When Qatar Foundation was set up in 1995, its founders could not have foreseen that the impact it generated would extend far beyond those who attend its schools and universities, or who participate in its programmes and initiatives.
Key stakeholders in Qatar have given their perspective on how the nation, the region, and the world have been enriched by twenty five years of QF’s efforts to provide opportunity and inspire excellence in education, health, arts and culture, entrepreneurship, and research.
Dr Tom Hawkins, director of the American School of Doha (ASD), says that QF’s focus on education, through recognising its pivotal role in the progress of the nation, has had a ripple effect on Qatar’s wider education sector and community.
“The American School of Doha has been operating in Qatar for 30 years. Since QF was established schools like ours have benefitted from its initiatives, especially with regard to education. For instance, QF’s Education Development Institute brings in experts in the field of education to conduct professional development courses that benefit not only teachers from QF-run schools, but also from schools in the wider community, such as ASD. ASD students also benefited from ‘Mini-Med School’, an outreach programme run by Sidra Medicine doctors to bring specialists and physicians from the hospital to provide mini-lectures to ASD students who were interested in biology and life sciences," Dr Hawkins said.
“Likewise, by enabling the establishment of international partner universities, QF not only provided people access to world-class higher education in Qatar, it also drew people from around the region to see Qatar as a hub of education where people looking for specialised studies can do so, right here in this country.
“QF, like Qatar, is aspirational. In addition to education, QF’s other initiatives such as Qatar Music Academy and Qatar Philharmonic orchestra demonstrate its belief that in order for this country to be the best, its people need to be given the best.”
According to Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, chief executive officer of the Doha Film Institute, QF’s efforts are evidenced in the excellent training it extends towards students who want to hone their talents in Qatar.
“With the focus of the Doha Film Institute on promoting new voices in cinema and nurturing young talents, we see strong synergies in our operations with the vision of Qatar Foundation. Our partnerships with QF entities such as Northwestern University in Qatar( NU-Q), Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar, QF’s Community Development, has strengthened over the years. We look forward to increased collaborations in our joint mission to contribute to national development with a highly skilled knowledge-backed economy," she said.
“Initiatives supported by QF in strengthening media training, such as the innovation labs by NU-Q, have helped shape the aptitude of young Qataris in visual story-telling, using the latest advances in technology; in fact, some of the winners of the most recent Ajyal film festival were students from NU-Q.
“Through additional events and initiatives that support our community, Qatar Foundation has clearly helped build our soft power; it is an inspiring force of positive change for the country.
"In many ways, the emblem of Qatar Foundation – illustrated in the Sidra tree – also represents the spirit of perseverance that it has instilled in the community.”
Hussein al-Abdulla, executive general manager and chief marketing officer at Commercial Bank, QF has also helped shape Qatar’s business and entrepreneurial landscape.
“Graduates from QF’s partner universities and schools have demonstrated, time and again, that they possess a trait crucial to the finance and business sector – professional integrity. It isn’t surprising, then, that well-established organisations such as Commercial Bank have recognised the value and depth of knowledge that QF students bring with them, and have welcomed them into their respective workforces.
“As a bank that was set up over 40 years ago, Commercial Bank has witnessed the growth of QF. By investing in state-of-the-art physical infrastructure, promoting research and fostering global conversations that transcend boundaries, QF has opened up our minds to possibilities that we never dreamed of.
“Through specialised partner-universities such as HEC Paris in Qatar, and innovation hubs such as Qatar Science and Technology Park, QF is preparing the next generation of business and finance experts by giving them access to world-class training, right here in Qatar.”
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