HH Amir attends Qatar Foundation's convocation ceremony

HH Amir attends Qatar Foundation's convocation ceremony

By QLNews

His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Amir of Qatar, was present for Qatar Foundation's (QF) convocation ceremony held at Al Shaqab. The ceremony marks the turning point in the lives of graduates of universities in Education City.

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of QF, and Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Hamad bin Suhaim Al-Thani, Wife of His Highness the Amir of Qatar, was also present.

The ceremony was also attended by His Excellency Mr. Hassan Abdulla Al-Ghanim, Speaker of the Shura Council, ministers, diplomats, university presidents, deans, and faculty, and the families of graduates.

More than 800 graduates of QF's Class of 2022 at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) and partner universities participated in the convocation. HBKU graduates with experiences in Education City are equipped with the skills to innovate, excel, and drive positive change in the region and globally, reflecting on their achievements and looking ahead to the future as they attend the convocation.

Hundreds of graduates from QF's Classes of 2020 and 2021 attended this year's Convocation celebrations. In the symbolic and traditional Convocation ceremony, they walked through the Door of the Future with their 2022 counterparts, marking the beginning of a new era in their lives as they reflect on their experiences and accomplishments within QF's globally unique educational system.

Dr. Fathy Saoud, QF’s first president, played a significant role in the organization's evolution and establishment of the education ecosystem. In honor of Dr. Saoud, who passed away in January, A film chronicling his contributions to QF was screened at the Convocation ceremony. Also, the position of Chair Professor of Biological Sciences in the College of Health and Life Sciences at HBKU will be created in his name, since biological sciences were Dr. Saoud's area of study.

During the Convocation ceremony, Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation, told graduates: “There are no orphan ideas, no orphan generations. We will always be connected to those that came before us. We will always be the continuation of our forefathers.

“If you find some truths unbearable, listen to them anyway. Take the time to understand what our forefathers stood for and why. Then take the time to understand what your role is in this journey. Your learning journey has just started.”

Graduating the Class of 2022 will see QF's alumni ranks climb to almost 8,000, and the Convocation ceremony will acknowledge students who have excelled in areas ranging from medicine, engineering, art and design, communication, and international affairs to Islamic studies, law and public policy, computing, humanities and social sciences, and business – allowing them to explore new fields, broaden their skills and mindsets, and establish goals for themselves as a result of being a member of the QF community.

Fatima Al Shibani, a graduate of Weill Cornell-Medicine Qatar, said: “Initially, I wanted to be a doctor to help others, but as I’ve gone through my education at QF, I’ve learned more about other ways in which I can help patients, which is why I will now pursue a Master’s in Public Health.

“I would like to do more in the field of research and advanced technologies, and find better outcomes for patients.”

Having graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar, Noof Al-Naama says she has “always seen herself as a QF student” having been taking classes and summer courses at the university since she was 13. “I have an artistic background in the family, and I hope I can carry forward that legacy for the next generations to come,” said the granddaughter of Jassim Zaini, Qatar’s first fine artist.

“It is important that people fulfill their passion in education, because this is how we give back as much as we can to our community.”

Eid Al-Bordaini, who graduated from HBKU with a second degree in sport and entertainment management, said: “I am looking forward to giving to my community and my country, because Qatar has been working hard to host mega-events. It has let the whole world know who Qatar is – and I want to be part of this.”

Texas A&M University at Qatar electrical and computer engineering graduate Khalid Al-Emadi spoke about how the highlight of his university experience at QF was “coming back to university after COVID-19 led to online classes, and seeing faces for the first time in years”, while Sotirios Koumaridis, an Executive MBA graduate from HEC Paris in Qatar, said studying at QF had allowed him to “meet interesting personalities from diverse cultural backgrounds, and seeing interactions become friendships.”

Waad Al Khenji, a Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar computer science graduate, described her feelings after graduating, saying she was “Very empowered.” 

“With the pandemic and remote learning, it wasn’t the easiest journey, but it was a beautiful one with the beautiful people I met along the way – I wouldn’t have done it without their support,” she added.

“Moving toward the future, I want to be a role model and an inspiration for women considering a career in computer science.”

As a graduate of Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) in culture and politics, Iman Abdelbagi Ismail emphasized the invaluable experience of attending a conference co-organized by one of her professors on female theologians in Islam. “We learned about what it means to be a woman within any field of academia, and what it means to asset yourself and your influence. This is one memory that really stands out for me, and has had a lot to do with shaping my future choices and outlook,” she said.

Hessa Al Khulaifi, a communications graduate from Northwestern University in Qatar, summarized her experience in the QF as follows: “Today, I’m more confident and clear-minded when it comes to decision-making, compared to four years ago, and I want to use what university has taught me to help build the future of my country.

“The advice I’d give to current and new QF students is: it goes by faster than you think, so enjoy it and create memories. And be part of the QF community and learn about the people who are on this ride with you – they may become your lifelong friends.”

In speaking at this year's Convocation ceremony, QF alumnus Dr. Mohammed Al-Nufal, a graduate of WCM-Q in 2012 and a pediatrics physician currently working in the US, returned to Qatar. During his time as a QF student, he was among the speakers in Qatar’s bid to secure the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Counting down the days to the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East, Dr. Al-Nufal told graduates: “I have learned that if you want to achieve anything, big or small, that reflects QF’s vision, you have to first believe in your idea as QF believed in its vision.

“Define your ambitions and expectations – and when the idea exists, and your ambitions are defined, the real work starts. And what matters is not necessarily the time you give to your work, but the sacrifice you make and how you ensure that the time you give is valuable.

“The final lesson I have learned is that you should surround yourself with people who have the same spirit, ambitions, and sense of responsibility as you. This team will be the reason for your success, so choose your team wisely.

“Believe in your potential as I believed in mine, because you can achieve the best.”


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