Award is a way of life for a more tolerant society, says QF's Akhlaquna ambassadors
August 04 2021 11:20 PM
Ghalya Abdulla, left, and Dana al-Ali
Ghalya Abdulla, left, and Dana al-Ali

Two ambassadors of Qatar Foundation's (QF) Akhlaquna Award have shared how their lives changed after they were honoured.
Dana al-Ali and Ghalya Abdulla are students at QF partner universities in Education City.
“The Akhlaquna Award motivated me to rethink our roles in this life," stated al-Ali, studying at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q).
"I became more inclined to help the elderly and to help those who need it. I learned how to apply ethical values to my future patients; how to build a relationship with them that continues to enhance their recovery; and I learned how a smile, or a kind gesture can make someone happy.”
“Being an ambassador for the Akhlaquna Award means carrying all the noble values that the award stands for and realizing that ethics are an integral part of our daily lives,” observed al-Ali.
Abdulla, president of the Qatari Student Association and a student at Texas A&M University at Qatar, had organised the Education City United event.
“The Akhlaquna Award has enhanced my social networking skills as I have been able to form a network of friendships inside and outside Education City,” she recalled.
Both al-Ali and Abdulla believe ethics are not only part of their respective fields of specialisation – medicine and engineering – but also at the heart of these professions, as with all professions.
“If it wasn’t for the passion to save lives, the medical profession would not exist. We always say that medicine is the art of science because it always shows an element of the humanities within the field science.
“I think a world without morals would be a horrible place to live in, where we would lose the element that makes us human,” said al-Ali, who is also a member of a team whose project won the 12th cycle of Qatar National Research Fund’s Undergraduate Research Experience Programme.
In turn, Abdulla explains: “Ethics is a value that overlaps with all aspects of our lives, including the scientific field. Our university curriculum includes a subject called Engineering Ethics which shows us the importance of adhering to values during the practice of the profession. Trust is one of the most important elements of these values, and an engineer, doctor, businessman, and others must possess these values to be active citizens.”
Work-life balance and time management may be a challenge for those who follow an academic path that requires dedication toward long hours of study alongside performing the role of an “ambassador” with tasks that contribute to serving others.
On this, Abdulla said: “I learned the skill of time management during my first year at university, which helped me balance my studies with my duties as an ambassador for the Akhlaquna Award. These tasks enhanced my leadership skills, making me more flexible and willing to contribute to making a change.”
In turn, al-Ali saw that achieving a healthy work-life balance depends on how we set our priorities. “In my field of work, and when studying medicine, there are many to-do lists, and despite the packed schedule, my role as an ambassador for the Akhlaquna Award is not an impediment to these things, but rather it brings a beautiful meaning to everything I do.”
As Akhlaquna Award ambassadors, both al-Ali and Abdulla encourage all young people, whether in the Education City or the larger community, to take part in this award, either by submitting ideas for purposeful projects bearing human values, or by being ambassadors with a will and desire to make a difference in society.
“The Akhlaquna Award has become my passion and a part of my life. I follow its activities every year. Some participants in the award have become ambassadors for it. All this positive energy that the award brings to us, motivates me to encourage others to participate in it," explains Abdulla.
“The best part is that all projects are considered successful and valuable even if you do not win. With the award, everyone who carries a valuable idea is a special individual and deserves appreciation. And this is what the award’s objectives are based on.”
Al-Ali, too, agrees that she encourages young people to take part in the award by creating meaningful ideas that contribute to community service.
“I always strive to motivate the younger generation to explore the world and find solutions to the problems that confront us. Because great ideas can come from a simple observation. Just watch what is going on around you, you will see many challenges waiting for a solution. With all that, we have to remember that we grew up with different technologies and innovations around us which enhance our ability to be creative, giving us the opportunity to turn an idea into a successful project,” says al-Ali.
Abdulla indicates that she will carry the values forever that she adopted during her role as an ambassador for the Akhlaquna Award, and that she seeks to leave a beautiful impact on everyone she meets.
“Ethics is a wonderful value that makes peoples’ lives better. It eases their sadness and anxiety, and makes them believe in the value of life, instills hope in them, and enhances their ability to continue no matter how harsh their life’s circumstances are. Realizing that good is still between us gives us the motivation to give, love, and deal with others with kindness and honesty.”
As for al-Ali, she says: “I may not hold the title of ambassador for the Akhlaquna Award forever, but the ethics that I have adopted will remain a part of my personality and will accompany me on my journey always. I will also make sure that ethics are at the heart of everything I do and advocate because ethics is more than an award – it is a brighter and hopeful vision of life.”

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