The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) recently participated in an online lecture organised by Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q). 
The event informed students about FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 preparations, with particular focus on the SC’s digital and social media strategies, reported. Twenty-two NU-Q students tuned in for the lecture, which was titled ‘Media, Public Diplomacy and the Rise of Soft Power’. 
The SC’s involvement was initiated by the Community Engagement Division and led by digital media officer, Afrah Hassan.
Participation in the lecture, which was organised by Banu Akdenizli, associate professor of Communication at NU-Q, supports Community Engagement in its mission to share key details and knowledge about Qatar 2022 with local residents, the report states.
Hassan outlined the SC’s digital and social media strategies, sharing key outcomes from the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup and FIFA Club World Cup, which both took place in Qatar last year. 
Commenting on the lecture, Hassan said: “The students were very interested in learning about our digital brand and social media, and how sports events can shape successful soft power diplomacy. We also had the opportunity to discuss the impact of the blockade on our digital strategy and the challenges we are currently facing due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“One of our goals at the SC is to support the next generation and share the knowledge and lessons learned we are gaining from hosting such a prestigious event. Participating in this event with NU-Q allows for discussion and debate – something which is equally beneficial for the SC and the students.”
Communications junior Maryam Saud al-Khalifa said the session was beneficial in helping complete her final paper, which focuses on Qatar’s investment in sport as a public diplomacy strategy. “My key takeaway from the session would be highlighting the established goals of the SC to portray a digital brand that represents Qatar’s culture,” said al-Khalifa.
“The SC’s objectives portray significant messages, including bridging cultural and linguistic differences among nations by harnessing the power of sport,” she said. “Another is creating a lasting legacy and sustainable future, which would enhance the audience’s intercultural understanding of Qatar.”
Akdenizli added: “The World Cup is a mega-event that is an essential element of both branding and soft power for a nation, thus we wanted to learn about the strategies and vision of the SC. “We are educating communication specialists and journalists. The role of media, both traditional and social, is an integral element in public diplomacy efforts.”
Commenting on the success of the lecture, Ali Mahmoud, the SC’s head of Sport & Culture, said: “We are proud to be able to persevere and fulfil our mission of engaging with our community members, especially during these turbulent times. University students are very important members of our community and we are fortunate to be able to include them on our journey to 2022 and at the same time, add value to their education.”