Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q),which graduated its first class in 2012, is celebrating its alumni to mark the 10-year anniversary.
Since its founding in 2008 in partnership with the Qatar Foundation, NU-Q has graduated more than 500 alumni who work in media, journalism, government, business and higher education.
“Northwestern opened its doors in Qatar with a mission to train the next generation of media and communication professionals in the region, and, after a decade of leading the way, our success is embodied in our alumni who are leading not only in media and communication but business, government and higher education,” said Marwan M Kraidy, dean and CEO of NU-Q. “I am so proud of our alumni for making a difference wherever they are, by contributing to the production of knowledge, and crafting the narratives of events, people, and brands.”
An alumni-focused website was launched to document alumni achievements. Diversity of thought, critical perspective and unforgettable experiences are among the shared sentiments expressed by alumni reflecting on their NU-Q experience. With the majority of alumni employed, and close to one-third pursuing higher education, alumni also shared the effect that NU-Q had on their professional and personal lives.
“The people I met at NU-Q made all the difference in my life. They pushed me, yes, they challenged me — but most importantly, they believed in me and made me believe in myself,” said Dana Atrach ’13, now an assistant professor at NU-Q. In keeping with the legacy, Atrach now pushes her students to achieve greatness, “I want them to believe that there’s nothing they can’t do. I want them to keep exploring until they find what makes them happy. I want them to break free from the pressures and expectations that are being thrown at them and to find their own voice and to go at their own pace,” she added.
Reflecting on the impact NU-Q had on her personal and professional life, Zena Tahhan ’15 said, “NU-Q sharpened my research, creative and critical thinking skills. My professors pushed me to expand my horizon, deepen my analysis of complex social and political issues, and believe in myself — and they consistently supported me with the expertise, tools and resources to do so.” Now a Human Rights Researcher in Jerusalem, Tahhan added, “the foundation I obtained at Northwestern University in Qatar has been a reference point not just for my work but for my life.”
In highlighting the important role alumni play as part of the NU-Q community, Alex Schultes, assistant dean for the student experience, said, “we strive to foster lifelong connections, exciting events, and rewarding networking opportunities for our graduates. Throughout this year, we look forward to reconnecting with alumni and expanding their career networks through new virtual initiatives like a renewed online alumni directory and a private LinkedIn alumni group.”