Dr. Reem Al-Ansari, Legal Professor and Scholar, appeared on the John Fredericks Show on 11 June 2018, to discuss the impact of the one year GCC crisis including the legal perspective of the blockade, and her perception of what triggered the crisis. Watch the full clip of the segment below:
The Qatar-America Institute welcomed the Brightwood Panthers girls’ basketball team to the Capital One Arena on Sunday, June 3rd for the WNBA match between the Washington Mystics and the Connecticut Sun. The team enjoyed popcorn, veggies, and hummus while cheering on the Mystics. The Qatar-America Institute is proud to support women and girls in sports by hosting the team to see a women’s basketball game.
As part of its Ramadan program for this holy month, QAI hosted different families and individuals for its third Iftar on June 4th, 2018 focusing on the message of “Islam & Family Traditions.” This Iftar was an exciting opportunity for community-building and cultural exchange around the diverse Ramadan traditions practiced in Muslim families, especially in Qatar and the United States. The role of Islam in the family, particularly the family dynamics with women and children, was also highlighted during this Iftar’s speeches and exhibited gallery.
The evening started with QAI’s Fatima Al-Dosari narrating the story of “Garangao,” a Qatari children’s tradition celebrated on the 15th night of Ramadan. In Garangao, children wear colorful traditional clothing and jewelry after Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer, and walk around their neighborhoods singing the Garangao song and trick-or-treating. The Garangao tradition has been celebrated for decades, and children from all backgrounds and nationalities get to enjoy this annual celebration in Qatar.
Representatives from the All Dulles American Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center shared some American Muslim traditions too. Hurunnessa Fariad, the Outreach/Interfaith/Media Coordinator for ADAMS Center, and Nabila Chohan, the Principal of ADAMS Sully Branch Sunday School talked ADAMS Center’s activities and its surrounding Muslim community during Ramadan. During the year ADAMS Center trains its young American Muslim choir called “ADAMS Beat,” A prominent Muslim Choir in the US. The Iftar guests enjoyed hearing “America the Beautiful” and “Ramadan Ya Habib,” (or “Ramadan O, Beloved” in English) by the nine young boys and girls from the choir.
Before concluding the night’s program and beginning the Iftar Marwan, a young boy from ADAMS Beat, performed Adhan Al Maghrib, the sunset call to prayer which calls fasting Muslims to break their fast and begin their Iftar. QAI distributed Garangao bags full of traditional candy and nuts to ADAMS Beat members and the children among the audience.
Special thanks to the Qatar Cultural Attaché’s Office for their support with this Iftar.
The QAI Iftar Series is made possible thanks to the generous support of Gulf Bridge International.
Michael Greenwald, Former US Treasury Attache to Qatar and Kuwait and Atlantic Council Senior Advisor, appeared on the Atlantic Council on 06 June 2018 to discuss the Gulf rift, implications on the economy and region, and competition between the states.
Patrick Theros, Former Qatar Ambassador, appeared on the John Fredericks Show on 06 June 2018, to discuss the effects of the one year blockade on Qatar including agriculture and women. The Ambassador also talks about how this blockade affected other Gulf states.
The National Human Rights Committee of Qatar, an accredited member of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions, has released its fifth general report on the human rights violations imposed by the illegal blockade on Qatar.
While the human rights implications of the blockade are less popularly discussed than the economic effect of the blockade and the political efforts surrounding it, the diplomatic siege has received significant attention from human rights organizations, including the UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights.
Human rights violations from the blockade include restricted access to education, limited freedom of travel, and suppression of free speech.Continuation of human rights violations
Imam Amir Muhammad, Co-Founder of America’s Islamic Heritage Museum, appeared on the John Fredericks Show on 24 May 2018 to discuss the Holy Month of Ramadan and Islamic heritage in the United States. Imam Amir previously spoke about Islam’s rich cultural history in America at QAI’s first Iftar dinner.
On the evening of May 21, QAI celebrated its second iftar in recognition of the holy month of Ramadan. The theme of this particular iftar, “Islam & the World Religions,” focused primarily on an interfaith dialogue between Islam, Christianity and Judaism, and where the three major religions share common ground and likeness among their respective faithful followers.
An iftar, which means “the breaking of the fast” in Arabic, is the meal eaten after sundown by observant Muslims who had been fasting during daylight hours. After the Maghrib prayer, the fast is traditionally broken by eating a date before feasting upon a selection of foods and drinks, some traditionally linked to the holiday.
QAI’s interfaith iftar welcomed three esteemed guests who conducted the interfaith dialogue for all in attendance to listen and participate in. The first guest was Imam Talib Shareef, President and Imam of the historic Nation’s Mosque in Washington, DC. Imam Talib is a retired Chief Master Sergeant of the United States Air Force after 30 years, and has served as an Imam in five U.S. cities and seven military locations around the world. He was the first Imam with military service to offer prayer at an opening session of the U.S Congress, and also led the historic Islamic congregational prayer at the Washington National Cathedral. He led, co-organized and spoke at various peace initiatives and interfaith Ramadan Iftars nationally and globally, for example at the White House, the Pentagon, and for the first and subsequent Iftars hosted by an Israeli Ambassador to U.S.
The second special guest was Reverend Steven Martin, Director of Communications and Development at the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) where he represents a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches from more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation. He’s also a filmmaker whose first major film found a lot of media and public interest after 9/11. His new interfaith initiative called “Know Your Neighbor,” an initiative born at a White House convention on religious pluralism and focuses on the deeply personal effect on his understanding of humanity.
The third guest was Rabbi James Hyman, CEO of the Institute for American Judaism and is an ordained rabbi and a member of the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington (IFC). Rabbi Hyman believes in the value of education, and being open, respectful, and welcoming when dealing with interfaith matters, especially interfaith families and couples. He also believes that the Jewish community has to be very sensitive to the different ways that people do celebrate their identities and nurture them in an interfaith environment.
Before celebrating the iftar, the three honored guests shared in a discussion about faith, fasting, and the commonalities between the three religions they each represented respectively. Imam Talib shared some stories about how the early followers of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) where received by the Christian king of Ethiopia since they too were “people of the Book.” The three speakers shared some remarks on the importance of fasting for means of achieving higher levels of spirituality, a practice that is referenced in all three religions.
Following the dialogue, Imam Talib gave the adan, or call to prayer, to signal to those who had been fasting that it is now permissible to break the fast with dates and water. At this time guests were welcomed to a spread of traditional Middle Eastern and Qatari foods, sweets, and juices, which was shared together with everyone partaking in the experience.
QAI believes these iftars are an excellent opportunity for community to come together to celebrate and share in one’s culture and to learn about traditions and heritage in an open and comfortable setting. While the iftars each have a different theme, the intent behind them remains the same: exploring how connection can be attained through sharing in the cultural richness of others. Click here for more information about QAI’s Iftar Series or to view upcoming dates.
The QAI Iftar Series is made possible thanks to the generous support of Gulf Bridge International.
On May 17, the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) signed a memorandum of understanding to donate $50 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to provide immediate support for UNRWA’s education services in Gaza, the West Bank including East Jerusalem, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.
This is only one of many donations that Qatar’s QFFD gave this year. According to the Devex for International Development, “Qatar’s budget for official development assistance has grown dramatically since the Arab Spring in 2010, jumping from about $10 million a year to a few hundred million dollars in just three years.”
The QFFD’s annual donations are now close to $1 billion for 2018 only, which is a sign of Qatar’s aim to strengthen its ties with the worldly development system and philanthropical entities.
About the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD)
It’s is a governmental organization that was established in Qatar since 2015. The QFFD is designated for Qatar’s international development and foreign aids. The QFFD also organizes between Qatar’s charitable and development institutions. The QFFD Director-General is Khalifa bin Jassem Al-Kuwari. The QFFD has more than fifty targeted countries for development assistance and relief all around the world.
Qatar worked with the Downtown D.C. Business Improvement District (@DowntownDCBID) to keep the Washington Metropolitan Transportation Authority (WMATA) open for an hour later for Thursday night’s Capitals game. DC’s metro system, WMATA, previously needed to discontinue late night service due to budget constraints.
Qatar and the @DowntownDCBID teamed up years ago to deliver City Center DC. Today, they’re doing it again to deliver late night Metro service to Caps fans. Beat the rain and Lightning, take Metro and let’s #GoCaps! @Amb_AlThani @QatarEmbassyUSA #ALLCAPS
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) May 17, 2018
Qatar and Downtown DCBID have previously cooperated to help fund and develop City Center DC. The move was hailed on Twitter by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and by the Qatari Embassy in DC.
#Qatar is proud to partner with @MayorBowser, @DowntownDCBID and @wmata and support #DC fans for tonight’s @Capitals game. We believe in bringing communities closer together through sports #GoCaps https://t.co/gRHz1CmSQd
— Qatar Embassy USA (@QatarEmbassyUSA) May 17, 2018
(Image Source: Sports Illustrated)