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Thursday, June 13, 2024 | Daily Newspaper published by GPPC Doha, Qatar.
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 Tawfik Lamari
Tawfik Lamari
Tawfik Lamari is an editor at Gulf Times. He has several years of mainstream media experience in fortes such as culture, health, social issues, environment and has covered various events across MENA.
Gulf Times
Qatar
Call for more Qatari theatre shows, objective criticism

The Ministry of Culture organised an open dialogue about the Doha Theater Festival (DTF), which concluded its activities recently.Dr Marzouq Bashir bin Marzouq, professor of drama theories at the Community College, and Jordanian critic Rashid Malhas spoke. It was attended by Abdul Rahman al-Dulaimi, director of the Department of Culture and Arts, and Abdul Rahim al-Siddiqi, director of the Center for Social Affairs, and a group of theatre artists who participated in the festival’s activities.Dr Marzouk Bashir discussed the role of science and objective artistic criticism in evaluating theatrical movement. He pointed out that systematic scientific analysis is almost missing in the Qatari theatre, which extends to fifty years. He also pointed out that lack of an objective scientific method for evaluating theatrical movement raises an important question about the achievements over these years. Were they real, or just individual achievements?He explained that theatre in general, and since its inception, has been based on a scientific methodology, stressing the importance of artistic talent, “but this does not mean ignoring the role of science.”He said that “the first scientific theory of drama was developed three thousand years ago. It continued to develop throughout the ages, until art schools appeared and thousands of universities were established all over the world, including our region. There is the Institute of Dramatic Arts in Kuwait, and the Sharjah Academy of Arts.” He expressed his hope that scientific theory and methodology would prevail in the Qatari theatrical movement.Bashir pointed out that the art scene lacks a correct critical movement, explaining that over the years there has been no objective analytical criticism, especially in the Qatari press. Confirming that this absence harms the theatrical movement, as many playwrights built their artistic existence on illusion, not truth. He said that at the academic level there are no universities that teach dramatic artistic criticism, and that the literary criticism that is studied at Qatar University is different from applied artistic criticism.Jordanian critic Rashid Malhas said the Arab theatre, not just Qatari theatre, suffers from a text crisis. It is not the lack of texts but also their quality. Pointing out that during the DTF, a group of local texts were identified, the levels of which varied between excellent and acceptable. He described the Qatari theatre as “fine and in very good health and needing some vitamins to become excellent.”He also stressed the need to enhance the capabilities of playwrights, motivate writers and poets to write for the theatre, and to organise lectures and workshops related to playwriting, and to supply the theatre library with translations of international texts.Malhas called for opening dialogues between Qatari directors and theatre groups that would lead to the implementation of at least one work annually that unites everyone. Plus other dialogues and workshops between them and directors from Arab and foreign countries that might lead to applied experimental performances. This should go together with holding courses in sound and theatrical movement and musical appreciation for professional, novice and amateur actors, to promote their performing skills.He also stressed the need to work on the sustainability of the theatrical movement by implementing performances throughout the year that the theatre groups take turns performing.

The graduates with dignitaries and officials. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam
Qatar
ARIU, University of Derby hold graduation ceremony

Al Rayyan International University College (ARIU), in partnership with the University of Derby UK, held a graduation ceremony at the City Center Rotana Hotel, Doha, on Sunday in the presence of Ministry of Education and Higher Education Undersecretary HE Dr Ibrahim bin Saleh al-Nuaimi, Katara general manager Prof Dr Khalid Ibrahim al-Sulaiti, Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the University of Derby’s College of Business, Law and Social Sciences Prof Kamil Omoteso, ARIU executive dean Prof Ivan Ninov, dignitaries and academic staff.Prof Omoteso and Prof Ninov congratulated the graduates in their speeches and encouraged them to pursue their career with the best of the best of their knowledge and to be leaders and innovators in their fields.“This is our 21st graduation,” head of academic support Othman Sadoki told Gulf Times on the sidelines of the ceremony. “We have 50 graduating with BSc in International Business, BA in Tourism, BA in Hospitality, and we have graduates from the MBA programme.”“The BA is a four-year programme while the Master’s is one full year of studies with research,” he continued. “In the BA programme we have practical training in the first year and towards the end of the programme.”“Most of our graduates work in hospitality, tourism, and the finance sector,” Sadoki added. “We have also students working the banking and finance as well as others who work in managing events.”“In our 24 years of existence, we have had more than one thousand graduates,” he said.A number of graduates spoke to Gulf times.“It is amazing ... it has been four years of hard work,” said Mariem Ouertani, a BA (Hons) International Business graduate from Derby University. “My colleagues and our professors were the greatest support for us. We are so happy that we got to this point.”“I am just happy to be here today. The university focused on giving us a practical education,” she said. “They also helped us with placement, internships, and fellowships towards the end of the academic year.”“By the time you graduate, you are ready to be employed,” Ouertani said. “I am already an account manager in Espina IT Solutions. I started an internship with them last summer and now I am full-time employee.”“The four years flew by very quickly, I am already working for Zulal Wellness Resort in the north of Qatar,” said Jan Berend Hoogendoorn, a BA (Hons) International Tourism Management graduate. “I studied here because my family moved here for work.”“I am currently working with Audi Volkswagen, in the programming department,” said Akash Bose, a BA (Hons) International Hospitality Management graduate. “Hospitality is not limited to the hotel industry ... we are covered topics such as operation management and risk analysis.”“That helps us to work in the corporate sector as well,” he said. “It was an amazing experience at university, I made good friends with people hailing from 10 different countries.”“The support from our professors was amazing,” Bose added. “The best part about our university is the open door policy: we can approach our professors any time.”Marie-Emma Willemina Hoogendoorn, a BA (Hons) International Tourism Management graduate, said: “I have been here for four years, and I am doing a Master’s in Business at ARIU as well.”“I am really enjoying it,” she said. “I had to remain focused, make time for studies.”“It was hard but I really enjoyed it, Hoogendoorn added. “I am not working now – I have to finish writing my dissertation. When I finish in October, I will look for a job.”“The future is Doha, I really want to stay here,” she laughed.

Claudio Trovato
Qatar
Sicilian chef dishes out Arab taste in Italian cuisine

Sicilian chef Claudio Trovato, a graduate in political science, has turned his passion for Italian cuisine into a recipe for success.In an interview to Gulf Times, Claudio Trovato said this has taken him on a career as a chef in Rome, France, Germany, Tunisia, Armenia, to name but a few countries where he worked. Currently, he is the general manager of Cucina Restaurant, at Marriott Marquis Doha.Claudio said: “I have been in Doha for seven years, I have been lucky to be here during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, it was a great privilege. The Italian cuisine has many combinations and influences from other countries including the Arab countries. For this reason the Italian cuisine – not because I am Italian – is the most complete cuisine."The variety of Italian regional cuisines allows me to mix the various ingredients from the north and the south to make a fusion cuisine, this is what makes it interesting. The Arab influence is very significant in our cuisine, especially in the sweet and sour dishes. For instance, we have the caponata, which is a mix of fresh vegetables and we add to them sugar, honey and other sweet ingredients to give the sweet and sour sensation, it is typically Arabic."We also use couscous from the North African countries, it is always in our menu, and this is a big Arab influence from our past history. We prepare our food in a different way from the Arab culture, because of the faster Italian lifestyle. When we prepare pasta with tomato sauce, we spend eight minutes to prepare the sauce, while in Arab countries they cook the tomato sauce for a longer time. The concept is the same but the lifestyle makes the difference for us.”Claudio added: “We receive many Qataris at Cucina, because many of them travel a lot to Italy and they become familiar with the Italian cuisine and come here to try their favourite dishes. I introduced some Arabic and some Qatari dishes in the very important Aleph hotel in Rome, which is part of our holding company. Qataris are well travelled, so they would like to feel at home even when they are abroad, hence the idea of introducing Arabic cuisine at Aleph Hotel.”On how he picked up the ideas of Arab dishes, Claudio said: “I have a collaboration with the Cooking Academy in Qatar, where I meet famous chefs who showed how to prepare Qatari food. However, in Cucina, people like our traditional dishes like lasagna, carbonara, the variety of Bolognaise sauce, the parmesana, pasta al Pomodoro in which the freshness of the ingredients and the cooking temperature make the difference, it is so simple but so difficult to prepare. We also have very special dishes with a personal touch and this is my mission in this restaurant, to give people the chance to try different dishes. I can cook fresh pasta a la minute, “Pasta Alfredo” it is homemade by myself, I cook it and I use only one ingredient i.e. parmesan, so the freshness of the dish makes it special. Another distinctive ingredient in our cuisine is that we use fresh extra virgin olive oil which gives the freshness of olives. I also appreciate the freshness of the local fish which I use in my cuisine, and you have a huge variety of choice in the market.”Claudio is also very active in the community, he said: “During my stay in Qatar, I did a lot of cooking shows - for instance during the last Doha International Book Fair. This facilitates the exchange of various cuisines and tastes for the consumers. Now in Doha we have an international cuisine including Cucina which is an international brand. Qatar Hospitality is making Doha a cosmopolitan capital, you find several cultures in a small place. Culture is very important because it is in the food, music and art, and that is why I am involved in some food exhibitions here in Qatar.”The restaurant delights its clients with food and at the same time spoils them with international music. Cucina singer Vitalia Dupliakina said: “I am a singer and my songs include Italian songs because we have a big Italian community here. We are mostly playing jazz, pop tunes and jazz arrangements, we have a saxophonist, Anna Radko with us. Our live band performs every day at the restaurant from 7pm, except Fridays and Sundays. On Tuesday, we start at 6pm it is promotion night.”

HE the Minister of Culture Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Hamad bin Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani, with officials and winners.
Qatar
Culture minister honours winners at DTF

HE the Minister of Culture Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Hamad bin Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani, honoured the winners at the conclusion of the 36th edition of the Doha Theater Festival (DTF), held this year under the theme, 'Let us make theater the mirror of our lives,' at the U Venue Theatre from May 25 to June 4.The closing ceremony witnessed an artistic performance about the most important stages in the history of Qatari theatre, in the presence of HE Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kuwari, Minister of State and President of the Qatar National Library, and Dr Ghanem bin Mubarak al-Ali, assistant undersecretary, Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Culture.The play 'Between Two Hearts' won the best show award, produced by Msheireb Properties Company. The play also received awards for best writing by Talib al-Dous, best direction for Mohamad Youssef al-Mulla. In addition for best costumes, won by Lulwa, and best promising actor by Mohamad al-Mutawa. The play also won the award for best melodies and sound effects for Mohamad al-Mulla and Iyad Salsaa.The play 'The Spirit of the Fan' by the Qatar Theatre Company won a number of awards, including best actor for Faisal Rasheed, best actress for Asrar Mohamad, best lighting, and best decoration, both of which were won by Nasser Abdelreda.Mohamad al-Mulla, winner of the Best Director Award, said: "We thank the Ministry of Culture for its constant efforts in supporting the artistic movement in general and the theatrical movement in particular, as the 36th edition of the DTF was distinguished."Talib al-Dous, winner of the Best Writing Award, said: “The festival brought us back to the era of previous festivals and the joy of winning and pride in the artistic works that we presented alongside an elite group of Qatari and Gulf actors.”

Gulf Times
Qatar
Remarkable turnoout as DTF concludes with 'Between Two Hearts' performance

The performance of the play 'Between Two Hearts', has been the last of ten performances presented at the 36th Doha Theater Festival (DTF) held under the theme “Let us make the Theatre the Mirror of Our Lives,” from May 25-June 4, at the U Venue Theatre.The DTF achieved a remarkable turnout.The play “Between Two Hearts” was produced by Msheireb Artistic Productions, written by Talib al-Dous, and directed by Mohamad Yousef al-Mulla.Talib al-Dous, the author of the work, confirmed that the play deals with the life of a leader who controls the village and its farmers, their livelihoods, enacts unjust laws for his interests and the interests of his brother, the merchant, and he also kills the farmer’s son. To save his son's life, the farmer revolts alone, demanding retribution.Regarding the message of the work, director Mohamed al-Mulla said: "Every scene is a play between two hearts that deals with one of the societal issues, whether they are local issues, global issues, and others related to the Arab world. At the same time, the author placed these issues in a sequential and unified dramatic form, pointing out that among the issues the play deals with, is the issue of land, Palestine, and the occupied territories, in addition to issues of social communication as well.He pointed out that the work is distinguished by the fact that each character has a specialised role, and each character deals with diversity and mobility. The playwright was keen to write it in an indirect way, so that it belongs to several countries and landmarks and it is not related to one world.Al-Mulla explained his keenness on diversity among the actors he attracted from various Gulf countries, with the aim of diversifying the Gulf culture in his work and the cultural exchange that adds to the festival and the director as well.A number of artists and guests from the Gulf and the Arab world visited the festival, and expressed their admiration for the Doha Theater Festival as well as the activities and theatrical performances that contributed to the discovery of new talents and faces.

Gulf Times
Qatar
The Soul of the Late Lady comedy presented at 36th DTF

The activities of the 36th edition of the Doha Theatre Festival (DTF), taking place from May 25 to June 4, continued with the comedy 'The Soul of the Late Lady' as part of the competing performances in the festival.The latest edition of the DTF is organised by the Ministry of Culture, under the theme 'Let us make the Theatre the Mirror of Our Lives'.The play, directed by Faisal Rashid, is taken from a text from the World Theatre titled 'The Spirit of Eleanora', by the late Russian playwright, Anatoly Lunacharsky, and directed by Khaled Khamis.The play, a comedy that is critical of superstition, tells the story of a contemporary charlatan who claims to be a sorceress, but fails in her attempt to convince anyone.Director Rashid, who adapted the international script for the local audience, noted that the play deals with issues of quackery and deceit.Actor Mohamad al-Sunni said: “My role in the comedy is that of a man who is searching for his late wife. So he resorts to someone who convinces him that she can bring back the wife’s soul, leading to a comedy of errors.”He stressed that this role was new for him.Now on its eighth day, the festival will present the play 'Sikka Bin Assi', written and directed by artist Saad Burshid, and produced by Al-Wakra Artistic Production Company.The play 'Mazyoun and Dhabiya', to be presented on June 3, is written by Hamad al-Rumaihi and directed by Ali Hassan.The play 'Between Two Hearts' will be performed on June 4, is written by Talib al-Dous and directed by Mohamad Youssef al-Mulla.The festival, which has been attracting hundreds of spectators, includes entertaining theatrical performances with many intellectual and artistic trends, in addition to seminars.

Gulf Times
Qatar
QPC concludes TV programme preparation, presentation course

The Qatar Press Center (QPC) has concluded the “TV Preparation and Presentation” course, in co-operation with the Media Development Department at the Qatar Media Corporation (QMC). The course was held over two weeks with the participation of a number of programme specialists and presenters on Qatar TV, Al Kass Channel, TV 37, and Qatar Radio. The participants received certificates of the course programme. The participants took the theoretical seminars at the QPC, and practical training at the Qatar TV headquarters. They were trained on how to present news bulletins, prepare TV programmes, and the necessary practical techniques. Dr Ahmed Abdelmalek presented the latest artistic and linguistic practices and modern technologies during the course, and conveyed to trainees part of his extensive experience in this field. The course focused on how to prepare a successful journalist and a distinguished broadcaster by paying attention to the necessary requirements for success on both the personal and professional levels. In addition, the course covered how to provide good content and formulate media content to reach the audience according to journalistic standards.

A scene from Kharaba.
Qatar
“Kharaba” comedy presented at 36th DTF

In continuation of the activities of the 36th edition of the Doha Theatre Festival (DTF), the social comedy “Kharaba” has been presented by the Al-Watan Theatre Group, as part of the competing plays in the festival organised by the Ministry of Culture from May 25 to June 4, at the U Venue Theatre. The play is written by Khalifa al-Sayed and directed by Salem al-Mansouri with the participation of a group of artists. The events of the comedy revolve around a family that owns a house abandoned a long time ago. Some people claim that this house is haunted by elves, and some of the members of the family want to sell the house and benefit from its money. Here, a division occurs between supporters and opponents of selling the part adjacent to the house, until unexpected surprises occur and continue. Al-Mansouri, confirmed that the theatrical movement is in constant need of young talents who are given opportunities to hone and develop their talents. This is what the management of the Al-Watan Theatre Company and all its artists are working on. On the other hand, a seminar was held in which the critic Dr Saeed al-Naji, professor and head of the Department of Dramatic Arts at the Community College, the Jordanian actor and director Rashid Malhas, and a group of theatrical actors and those interested in theatre affairs participated. They reviewed artistic work in terms of text, direction, and the performance of the actors and other technical issues.

Hajj, Art within the Journey, previous exhibition poster.
Qatar
MIA to launch 'Haj and Umrah' programme for children

The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) has announced that it will launch the “Haj and Umrah” programme for children and youth.It aims to teach young participants the differences between Haj and Umrah (minor pilgrimage). Participants will visit the halls of the MIA and explore the most important pieces related to Haj and Umrah to understand the differences between them. They will also participate in a workshop to create a map illustrating the Haj rituals. The museum’s collection also includes some pieces that represent Makkah and the great rituals of Haj.To highlight the most important possessions of the museum, a book was previously published titled “Haj, Art within the Journey,” after an exhibition under the same name was held at MIA. It contained works of art from the MIA collections and from some private Qatari collections that have never been exhibited before. The book “Hajj: Art within the Journey” provides the readers with a local view of the Haj journey, by focusing on the routes taken by Qatari pilgrims to reach Mecca, and the gifts they used to bring back. Part of the book is also devoted to narrating oral history by Qatari pilgrims.This commemorative album includes a collection of historical objects, manuscripts, archived photographs, and artwork presented by the hugely successful Haj exhibition held in 2023.The event will be held on June 5 from 4-5.30 pm at the MIA library, for ages 8-11 years.

Gulf Times
Qatar
QYH launches 'Hostels Forum' 2024 programme

One of the newest Qatar Youth Hostels (QYH) programmes for the year 2024 was recently announced, titled “The Hostels Forum”.It is a youth forum that revolves around enhancing youth participation and enabling them to freely present their ideas and opinions in order to make a qualitative difference at the individual, community, and nation levels.“Through this programme, we aim to enhance social responsibility and empower young people to participate in decision-making, enrich discussions, and have an effective role in all areas of society,” said QYH head of public relations and communications Abdullah Saeed.“Registration has been announced for the first workshop of the programme, which will be presented through the Ministry of Sports and Youth responsible for the Youth Affairs Committee,” he said. “The workshop will be titled *Qatar National Youth Policy, and presented by Ahmed al-Ansari, a member of the Qatar National Policy work team.”“We encourage young people, both male and female, to register and participate in decision-making activities,” Saeed added.

Gulf Times
Qatar
QPC brings to mind historical roots of Iraqi journalism

The Qatar Press Center (QPC) organised a new lecture within the “Press Council” initiative, presented by Dr Mohamad Mudaffar al-Adhami, on *Iraqi Journalism, Origins and Development.Al-Adhami presented the stages of development of journalism that Iraq has witnessed over the years, to a group of media figures and intellectuals.QPC Board of Directors chairman Saad al-Rumaihi welcomed the lecturer and noted: “When we talk about Iraq, the talk is about a country with a long history.”“Its press has contributed and continues to do so despite the difficult circumstances of our nation,” he said.Al-Rumaihi recalled his first visit to Iraq in 1979, when it was the first Arab country to publish a sports newspaper.Dr al-Adhami divided the history of the Iraqi press into five stages, the first of which was the stage of emergence when Iraq was part of the Ottoman Empire.The second was the state of the press during the British occupation and the 20th revolution.The third stage was dedicated to the press during the period of the national era rule, during the monarchy.The fourth stage is the republican era, and the fifth is the Iraqi press after the American occupation in 2003.Regarding the Ottoman era, Dr al-Adhami said that it occupied the second half of the 19th century, when the reformer Midhat Pasha became governor of Iraq in 1869.“Midhat Pasha carried out important administrative reforms in Iraq, making it three governorates to facilitate its administration,” he said. “His reforms included importing a printing machine from Paris to issue an official newspaper, *Al-Zawraa.”“He built a special building for it, and published its first issue in 1869 in Baghdad, in Arabic and Turkish, in eight small pages,” he continued. “It was published weekly, every Tuesday.”In its first issue, it published local and international news, and an editorial that reflected the policy of Governor Medhat Pasha.During Turkish rule, *Al-Zawraa continued to be published, but Dr al-Adhami noted that the life of newspapers was short, especially if they were opposed to the government.Regarding the press under the British occupation, the expert said: “Within a week of the British occupation of Basra in 1914, the British administrators seized the three printing presses in the city and began distributing a news bulletin to cover their military operations, which was printed daily in both Arabic and English.”

From left, Dr Abdul Wahed al-Alami, Sadiq Al-Amari
Qatar
QPC signs co-operation pact with DABA

The Qatar Press Center (QPC) signed a co-operation agreement with the Doha Arab Book Award (DABA), to support the Center’s plans and vision related to its future activities, events, and programmes, and to hold scientific, journalistic, and cultural activities.The agreement was signed by Sadiq Mohamad al-Amari, Director General of the Center, and Dr Abdul Wahed al-Alami, Executive Director of the Award.Sadiq Al-Amari said: “We are pleased to enter into a partnership with the DABA, which will enrich the journalistic and media scene with various activities that combine interest, enjoyment, culture, and reading. Under the agreement, many scientific, cultural, and journalistic activities will be held, as well as shedding light on the themes of the DABA, which are linguistic and literary studies, social studies, and encyclopedias.The Center will also be a media partner for the award, providing it with press and media consultations, and its headquarters will host the events organised by the award.Dr Abdul Wahed al-Alami, Executive Director of the Award, expressed his happiness at signing the agreement, and stressed that it will be an addition to the Award, as it will benefit from its partnership with the Center in obtaining press and media consultations. He explained that this co-operation with the Center is of great importance to the newly established award. As it represents a media umbrella to advance journalistic and media work.

A model of a bombed minaret that fell on a praying man- in background, model of a UNRWA school that was turned into a shelter. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam
Qatar
QU Ilea students’ club holds solidarity “Badr Gaza” Exhibition

The Qatar University (QU) Ilea students’ club holds a four day exhibition of models about the aggression against Gaza under the title Badr Gaza. It is organised in several sections starting with a model of the Rafah crossing, then a corridor resembling the tunnels used by the resistance.A section for the photos of the scientists who were assassinated by the Zionist entity, such as Abdullah Barghouti, Yahya Ayyash, Bassam Jarrar, and Mohamad -Zouwari, who invented the drone used by the resistance factions. As well as pictures and models of aid that accidentally crashed on Palestinians who were rushing to get food.A model of the Merkava tank which was blown by the resistance fighters with a homemade explosive device. In the next section we find a model of a bombed minaret that fell on a praying man who was martyred under the rubble.One of the frightening models is of a UNRWA school that was turned into a shelter for children and families. It was targeted by an unexploded missile, which became a toy for the children, with the risk of it exploding at any moment.Another section with models and pictures highlighted the targeting of journalists and activists on social media. Next to it models and images of the boycotted companies and products whose profits go to finance terrorism carried out by the Zionist entity, and the available alternatives.A section for the model of the martyr Sheikh Yassin and his wheelchair in which he was assassinated. To lead to models of the missiles developed by the resistance factions, from simple equipment to missiles with a range of 250 kilometers.Each section was presented to Gulf Times by students from Ilea club. Among whom Jazia al-Asmar, vice president of Ilea club, who said about the exhibition: “It is a silent story narrated by pictures and models made by the hands of male and female students to narrate the events that began from ancient times to take us beyond the present. The Greater Badr (the battle of Badr, March 13th, 624 CE) was the beginning of the glorious Muslim conquests led by our beloved, guiding Prophet. Muhammad (may God’s prayers and peace be upon him), preceded by fourteen years of religious and military preparation that ended with an overwhelming victory. Followed by a series of victories achieved by Islam and Muslims. Though, it began to disintegrate until recent times. Nonetheless now, after the October 7th, our heroes have returned to announce the beginning of the end. A new full moon has risen in Gaza over the Muslims with a call to mobilize towards the Al-Aqsa Mosque to return to the protection of the Muslims, liberated and purified from the filth of the usurpers.” Al-Asmar said.The exhibition is open for women on May 26 and May 29; for men on May 27-28, from 1-7 pm at the students’ Affairs building, main exhibition hall, ground floor, building A11.

A section of the audience on the second day of the15th Al Jazeera Forum. PICTURE: Thajudheen
Qatar
'Tufan Al-Aqsa' changed Middle East narrative: AJ Forum

The second and last day of the 15th Al Jazeera Forum held under the title “Transformations in the Middle East after Tufan Al-Aqsa” was dedicated to four sessions that discussed the developments in the Middle East and elsewhere since October 7 last year.The first session was titled “Post-Tufan Balances at the Regional Level: Powers, Axes and Strategies.”The discussion focused on the impact of “Tufan Al-Aqsa” and the changes it inspired within the realm of resistance and the Palestinian national liberation movement, as well as the political, economic and social spheres of the Israeli occupation.The second session was titled “Gaza Rearranges the Priorities of the International Agenda: The Middle East, Conflict in Ukraine and Tensions with China,”. It discussed how the Israeli war on Gaza reshaped and reordered the priorities of the international agenda. The significance of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has diminished in the spectrum of global crises and conflicts, along with the perceived threat it posed to European and global security and the foundations of the international order.The third session titled “The Targeting of Journalists in the War on Gaza: Realities, Challenges and Protection Efforts” talked about the facts about the conflict, and conveying the truth during the war on Gaza as a fundamental challenge. The media emerged as a notable casualty, despite its distinct insignias, journalist protection protocols and advocacy organisations, all of which failed to shield it from being targeted. The unprecedented toll of casualties among journalists and their families underscores that the Israeli war machine treated journalists not as collateral damage but as deliberate targets.The fourth session was titled “Special Dialogue with Influencers on the Conflict of Narratives” and moderated by Elia Ghorbia, storyteller and producer at AJ+, with speakers Nicole Jenes, Belal Khaled, Ahmed Hijazi, Mohammed al Kandari, Kareem Dennis (online). They discussed their experiences as social media influencers and their roles in the ongoing conflict between Palestinian and Israeli narratives. They focused on the contributions of young people in navigating this conflict, the various platforms they utilise, and the disparities in platform terms and policies.They also analysed the demographics and engagement quality of the audiences following these influencers.Moreover, the session scrutinised the shared content, its origins and the methods employed for verifying its accuracy. They also fathomed the challenges encountered by influencers and the pressures stemming from their positions, as well as the influence they wield on their audiences and public opinion.Nicole Jenes, a content creator, said: “The humanity of the narrative presented by the influencer is aimed to stop the aggression on Gaza.” Kareem Dennis, a British rapper, criticised the drawbacks of the virtual world and the misuse of AI to target Palestinian civilians.In conclusion, they highlighted the importance of the influencers’ impact that has reached all parts of the world, especially the group of young people and students who became aware about the falsity of the narratives of the occupation. They understood the fact that it is a war of narratives to disavow the crimes of genocide.The revelation of the Palestinian reality contributed to the escalation of student strikes in universities in many Western countries. They saw that this new generation who are the future decision-makers will contribute to stopping the Israeli apartheid state. The most important achievement of the influencers was documenting the facts and crimes committed against the defenseless Palestinians. They counter attacked the blue flies, and contested the falsification of facts. The most important aspect was the psychological support for the residents of Gaza and conveying a picture of their daily suffering.At the conclusion of the session, it was agreed to intensify co-operation among influencers to spread awareness of the Palestinian issue through text, images, and content to awaken the masses who do not know what is happening in Gaza.

Participants at the first panel discussion.
Qatar
Al Jazeera launches 15th Forum on “Transformations in the Middle East after 'Tufan al-Aqsa'

The 15th Al Jazeera Forum was launched Saturday in Doha under the title “Transformations in the Middle East after ‘Tufan Al-Aqsa’” (Al-Aqsa flood).The Forum highlighted the profound transformations brought about by the “Al-Aqsa Flood” operation and the ensuing Israeli war on Gaza, both at the Palestinian and Israeli levels and at the regional and international levels.Experts, researchers and media professionals from various countries participated in the forum.The first session yesterday on Al-Aqsa Flood in the Context of the Palestinian National Struggle focused on the context of the Palestinian struggle, the causes and factors that led to the “Al-Aqsa Flood”, and the political horizon of the Palestinian issue in light of the current international movement.The speakers at the session pointed out that the “Al-Aqsa Flood” operation last year, despite its great humanitarian cost, revived the dialogue about the necessity of establishing a Palestinian state and the Palestinians’ right to self-determination.It also reminded the world of the tragedies of the occupation, settlement, and the siege throughout the Palestinian territories.In the second session, on 'The Repercussions of the War on Israel', the speakers discussed the Israeli internal situation, and the long-term repercussions of the “Al-Aqsa Flood” operation on the Israeli occupation, on the military, political, social, or economic levels.The first day of the forum included two other sessions, one on 'International Justice in the Balance of the Israeli War on Gaza', while the second debated the Arab stances and the Palestinian issue.Today, the participants will hold four more sessions that address the balances after the “Al-Aqsa Flood”, arranging the international agenda, and targeting journalists in light of the war on Gaza in addition to a session dedicated to special discourses with social media influencers, about the conflict of narratives regarding the war on the Gaza Strip.Al Jazeera journalist Wael al-Dahdouh, who attended the forum, told Gulf Times: “I am still receiving treatment in Doha. My condition is improving.”On the sidelines of the forum, Palestinian National Initiative secretary-general Dr Mustafa Barghouti spoke to Gulf Times on the latest International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling.“We know very well that Israel will not respond positively to the ICJ decision and the ICC (International Criminal Court), and we have to force them to do so,” he said. “The only way to force them is not only through the resilience and the resistance of the Palestinian people, but also through a very powerful boycott divestment sanctions campaign against Israel.”“This is what we need now, and immediately,” Dr Barghouti added. “Only the sanctions and boycott will change the situation."Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies at the UK’s Exeter University, historian Ilan Pappe, who was born in Haifa told Gulf Times: “With regard to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, I support the one-state solution, a unitary state for both Palestinians and Israelis.”“The Jews and the Arabs used to live in peace together before 1948 ... why don’t we opt for a sustainable peace solution?” he posed.


HE Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer al-Thani, Chairman of the QMC, chaired the meeting of the GCC information ministers held in Doha yesterday. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
Qatar
Need for joint GCC media work stressed at ministers’ meet

Ministers of Information of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries held their 27th meeting yesterday in Doha.HE Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer al-Thani, Chairman of the Qatar Media Corporation (QMC) chaired the meeting, with the participation of the ministers of information of the GCC countries and GCC Assistant Secretary-General for Economic and Development Affairs Khalid bin Ali al-Sunaidi.HE Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer al-Thani said in his opening speech: “For more than 7 months, we have been following the tragic events and conditions experienced by the residents of the Gaza Strip, which have become the top priorities of media outlets and platforms. Israel is directly and deliberately targeting those working in the media field to silence... Those who report the truth. We perceive double standards among the global media as a whole, with its bias when covering these events and thus its influence in shaping global public opinion.”He stressed the importance of co-ordination between Gulf media outlets on publishing and broadcasting Palestinian content in various languages, to build a supportive international public opinion.HE Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer pointed out that the different challenges facing Gulf societies are imposed by the internal, regional or international environment, pointing that these challenges place on mediapersons the burden of improving the performance and content of various outlets to reflect the aspirations and interests of Gulf societies, keep pace with the rapid regional and international developments, and contribute to achieving greater integration and unity among the Gulf countries, in a way that translates the vision and directions of the leaders of the GCC countries.He added that it is worth emphasising the joint media co-operation strategy 2023-2030 for the GCC countries, the general framework of which was approved by the Supreme Council of the GCC in its 43rd session, noting the importance of accelerating the pace of the work of the mechanisms and executive tools necessary to activate them, as a reference and road map for joint Gulf media work. To Page 3

HE the Minister of Education and Higher Education Buthaina bint Ali al-Jabar al-Nuaimi honouring a high achiever as UDST president Dr Salem al-Naemi looks on. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam.
Qatar
UDST holds graduation ceremony for 861 students

Under the patronage of HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani, University of Doha for Science and Technology (UDST) held a graduation ceremony for 861 students Wednesday.The ceremony at the Qatar National Convention Centre had former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Industry HE Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah as the guest speaker. HE the Shura Council Speaker Hassan bin Abdullah al-Ghanim, HE the Minister of Education and Higher Education Buthaina bint Ali al-Jabar al-Nuaimi, a number of other ministers, UDST board of trustees chairman HE Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada, board members; president Dr Salem al-Naemi and other dignitaries, staff and faculty, and graduates’ families were present.UDST’s third graduation ceremony marked the commencement of the Class of 2024 which included 297 students from the College of Business, 127 from the College of Computing and Information Technology, 303 from the College of Engineering and Technology, and 134 from the College of Health Sciences. UDST offers 70 programmes tailored to the needs of Qatar’s economy.The ceremony started with the parchments’ distribution and a congratulatory message from Dr al-Naemi, who expressed his pride in the graduates and their commitment to learning and perseverance."Since its establishment, the university has strived to carve out a distinguished position among higher education institutions in Qatar. Therefore, allow me to start with expressing our gratitude and appreciation to our wise leadership, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, our esteemed government led by HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani, and to the Ministry of Education and Higher Education led by HE Buthaina bint Ali al-Jabar al-Nuaimi, for the guidance, care, and support that have contributed to enhancing the University's journey filled with achievements, development, and leadership."As we prepare our graduates to lead the future, and in light of Qatar's diligent efforts to accelerate digital transformation and enhance the technological system, UDST is committed to building strategic partnerships to be at the forefront of adopting, adapting, and developing the latest scientific technologies. Our goal is to innovate, improve educational efficiency, solidify concepts, and contribute to the implementation of the state's third national development strategy."Dr al-Naemi concluded with words of advice to the graduates: "The awaited day has come for you to reap the fruits of years of hard work and dedication. I congratulate you on reaching this significant milestone in your professional lives, where you are now capable of choosing a path that applies the knowledge and skills you have acquired to serve the community, the nation, and the world at large. Regardless of the different pursuits you aim to achieve, I wish you a successful and prosperous start. Remember, you now carry the name of your university wherever you go, and we are confident that you will represent it well."HE Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah addressed the graduates, and said: “In 1992, I was appointed Minister of Energy and Industry and Chairman of Qatar Petroleum with the support of His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani. This support motivated me to put all the experience I had gained into this position, where I was entrusted with the launch of the state's vital energy sector. Despite all the crises the country has gone through, we were able to overcome difficulties and continue working, implementing major projects that achieved what we call the economic miracle of Qatar, under the insightful vision of His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani."I see you today as young men and women graduating with full readiness to embark on your careers. Strive for achievement and excellence, and don't just dream but work towards realizing those dreams. Perseverance is not only about doing your job to the best of your ability but also about not compromising on your goals and continuing to progress despite all challenges until you reach your aspirations. Be proud that you are graduates of this national educational institution that has given you so much, just as this nation gives us, supports us, and believes in our abilities. Work to serve it and always carry it in your hearts wherever life's paths may take you."The Class of 2024 valedictorian, Homoud al-Dosari, recipient of the President’s Award for Academic Excellence expressed his happiness to be representing his fellow graduates during the ceremony. He said: “I am pleased to stand before you today with a Bachelor's degree in Information Technology, determined to serve my country, Qatar, its leadership, and its people. I aim to apply the skills and knowledge I have gained towards economic and social development and to contribute to achieving Qatar National Vision 2030. Today, we embark on a journey toward broad horizons and endless opportunities, armed with a wealth of knowledge and technology. Let us harness this knowledge for development, modernisation, and building. Let us build a promising future that makes us proud of this educational institution that has placed its hopes in us, and proud of a nation that has fulfilled its promise to us. Let us make our promise to it unwavering.”During the ceremony, 11 holders of the “Graduate with Highest Honors” who maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout their programme, were honoured by HE Buthaina al-Nuaimi.On the sideline of the ceremony, Faisal Saleh al-Sulaiti, a graduate of Bachelor of Communications Engineering, spoke to Gulf Times and said: “The period of study passed with its difficulties and its good days. Today I am proud of this achievement and this is a day for me that means a lot after five years of hard work. This feeling comes once in a lifetime. Frankly, I am happy. I don't know how to express it. In the future, I intend to complete a master's degree and a doctorate in my specialty, which is part of electrical engineering. I think that I will register for an MBA to get ready for the managerial level.”Kyra, a Business Administration and Human Resources Management graduate said: “After four years, I graduated as the President’s Awardee, I have also achieved the highest honours of our batch, and I am the top one for the HR programme. I had a good experience with my work term experience with the university and the partnership that I had with a company. I also had a good experience with a bank. I am looking forward to put my knowledge to good use.”

Gulf Times
Qatar
Qatar school teams participate in ‘Destination Imagination’ Global Finals in Kansas

In continuation of the “Destination Imagination” programme season, implemented by Al-Faisal Without Borders Foundation (ALF Foundation) in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE) in public and private schools in Qatar, 96 schools, represented by 202 teams and nearly 2,000 students from various educational stages, participated in this edition of the programme. Eighteen schools qualified to participate in the programme’s Global Finals in Kansas, USA, from May 21-26, 2024. Special training sessions with challenge leaders, team managers, and participating schools resulted in the selection of five public schools with about 35 students from different educational levels to represent Qatar in scientific, engineering, and technological challenges at the Global Finals, which includes participants from 20 countries and over 50 states within the USA. Since the end of the local tournament, held at Qatar University last February, ALF has co-ordinated with the MoEHE to provide full support to the teams participating in the DI Global Finals. Necessary preparations and arrangements, including training sessions between challenge leaders and students, have been facilitated to achieve the highest possible quality in the challenges. This is with the aim for the participating teams to win top positions in the global championship. HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani, founder and chairman of ALF, expressed his delight at the participation of Qatari school teams in the finals, considering it a significant achievement to showcase the creativity of Qatari students and the quality of education in Qatar to the world. He emphasised his full support for the participating teams and wished them success and victory in the Global Finals. Engineer Abdullatif Ali al-Yafei, general manager of ALF, stated that such international participations with countries like the USA, China, Poland, and Turkiye ensure that the participating students gain sufficient experience to face various intellectual and educational challenges and acquire the necessary skills for their scientific careers. This is the primary purpose of implementing the programme in Qatar, as it is an extracurricular programme that enables students to understand and comprehend everything beyond the traditional curriculum.