HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, chairperson of Qatar Foundation (QF), has accepted the George Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service, given by the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation in recognition of her “devoted promotion of peace and human development throughout the world”.
Former president George H W Bush and Barbara Bush presented the award at the fourth Annual Distinguished Lecture that has their namesake at the University of New England in Kennebunkport, Maine.
In an address on the occasion, HH Sheikha Moza thanked president Bush and Barbara Bush for the award. “I accept this honour on behalf of the people and nation of Qatar,” she said
“His Highness the Father Emir planted the seeds of openness, creativity and freedom of expression in our society. These are the seeds of prosperous minds that will continue to flourish generation after generation,” said Sheikha Moza.
She spoke of the many blessings of the Qatari nation. She noted that the investments Qatar had been making in human development were reaping rewards, as shown by the country’s first-place ranking in the Middle East region in the World Economic Forums Global Competitiveness Report recently.
She went on to describe her own notion of public service: “Our Muslim, Qatari and Arab traditions demand that we constantly reinvigorate ourselves and reach out the hand of friendship and support to those who are most in need. To share our blessings with others and also with future generations.”
Describing the establishment of Education City’s branch campuses, she thanked “visionaries” like president Bush, “who could foresee and recognise the importance of such ventures for the present and future of our nations”.
Sheikha Moza made clear that Qatar Foundation had been, since its inception in 1995, “a crucial element in the development of talents of our young and building a strong and sustainable economy for future generations”, noting “this reflects our determination to use our resources wisely and responsibly”.
Elaborating, Sheikha Moza said: “Allah the Almighty has bestowed our nation and our people in the State of Qatar with a lot of blessings, the matter which requires us thanksgiving... Our educational system is universally recognised and free for all our children from pre-school to university.”
Addressing president Bush, Sheikha Moza then said: “ You had devoted your life for public service and society’s service and sought over the past 13 years to get acquainted with the efforts the others exert for doing good”.