To celebrate the new year, here is a compilation of 2018’s major happenings in Education City.
GU-Q alumnus named one of the winners of 2018 Queen’s Young Leaders Awards
Haroon Yasin (SFS ‘15) was named one of the winners of the 2018 Queen’s Young Leaders Awards for his work to educate underprivileged children in Pakistan. This award is given annually to recognize young people who are making a positive impact in their local community. Yasin and fellow GU-Q Alumnus Ahwaz Akhtar (SFS ‘16) are the founders of Orenda, an education organization that uses engaging digital tools to teach low-income children in Pakistan.
Photo creds: GU-Q website
Official Launch of Akhlaquna Award
At QF’s 2017 graduation convocation, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser announced the Akhlaquna Award, an award celebrating people who display exemplary moral values and make an effort to spread these values in their communities. On Feb. 17 of this year, QF held a press conference to formally announce the launch of their Akhlaquna Award.
Photo credits: Qatar Foundation Instagram
New Names for Education City Buildings
Qatar Foundation gave new permanent names to Education City buildings “to reflect each building’s unique identity and personality.” Some of the new names include “Biznest” for Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, “Pressdock” for Northwestern University in Qatar, “Medbay” for Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, and “2015” for Qatar Foundation Headquarters. The names have now taken effect and are used to label each building for bus stops. Plaques have also been placed outside the entrance of each building featuring the new name.
Source: Aisha Al-Qadi
Official Opening of Qatar National Library
Qatar National Library officially opened on April 16, although it had a soft opening in Nov 2017 and was open to the public since. To mark the opening, the Emir of Qatar H.H. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani placed the one millionth book at the facility, a rare 843-year-old manuscript copy of Sahih Al Bukhari. This was followed by a ceremony attended by the father emir, as well as several other dignitaries, politicians, diplomats and guests representing 52 countries.
Source: The Asian Telegraph Qatar
NU-Q releases “Media Use in the Middle East — A Five-Year Retrospection”
A five-year retrospective report of the annual study “Media Use in the Middle East,” conducted by Northwestern University in Qatar, was released on May 30. An interesting observation in the study in 2018 showed that more Saudis & Emiratis than other Arabs surveyed worry about governments monitoring of what they do online. Overall, the new report revealed long-term trends in news and entertainment consumption, social media preferences, and attitudes about the media, indicating a lasting impact of the Arab Spring on media habits in the Middle East.
Source: Qatar Foundation
Ramadhan at Education City
QF hosted a wide range of activities throughout Ramadan at Education City. The Qur’anic Botanic Garden hosted the AlUtrujah Holy Quran contest for school students, the Education City Mosque held an Iftar program throughout Ramadan, the recreation center and student center hosted a variety of sporting events, including adult swimming classes, artistic gymnastics, mixed martial arts for children, a women’s volleyball tournament, and a men’s badminton competition. QF also celebrated Garangao, a popular children’s festival traditionally held across the Arabian Gulf region mid-way through Ramadan, on June 1.
Source: Qatar Foundation
VCUarts Qatar Alumni hold Art Exhibitions at QF
Othman Khunji’s art exhibition, “Deconstructing the Sacred,” opened at Education City Mosque on July 3. The exhibition featured interactive installations created through the application of innovative technology, including water jet engraving, 3D printing and laser cutting. Through exploration of themes of religion and culture, the exhibition invited individuals from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds to embrace differences. Khunji graduated with a MFA in Design from Virginia Commonwealth School of the Arts in Qatar in 2015. The exhibition officially closed on Sept. 30.
Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha showcased “Bouthayna Al-Muftah: Echoes,” a reflection on the rapid social and cultural changes that have taken place in Qatar over the past few decades. Bouthayna Al-Muftah is a Qatari visual artist who graduated from VCUarts Qatar in 2010. The exhibition was displayed from 12 July to 10 Sept.
Source: The Peninsula Qatar
QNL Celebrates International Literacy Day
Qatar National Library celebrated International Literacy Day with a series of events organized throughout the month. This included interactive workshops, such as an assistive technology demonstration workshop for individuals with special needs, lectures for teachers and parents, a documentary screening, and a public panel.
Source: Fareehan Moustafa.
Debate Cancelation in Georgetown University
Georgetown University in Qatar canceled a debate titled, “Major Religions Should Portray God as a Woman,” after a public backlash ensued when the poster for the debate was publicized on social media.
Screenshot from Twitter.
Re-unveiling of Sculptures of Fetal Development outside Sidra Medical and Research Center
The 14 bronze Damien Hirst artistic sculptures, titled “A Miraculous Journey,” located in front of the Sidra Medical and Research Center were unveiled again since 2013. However, the unveiling did result in some backlash among many Qataris with some criticizing the sculptures as violating Islamic principles.
Photo credit: https://twitter.com/munya57/status/1053256354117246976
US Treasury Secretary Visits GU-Q
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin visited Georgetown University in Qatar’s campus on Wednesday, Oct. 24, and met with Qatari and international students. However, some voiced their concerns over the timing of his visit.
Photo credit: https://twitter.com/stevenmnuchin1/status/1055811965577240576
Latest Security Measure at Education City
Qatar Foundation’s Health, Safety, Security and Environment department has installed Code Blue (a term used to signify emergency situations) phones at 12 different locations throughout Education City to ensure safety and a sustainable environment.
Photo credit: Abdul Rahman Abid.
Storms Cause Major Damage in Qatar Foundation
Doha experienced a torrential rainfall on Oct. 20, causing major damage to a number of Qatar Foundation’s facilities and leading to flooding, broken ceilings and doors, disrupted Wi-Fi access and ruined classrooms across Education City. This resulted in many universities in QF closing for a few days to assess damage. Some universities held make up classes in the following weeks to compensate for lost class time.
Photo provided by Inaara Gangji.
Sidra’s Official Opening
On Nov. 12, HH Sheikha Moza officially opened Sidra Medicine Hospital, a women’s and children’s hospital in Qatar. The hospital is located in Al Gharaffa street and operates from Sunday to Monday from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Source: The Peninsula Qatar
Torba Farmers Market Re-opened at QF
Torba Farmers Market re-opened in Education City, ceremonial court, on Nov. 16th and will go on every weekend till March 30th from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. The market includes products from local farms, vendors, local food and beverages.
Photo by Saad Ejaz.
The 2018 World Innovation Summit for Health
The World Innovation Summit for Health was held in Doha at the Qatar National Convention Centre from Nov. 13 -14.The summit aimed to address some of the world’s most pressing healthcare challenges and explored new ways of overcoming them. Michael Phelps, retired Olympic swimming champion, gave the keynote address where he discussed his personal journey with mental health.
Photo by Inaara Gangji.
Education City United Qatar National Day Event
On Nov. 29th, Education City celebrated Qatar National Day in an event titled “Education City United.” The event was organized in collaboration by students across EC. It was located at Ceremonial Court and featured a heritage market, an art gallery showcasing patriotic artwork by EC students, food vendors, along with stage performances of traditional music and dance.
Source: The Peninsula Qatar
Qatar Foundation HQ in Blue for Human Rights Day
On Dec. 10, QF commemorated Human Rights Day by lighting the 2015 building (QF HQ) in blue. This year was significant as it marked the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Many other Doha building also lit up in blue to recognize Human Rights Day.
Source: Qatar Foundation Instagram.
Georgetown Showcases piece of Berlin Wall
Georgetown University displayed a part of the historic Berlin Wall that was erected in 1989 to divide the east side of Berlin from the West, on Dec. 11. The wall served as a physical and ideological divide, standing as a symbol of oppression for almost three decades. Many QF dignitaries attended the event, such as Mrs. Machaille Al Naimi, president of Qatar Foundation community development, who spoke at the unveiling.