with the country’s sports entities,” al-Saud added. “The sports department at the HBKU enjoys strong relations with many of the country’s sports authorities.” “The HBKU’s hosting of the 9th Sports Tournament for GCC Universities and Higher Education Institutes will provide a great opportunity to deepen and expand our co-operation with other institutions and all parties who will help the university organise such a major event,” she said. “The HBKU uses the various sports facilities inside Education City. It also utilises external facilities for some sports, including those of the sports federations, in addition to padel facilities,” she said. “The university is keen to take advantage of these facilities at all available times, as part of its endeavours to provide diverse sports venues to encourage students to train regularly and raise their physical and skill levels in various sports activities.”

WISH panelists on 'Sport for Mental Health'. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam.
Qatar
25% increase in mental health issues since Covid-19: WISH study

There has been 25% increase in mental health issues since the Covid-19 pandemic, according to an expert who shared the findings of a recent report on the topic at WISH 2022, which concluded on Thursday. “Mental health is one of top 10 burdens of diseases globally, with a 25% increase since the pandemic, and sport offers a great toolbox to tackle the mental health crisis. Our report brings together evidence that sport is as effective as pharmacological methods in addressing anxiety and stress, and at a lower cost,” said Kaitlin Simpson, University of Edinburgh, UK; coach, Special Olympics, who contributed to the report commissioned by World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH). Simpson was speaking at a panel discussion on the topic of “Sport for Mental Health: A Global Strengths-based System.” Other panelists included Sir Mo Farah, British athlete; Sheikha Intisar al-Sabah, founder of Intisar Foundation; Dr Kamran Abassi, editor in chief of the British Medical Journal and Ollie Dudfield, associate director Olympism 365, International Olympic Committee. The session was moderated by BBC journalist, Stephen Sackur. Sheikha al-Sabah commented on the challenges within the Islamic world where girls and women aged 12 and older are less likely to engage in sports due to cultural reasons. She also underscored the role of physical activity in dealing with psychological trauma and ridding the body of excess adrenaline and cortisol from trauma. “We need to broaden the conversation on the wealth of evidence on the benefits of exercise and movement. Sport itself is less researched than exercise more broadly. And although there is a lot of evidence about the physical and mental health benefits of sport, my assessment would be that it’s still an emerging field of science, which needs to be more researched,” Dr Abassi, explained. “We need a radical change in society – a society that focuses on outcomes relating to health and well-being, people and planet. Our focus at the moment is where we are going wrong as a global society. We need to make a better world for ourselves and we need to advocate for it,” he added.    

Sir Mo Farah in conversation with Stephen Sackur on Thursday at WISH.
Qatar
Sports can be a great enabler of mental health: Mo Farah

Sports can help people develop the right attitude to face tough situations and overcome challenges by keeping physically and mentally active, Sir Mo Farah, one of the great athletes of the recent years told the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) gathering on Thursday. “ It is the right attitude and the ability to overcome the challenges that determine the realization of the goals. Sports is a great enabler in this regard,” noted, the British double Olympic champion in 5,000 and 10,000m in 2012 and 2016 as well as in the World Athletic Championship. He is the most successful British track athlete in modern Olympic Games history. “Young people can benefit a lot from physical activity. Whether they are interested in sports or not, they hugely benefit from the physical activities. This helps them not only to keep in good health but also to be focused on their life goals,” he explained. Sport and its positive contributions to mental health was the key focus of the discussion, Farah had with veteran journalist, Stephen Sackur. Farah reflected on his monumental success as a long-distance runner, saying that his running has always served as an anchor to him, particularly during the moments of instability he has faced in his life. When asked about how children across the globe in sport and movement can be collectively engaged, Farah emphasised the need for adults to serve as role models as well as provide the necessary support and encouragement. He said he was fortunate to be at the right place and at the right time and the support he received to groom his skills. “It was the support I got from my teacher who coached me in my school as well the coaches who trained in the local clubs. I would not be where I am today, if I had not received such great support from all of them. If I can do it, why can’t others?” he added.    

The panellists at the session.
Qatar
Precision medicine 'key to disease prevention'

Precision medicine with the help of biobanks can facilitate healthcare systems plan preventive measures to combat several diseases, experts noted Wednesday at a panel discussion during the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) 2022. Dr Nahla Maher Afifi, director of Qatar Biobank, Qatar Foundation, said that in Qatar, all the partners in the precision medicine programme are part of the larger programme including academics, researchers, universities among others. “We also have the clinical eco-system of Cerner, a common platform for the healthcare faciliites. In addition to the Biobank we also have the research centres in Qatar University, Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) among others that contribute to precision medicine,” she said. “Precision medicine leads to preventive practices with the help of the data made available through the Biobank as we diagnose people and understand the basic issues through the collection of samples. Through our data, we found that about 20% of the population are in the pre-diabetes stage while 25% is pre-hypertensive. With this data we work out plans that will prevent the population from developing these diseases further and make them live healthier,” added Dr Afifi. Dr Michaelath Maryrhofer, head of ELSI Services and research, BBMRI- ERIC; Alison Parry Jones, operations director, Wales Cancer Biobank; Dr Zisis Kozlakidis, head of Laboratory Services and Biobanking,IARC, WHO and Prof Dr Karine Sargsyan, managing director for International Biobanking and Education, Medical University of Graz were also part of the discussion. The session was moderated by Yalda Hakim, a BBC journalist. Dr Kozlakidis explained what precision medicine is and how it benefits the population and healthcare systems to get prepared for any medical situation. “Precision medicine provides valuable inputs with the help of data collected through biobanks and help healthcare systems reach solutions. We have several such examples especially during the Covid-19 pandemic,” he noted. The experts also said that it was important to get connected to the data which will provide added value to the findings and solutions.

A panel discussion that included HE the Minister of Public Health Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam
Qatar
WISH 2022 gets underway highlighting recent challenges and way forward

The three-day World Innovation Summit for Health ( WISH) 2022 conference held under the theme "Healing The Future" started Tuesday at Multaqa in the Education City. Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation opened the summit. Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of Tanzania, speaking at the opening ceremony. (supplied picture) The opening ceremony was attended by Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of Tanzania; Jeannette Kagame, First Lady of Rwanda; Dr Fatima Maada Bio, First Lady of Sierra Leone, a number of their excellencies, Sheikhs, ministers, policy makers, scholars and specialists from around the world. “WISH has always been a summit of big ideas. This year our themes are many, with one overarching goal – a search for solutions to enable all of us to live balanced, safe and healthy lives,” said Sheikha Moza in her opening remarks. Another panel discussion on day one of WISH 2022. Prof Lord Darzi of Denham, executive chair of WISH said: “This has been WISH’s mission from the start: to bring people together to develop, to promote, disseminate innovations that can really transform the world. Over the next three days, it is my hope that we can learn together, inspire each other to achieve our shared ambitions. We can show the world how, in place of discord and division, collaboration and cooperation can help us meet the challenges we face. With the power of the WISH community, we can promote better health for everyone and broaden access to high quality care for all. This is what we mean by healing the future.” Keynote speaker, Dr Noubar Afeyan The audience also heard from Tanzanian President Hassan who recognised the key role WISH has had by contributing immensely to the literature on health issues and on influencing governmental policies aiming to achieve universal healthcare. She noted: “The interest of WISH of having a fair, equitable, and healthy world is clearly reflected by the range of experts gathered here today. I’m witnessing firsthand the enthusiasm of key global players in the health sector to drive efforts to promote healthier and equitable access to health services in order to achieve sustainable development. Certainly, today's conference is a state in the right direction and I'm in full support of it." HE Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari, Qatar's Minister of Public Health; Dr Ahmed al-Mandhari, regional director for the Eastern Mediterranean of the World Health Organisation and ministerial delegations from 16 countries were also present, including those from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Prof Lord Darzi of Denham addressing the gathering. The keynote speaker at the opening ceremony, Dr Noubar Afeyan, founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering, and co-founder of Moderna, the American pharmaceutical and biotechnology company that developed a key vaccine for Covid-19 said: “The efforts of all of us in this room to advance human health are taking place against the backdrop of what we call a Health Care System, but in reality is a Sick Care System. We spend an enormous amount of time, effort, and money treating people once they are sick, rather than trying to keep them healthy. “By waiting for disease to manifest, costs are higher, preventing many from accessing care and outcomes are worse. Early detection that preempts disease or reverses or manages a pre-disease condition could offer a solution to health care inequities. We call this preemptive health: the application of leading-edge biological sciences and digital technology to traditional public health goals.” Speaking in the context of the creation of Moderna’s safe and highly effective Covid-19 vaccine, he emphasised the role of innovation and imagination in creating breakthrough leaps in biotechnology, and examined the pathway to preventing and preempting disease before it takes hold of. The opening ceremony concluded with an expert panel discussion on building the resilience of global health systems. The discussion was underpinned by an evidence-based policy report launched shortly before the summit titled “Building Health System Resilience; a roadmap for navigating future pandemics”. Day one of WISH also hosted a forum discussion based on the WISH 2022 report titled “A new era for vaccine innovation: Harnessing the lessons learned from Covid-19 Vaccine”. Expert speakers included Dr Jerome Kim, director general, International Vaccine Institute, and Prof Dame Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford and co-developer of the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

HE Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari addressing the panel discussion.
Qatar
Health minister highlights Qatar's resilience during Covid-19

The Minister of Public Health HE Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari highlighted Qatar’s efforts as well as the measures adopted by the country in overcoming the challenges posed by Covid-19, at the opening day of World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) 2022. “When the health systems are overwhelmed, the whole world suffers as we have seen during the pandemic. Therefore investing in health systems and building the resilience is not a cost but an assurance,” stressed the minister during a panel discussion at the opening ceremony. According to Dr al-Kuwari, the pandemic was not just a challenge but also an opportunity to test the resilience of the healthcare system and be better positioned and prepared for any pandemic in future. She remarked that Qatar has dealt with Covid-19 pandemic with flexibility and excellently executed its plans, managed to build an information system that is capable of overcoming the emergency cases, provided the essential quarantine spaces and medical families, in addition to building the capacities of the medical practitioners to ensure their physical and psychological integrity. She explained: “Qatar did remarkably well to meet the challenges of the pandemic as our economy remained active, children attended school through online resources and despite high number of transmission of the virus, we had one of the least mortality rates in the world itself.” The minister said that Qatar has several lessons to share with the world. She explained: “We had focused on infrastructure by building a number of healthcare facilities that contributed to our resilience. This helped to face the pandemic and the associated challenges by creating the capacity needed to face the pandemic. We also focused to work together and a resilient health system can’t win without collaboration.” “Everyone in Qatar had equal access to vaccination and other healthcare needs irrespective of social or economic background. Our strong primary healthcare system contributed greatly to the success of the vaccination distribution,” she highlighted. The health minister noted that the training and development of the workforce in the country meant that they were equipped to meet the challenges and helped in overcoming the pandemic effectively. “In Qatar we had benefitted from preparing public health emergencies and national emergencies and that plan has really paid off. The role of healthcare workers was very much instrumental in overcoming the challenges,” added, Dr al-Kuwari.

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser delivers opening remarks at WISH 2022 Tuesday. PICTURE: AR Al-Baker.
Qatar
Sheikha Moza opens WISH 2022, calls for balanced, healthy lives

*First in-person World Innovation Summit for Health since 2018 opens at Multaqa, Education City Sheikha Moza underlines the strong connection that links health and sports Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation (QF) highlighted the need for ‘transformative events to inspire individuals and remind them of the responsibility towards their personal health and their community’ while opening the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) 2022, Tuesday. “There can be no substitute for the essential work done by the medical practitioners, researchers and doctors who deliver quality healthcare to patients worldwide. Nonetheless, there is room for preventative practices that can take place prior to patients seeing their doctors. We look towards transformative events to inspire individuals and remind them of their responsibility towards their personal health and their community,” stressed Sheikha Moza. Welcoming the delegates to WISH Summit, QF' global healthcare initiative, Sheikha Moza highlighted: “Welcome to the first World Innovation Summit for Health held in-person since 2018. As you well know, in a few weeks’ time, Qatar will also host another international event – the FIFA World Cup. Two core ideas form the strong connection that links our summit to the World Cup: Health and Sports.” “WISH has always been a summit of big ideas. This year our themes are many, with one overarching goal – a search for solutions to enable all of us to live balanced, safe and healthy lives. For instance, how to avoid mental fatigue, burn-out, and unhealthy eating habits. These are fundamental challenges to contemporary society,” explained, Sheikha Moza. “This is where sports and exercise play a huge role, as participation is unlimited by age or class, but open to all. The world of health and fitness is broad, and everyone can find something to suit their interests and capabilities. Sports and fitness can be professions for those with talent, hobbies for those who enjoy them and are necessities for all according to ability,” she continued. The QF chairperson noted that exercise needs to be a fundamental part of people’s lives. Sheikha Moza said: “When we make exercise a fundamental part of our lives and a consistent part in our daily routine, we create space for stability and creativity. We need new and innovative ways to encourage patients to become active participants in the healthcare process so that they become our partners in building an effective and robust global healthcare system.” “We can do this by making basic information on health and fitness accessible to everyone – so that while professionals are busy researching pressing healthcare challenges, individuals play their parts by exercising. This may seem obvious, but underscoring the importance of exercise and sport really is at the heart of achieving healthy living for individuals, communities and the world,” pointed out, Sheikha Moza. “Big sporting events always have been a source of inspiration, motivating Qatar to host the FIFA World Cup, breathing new life into our country. Events such as these can inspire us all, here in Qatar and across the world, to re-build our healthcare systems, making them robust and accessible to all,” Sheikha Moza added.

Dr Victor Pineda addresses the audience at the event.
Qatar
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 to be the most accessible football tournament

The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will be the most accessible tournament in the history of the game, which could be a major legacy of the event, a renowned speaker and disability rights expert Dr Victor Pineda told an audience at a Qatar Foundation (QF) Education City Speaker Series Monday. “I hope that the momentum generated around accessibility will live on beyond the World Cup and that all the work done on accessibility will be disseminated to every school, to every place of employment, and to every public space, so persons with disabilities can continue to benefit from it,” the president and founder of the Pineda Foundation and World Enabled stated during the event at Qatar National Library Monday. Dr Victor Pineda highlights the need for accessibility. In conversation with Luisa Baldini, a former BBC correspondent, Dr Pineda spoke on the topic 'Recognising a Right: Why We Need to Build an Accessible World.' The talk, organised in collaboration with the World Innovation Summit for Health, QF’s global healthcare initiative, explored the challenges that people with disabilities continue to face, how they can be overcome, and why shaping a truly accessible world is everyone’s responsibility. “If people are still just thinking of elevators and ramps when they hear accessibility, then they are missing the entire conversation. We're talking about innovation, transformation, and building a future where all people can express their full potential,” said, Dr Pineda. A frequent visitor to Qatar, Dr Pineda noted that he has seen the country drastically change as it has prepared to host the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. He highlighted the need for increased advocacy, saying: “Advocacy isn’t just a destination, it's a way of thinking and opening the door for discussion and debate, recognising the dreams, hopes, frustrations, and barriers of persons with disabilities. “We can’t stop there, we need to go beyond just inspiring people to advocate for change, but also equipping them with the appropriate tools and expertise to bring about change.” According to Dr Pineda, the only way to succeed in creating truly accessible and inclusive spaces is to have an integrated cross-sectoral approach to identifying and eliminating barriers and looking at those barriers in a holistic way. “Think beyond ramps and look at innovation – think about tech and digital accessibility – which is a disruptive force to unlocking new capabilities in the public, private, and education sector.” He highlighted that by being digitally accessible, organisations can future proof their digital infrastructure. “If we do it right, technology can unlock potential and elevate the voices and aspirations of those that are most marginalised.” Dr Pineda also stressed the need to involve more people with disabilities in the innovation sphere. “Persons with disabilities make up 15% of the global population, but less than 1% of venture capital investments go to founders of enterprises that are people with disabilities. There is a huge investment gap when it comes to innovation for and by persons with disabilities.” Dr Pineda appealed the organisations and policymakers to approach the topic of accessibility and inclusion from a place of curiosity and openness. “Understand how this fits into your existing plans. Don't think about it just for diversity and inclusion, think about it as innovation and transformation, and an exciting way to unlock potential within your organisation.” He called on organisations, particularly HR departments, to actively create a barrier free environment for people with disabilities and to bring in trusted partners to help develop a bigger narrative, not just about specialised services, but about what it means to have an inclusive workplace. “The way an organisation hires directly indicates what it values, so make sure to build accessibility into it,” he noted. Commenting on inclusion and accessibility in education and the active role of teachers in it, he asked teachers to approach the space with humility. “Believe the parents. Believe the child. They are not lying about disability. Be open to the possibility of changing the curriculum, to the possibility of adjusting, and to the possibility of learning something from the students and the parents. Open yourself up to new discoveries,” he added.

Officials announcing details of the exhibition Sunday at the press conference. PICTURE: Thajudheen.
Qatar
New exhibition highlights milestones in football World Cup history

The ‘World of Football’ exhibition at the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum highlights several milestones from previous editions of the World Cup and features some of the major attractions of the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The details and highlights of the exhibition were disclosed Sunday at a press briefing at the museum attended by director Abdulla al-Mulla, acting head of exhibitions Aalia Khalid al-Khater, main sponsor ExxonMobil Qatar's vice president and government affairs director Saleh al-Mana, and sports heritage consultant and exhibition curator Andrew Pearce. Exhibits including Diego Maradona's boots (left). The exhibition which runs until April 1, 2023 features some special items from the football world over the years. They include a football used in the finals of the first World Cup tournament in 1930; the first written account of the rules of football, determining how the sport is played; Pele’s Santos shirt from 1973, the year he came to play in Doha; and jerseys worn by some of the sport’s all-time greats. Among the exhibition highlights is the jersey worn by Argentine great, Diego Maradona described by many players as ‘the greatest player of all time’ when he scored twice to give Argentina a 2-1 lead against England in the quarter finals of the 1986 FIFA World Cup. The jersey is on loan to the exhibition after being sold at auction in May 2022, when it became the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever purchased. Scarves of participating teams in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 seen displayed in the museum. PICTURES: Thajudheen. The president of 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulla al-Thani, said: “Our exhibition will provide a unique experience for visitors of all ages and backgrounds and will not be only limited to football fans. It will also showcase how inclusivity in any sport plays a pivotal role in bringing people together and bridging gaps.” The exhibition will take visitors on a journey through the beginnings and history of football and the origins of the FIFA World Cup, underscoring the sport’s ability to transcend borders and cultures and bring people together. The exhibition opens as part of Qatar Creates, the year-round national cultural movement that curates, promotes, and celebrates the diversity of cultural activities in Qatar. Al-Mulla said: “Football is the most followed sport globally, and this exhibition will give visitors the opportunity to learn how sports, especially football, play a pivotal role in bringing people from diverse backgrounds together. In addition, World of Football will illustrate how the sport has a very special significance in Qatar, and how impactful it is for Qatar to host the World Cup, both locally and throughout the region.” Al-Khater noted that it was the most fitting time to hold such an exhibition. “This is our first exhibition in the museum and it is quite satisfying that we hold an exhibition within such a short span of time since its opening. It is a fitting time to host such an exhibition as we are hosting the World Cup next month. We have had the amazing opportunity to partner and work with many international museums and make this exhibition happen.” The objects, films, and images featured in the exhibition come from a variety of local and international organisations as well as loans from private collectors. Alongside items from 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum’s own football collection, significant items from major international partner museums including the National Football Museum in the UK, the FIFA Museum, and the the Musée du Sport in France demonstrate the global influence of the game. Al-Mana said ExxonMobil is excited to grow its strong and unique relationship with Qatar Museums as the main sponsor of the World of Football, ahead of the FIFA World Cup, one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world. "We are delighted and proud to be playing our part as an active community member by joining local efforts to ensure its success through partnerships such as this one that supports important activities,” he explained. Curator Pearce pointed out that the exhibition tells a story that even started before the first World Cup in 1930. "It tells when in 1860s when the first laws of football were written. We are very privileged to have one of the those manuscripts.”