Category: Analysis

Expressions Series Recap

QAI’s Expressions Artist Talk series features a variety of American personalities, artists, and creatives who have lived or worked in Qatar and whose works were inspired and influenced by Qatari culture.

An art and culture talk, Expressions aims to highlight the intersections and cultural connections that tie the American and Qatari people through storytelling.  American creatives and cultural experts are invited to speak about their unique endeavors and artistic work, showcasing how they were inspired by Qatar as a country, culture,  or society.

Whether in filmmaking, literature, fashion design, or music, speakers will delve into presentations and conversations that express their artistic journey and experience in Qatar.

The Expression Artist Talks Series is a recurring public creative dialogue. The guest speakers share their own experiences and reflections, followed by questions and answers from the audience.

 

Expressions Chicago

 

In June 2019, QAI hosted a lecture, The Contemporary Architecture of Qatar with noted author and architectural critic, Philip Jodidio. The talk was held in Chicago, representing QAI’s first engagement with a major Midwestern city and cultural hub in the US.

 

The lecture was moderated by former Senior Associate Dean of Northwestern University in Qatar, Richard J. Roth. After a presentation by Jodidio, a dialogue on contemporary architecture and urban development in Doha, Qatar.

 

The event gathered Chicago area architects, engineers, business leaders and students for an overview by Mr. Jodidio that included discussion of Qatar’s state-of-the-art museums and internationally acclaimed original architecture including the I.M. Pei-designed Museum of Islamic Art; the Qatar National Library; Msheireb Downtown Doha with significant design and sustainability innovations by Chicago-based architects and engineers.

 

 

Expressions Houston

 

In February 2020, QAI hosted a lecture, “The Arabian Horse: Lore & Legend” with Houstonian and renowned Arabian breeder, Michael Byatt, at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

 

Byatt, of Michael Byatt Arabians, is an internationally known Arabian horse breeder and rider who helped develop the Arabians at Qatar’s Al Shaqab Equestrian Center, which has influenced breeding worldwide. Established in 1992, Al Shaqab has bred seven World Champion stallions, who have flown regularly between Qatar, Europe, and the United States, living for many years.

 

The program was moderated by Diana Untermeyer, author of “Qatar: Sand, Sea, and Sky” and cultural advisor to QAI.

 

 

 

 

Expressions in Washington DC

 

In February 2020, QAI hosted Fostering Multiculturalism in Film: Reflections & Lessons as a Film Professor in the Arab World,” featuring renowned filmmaker and Northwestern University professor Marco Williams at its Washington DC office.

 

Most recently, Professor Williams completed a film called “The Undocumented” – a PBS broadcast/ Independent Lense featured documentary.

 

In 2007, Williams directed and produced “Banished,” a movie that documents African-American descendants’ experiences as they return to the former homes that earlier generations of their families were once evicted from.

 

The program was moderated by Georgetown professor Michael Dyson, who serves as a regular commentator on National Public Radio, MSNBC, and CNN. Professor Williams discussed his teaching experience while at Northwestern University’s Qatar campus.

 

As part of his discussion, Williams exhibited his students’ short series Naseeb. Naseeb examines the plight of a young woman as she pursues her dream of becoming an architect against the wishes of her mother, who instead wants her to be married. The screening of the series served as a jumping-off point for the two academics as they discussed how the students’ creation served as a reflection of the complexity within various parts of Arabian Gulf society and, in general, the greater Muslim world.

 

Other aspects of the discussion centered around issues of patriarchy within both the West and the East; how one can teach without allowing Western bias to seep into the classroom; and how to best discuss sensitive issues through the usage of Film as a medium.

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Fostering Multiculturalism in Film

The Qatar-America Institute hosts its’ Expressions Artist Talk in Washington on both creating and teaching documentary filmmaking with renowned filmmaker Marco Williams and Michael Dyson.

The Qatar-America Institute (QAI) hosted their Expressions Artist Talk, “Fostering Multiculturalism in Film: Reflections & Lessons as a Film Professor in the Arab World,” featuring renowned filmmaker and Northwestern University professor Marco Williams at its Washington office.

Most recently, Professor Williams completed a film called “The Undocumented” – a PBS broadcast/ Independent Lense featured documentary. In 2007, Williams directed and produced “Banished,” a movie that documents African-American descendants’ experiences as they return to the former homes that earlier generations of their families were once evicted from.

The program was moderated by Georgetown professor Michael Dyson, who serves as a regular commentator on National Public Radio, MSNBC, and CNN. Professor Williams discussed his teaching experience while at Northwestern University’s Qatar campus.

As part of his discussion, Williams exhibited his students’ short series Naseeb. Naseeb examines the plight of a young woman as she pursues her dream of becoming an architect against the wishes of her mother, who instead wants her to be married.

The screening of the series served as a jumping-off point for the two academics as they discussed how the students’ creation served as a reflection of the complexity within various parts of Arabian Gulf society and, in general, the greater Muslim world.

Other aspects of the discussion centered around issues of patriarchy within both the West and the East; how one can teach without allowing Western bias to seep into the classroom; and how to best discuss sensitive issues through the usage of Film as a medium.

The talk was followed by a networking reception that featured an individual performance by award-winning D.C. Jazz artist Elijah Jamal Balbed, and pianist Mark G. Meadows.

Fostering Multiculturalism in Film” was a part of QAI’s Expressions Artist Talk series, which features American personalities, artists, and creatives who have lived or worked in Qatar and whose works are inspired and influenced by Qatari culture. The guest speakers share their own experiences and reflections, followed by questions and answers from the audience.

 

 

Qatar’s Growing Film Industry: Championing Arab Cinema at the 2020 Oscars
The Qatar-America Institute Celebrates End of First-Ever Qatar-America Photography Contest
Fostering Multiculturalism in Film

 

 

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QAI brings “Short Cuts to Qatar” to New York

On February 25th, 2020, the Qatar-America Institute (QAI), in partnership with the Doha Film Institute (DFI), hosted a film screening at the Tribeca Film Center in New York City. The event celebrated DFI’s work in championing emerging filmmaking talent in Qatar and the MENA region. The event saw a screening of the Short Cuts to Qatar program, a series of seven short films made by Qatar-based filmmakers. Several of the films screened were recipients of support from DFI’s grants program, which provides development, production, and postproduction funding to domestic and international filmmakers. 

The genres of the films ranged from animation to documentary. They displayed the creative talent of young filmmakers as they grappled, through their art, portraying the everyday lives, struggles, and triumphs of the Middle East’s youth-dominated societies. 

The following films were part of the screening: Maha’ Mel (Ships) by Dhabya Al-Muhannadi; The Unlucky Hamster by Abdulaziz Khashabi; I Am Not My Father by Naif Hassan Al-Malki; Voyager by Khalifa Al-Marri; Nasser Goes to Space by Mohammed Al-Mahmeed; Revive the Lira’s Glory by Alessandra El Chanti; Socotra by Ching Siew Hua. 

Following the screening, QAI hosted a brief discussion with Alessandra El Chanti, who directed the short film “Revive the Lira’s Glory.” The film, centered around the work of a Lebanese artist, Ibrahim Sultani, captured the nature of both the economic and sectarian crisis gripping Lebanon. Sultani, rather than focusing on contemporary political figures, paints portraits of Lebanese icons on banknotes. 

El Chanti, who pursued her undergraduate studies at Northwestern University in Qatar, is currently a candidate for the Masters of Fine Arts at Northwestern’s Illinois campus. As a student trained and submerged in the universal language of film, El Chanti embodies the educational and cultural exchange that QAI takes as its mission to highlight and celebrate.

Professor Nurhaizatul Jamil, Assistant Professor in Global South Studies and the co-director of the Social Media Lab at The Pratt Institute, moderated the Q&A session with El Chanti and the audience. At Pratt, Professor Jamil teaches classes on Women in the Muslim world, Middle Eastern communities and cultures, decolonizing methodologies, and fashion and sustainability studies. Her current research examines the entanglements between modest fashion and sustainability within Muslim communities. 

Several of the films screened appeared in the 2019 edition of the Ajyal Film Festival, DFI’s marquee annual film festival. ‘Ajyal,’ Arabic for ‘generations,’ brings people of all ages together through screenings and events that inspire creative interaction and stimulate cinematic dialogue. QAI was honored to help bring a flavor of Ajyal to New York City, showcasing DFI’s efforts to encourage the growth of storytelling through the medium of film in the region and the world. As a complement to Ajyal’s drive to promote filmmaking talent, DFI also spearheads a mentorship program for aspiring filmmakers, known as Qumra

Qumra is an annual initiative that offers mentorship and practical development experience, via its Qumra Master Classes, for filmmakers from Qatar and around the world. Internationally accredited professionals in the film industry teach the Qumra Master Classes. Qumra 2019 ran for five days, from March 15th to March 20th. The program included an array of public screenings and events. The featured selections were films produced by Qumra Masters and by the recipients of DFI’s grants programs.

The New York screening of the Short Cuts to Qatar program was made possible by the generous support of the Qatar National Tourism Council, which is curating Qatar as the Middle East’s destination of choice for leisure and business travelers. 

 

About DFI

Since its founding in 2010, DFI has been dedicated to film appreciation, education, and building a dynamic film industry in Qatar that focuses on nurturing regional storytellers while being entirely global in its scope. 

About QAI

QAI is an independent Washington D.C.-based nonprofit organization that hosts an open space to convene people, facilitate cross-cultural exchanges, and develop educational research on the strategic and cultural ties between the United States and the State of Qatar.

 

 

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Qatar’s Growing Film Industry: Championing Arab Cinema at the 2020 Oscars

Doha Film Institute (DFI) and The Qatar-America Institute (QAI) partnered on a delegation to Los Angeles to highlight Qatars role in supporting Arab Cinema and MENA region filmmakers during Oscars week.

 

Los Angeles, CA – February 16th, 2020: The Qatar-America Institute (QAI) joined together with program partner the Doha Film Institute (DFI) for QAI’s Expert Voices delegation to Los Angeles during the 2020 Oscars week. Expert Voices Series, a QAI initiative sponsored by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (S.C.), invites experts from Qatar as a medium for encouraging broader and more diverse conversations and collaborations between Qatari experts with U.S.-based leaders in the fields of culture, sports, and technology. This month’s Expert Voices delegation to L.A., focusing on film, consisted of DFI’s CEO Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, QAI’s Executive Director, Fatima Al-Dosari, and Abdullah Al-Mosallam, Deputy Director of Ajyal Film Festival and Chief Administrative Officer of DFI.

 

The delegation’s objective aimed to highlight Qatar, a major investor in the U.S. and soon-to-be home to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, as a force in the film industry via the Doha Film Institute. In addition to showcasing the nation’s role in supporting and championing films, filmmakers, and creatives from the region, the Expert Voices delegation solidified existing relationships and fostered new ones in California. The Expert Voices trip to L.A. presented an opportunity for QAI and DFI to act on their new partnership and join together in strengthening the voices from the region, through the power of films and storytelling, and by engaging in conversations on the importance of female empowerment and multicultural representation.

 

Executive Director of QAI, Fatima Al-Dosari, poses for a photograph with the CEO of Doha Film Institute, Fatma Hassan Alremaihi

Fatima Al-Dosari, Executive Director of the Qatar America Institute, said, “We are thrilled to have this opportunity to join our partner, the Doha Film Institute, in L.A. to champion the three Qatari-backed films that were recognized at this year’s Oscars: the DFI-granted films The Cave and Brotherhood and the Al-Jazeera Witness supported film St. Louis Superman. We are also excited to showcase the strong ties between Qatar and the U.S. through its investments and partnerships in California, In fact, these ties will continue through Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which will bring over $10 billion worth of business to U.S. firms, followed by a close handover from 2022 in Qatar to 2026 in the United States.”

 

The delegates met with industry leaders in Los Angeles ahead of attending the 2020 Oscars, where two of DFI’s supported films were nominated: The Cave, a Syrian civil war film directed by Feras Fayyad was nominated in the Best Documentary Feature category, while Brotherhood, a Tunisian film by Montreal-based filmmaker Meryam Joobeur, earned a nomination under the Best Live Action Short Films category.

 

Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute, said, “Bridging the gap between east and west cultures is at the forefront of Qatar’s public diplomacy, so we are very grateful for this opportunity to further strengthen our ties with our peers in America. Our commitment to supporting global storytelling has given volume to important new voices, and we are proud to be associated with a diverse range of films that have won critical acclaim and top honors at the world’s leading film events. Arab cinema is in a good place right now due to the efforts of our emerging filmmakers who continue to bring our stories to the rest of the world, with unique perspectives that promote cross-cultural exchange and encourage dialogue and discourse.”

 

The activity-filled week included a meeting at City Hall with City of Beverly Hills Mayor John Mirisch’s office to discuss Qatar’s pivotal role in the state of California, a relationship that extends beyond the financial sphere into the fields of arts, sports, technology, education, and entertainment. His Excellency Khalid Al Sada, Consul General of the State of Qatar in Los Angeles, hosted a dinner at his home in honor of the DFI-funded films, joined by the producers behind the Oscar-nominated film Brotherhood and special guest Brigitte Lacombe, an esteemed French photographer.

 

The delegates also enjoyed a private tour of the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, prior to attending The International Feature Films of the 92nd Oscars Reception, spotlighting the nominees for Best International Feature Film. QAI and DFI were also honored to join the exclusive luncheon celebrating the female Oscar nominees hosted by fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg. The event toasts women’s empowerment with a special focus on von Furstenberg’s InCharge movement and the Academy’s Women’s Initiative.

 

QAI also partnered with Deborah Sawaf, CEO & Founder of the luxury handbag brand, Thalé Blanc, to host a High Tea and Talk on multiculturalism and female empowerment in the creative and tech industries, with special guest speakers DFI’s Fatma Hassan Alremaihi and the CEO and Founder of The Female Quotient, Shelley Zalis. The event gathered members of the L.A. community to learn about Qatar’s role in advancing women’s rights in the Middle East, DFI’s work in supporting MENA region representation in the international film community, and the importance of promoting women in the technology and creative fields.

 

QAI and DFI highlight Qatar’s contributions to the world of cinema during Oscars week 

 

 

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The Qatar-America Institute Celebrates End of First-Ever Qatar-America Photography Contest

 The Qatar-America Institute (QAI) hosts an awards reception and exhibition debut in honor of its first FOCI Photography Competition, highlighting the cultural and societal synergies between the United States and Qatar.

 

Washington, DC – February 12th, 2020: The Qatar America Institute (QAI) hosted an awards reception and the public unveiling of the exhibition for its 2019 FOCI Photography Competition at the DC Wharf. QAI is an independent cultural and educational nonprofit organization that facilitates dialogue, research, and cultural exchange between Qatar and the United States.

Oscar Rialubin – 1st Place; Zach Houghton – FOCI Judge; Noman Quadri – 2nd Place [left to right]

Following a three and half month submission period, resulting in over 1,200 submissions, QAI’s first-ever photography competition concluded at the Wharf Dockmaster Building.

 

In attendance at the reception were the First and Second Place winners of the contest, Oscar Rialubin, and Noman Quadri, respectively, who both reside in Doha. In honor of the event, QAI was excited to fly out the two winners from Doha so that they could be recognized for their achievement and receive their prizes in person. For Noman Quadri, an Indian engineer living in Doha, it was his first time ever to visit the United States.

 

Regarding the diverse backgrounds of the two winners and the honorable mentions, Fatima Al-Dosari, QAI’s Executive Director, remarked that “they embody the character of Doha as a melting pot. They are both from two of the largest communities within Qatar. One is from India, and one is from the Philippines. Doha is very diverse, and so their presence is representative of how Qatar is.”

 

FOCI Judge Shuran Huang provides remarks at the 2019 FOCI Awards Reception

Also present were two of the five judges of the competition, Zach Houghton and Shuran Huang. Zach Houghton is the founder of Passion Passport, a startup that provides inspirational and purpose-driven travel storytelling, develops photo and video content, and designs experiential campaigns for brands and tourism boards.

 

Shuran Huang, an award-winning photographer and photo editor based in DC who has worked with NPR, The New York Times, The New Yorker, among others.

 

“It’s always an honor to be brought in to offer your perspective as a photographer, as a creative, and shed light on work that has been produced especially for a competition like this,” said FOCI judge Zach Houghton. “I was inspired by a lot of the composition and the really clever use of light and different culture happenings that were happening in Qatar and how they were tied back to the US.”

 

The remaining three judges of the FOCI Competition, without which the contest would not have been possible, were unable to attend. Robert Landau, an LA-based photographer and author who is famous for his work on capturing the rock and roll billboards during the 70s and 80s and for his work on the PBS series “The Royal Tour”; Abeer Al-Kuwari, an award-winning multidisciplinary visual artist based in Qatar, and the first female member of the Qatar Photography Society; and Sara Al Obaidly, an award-winning photographer and videographer living between London and Doha, and the recipient of Grazia Arabia’s 2019 Artist of the Year Award.

 

Guests were greeted by a display of the ten winning photographs chosen by the competition judges that represented the 2019 FOCI Exhibition. The photos, all captured in Qatar, were submitted by a globally-diverse group of photographers who either resided or visited Qatar. The photographs, in accordance with the contest’s theme, captured a moment that they believed to depict the character of the US-Qatar relationship. Some of the photos displayed at the exhibition interpreted the theme using a bit of creative license. For example, a young boy straddling two Harley-Davidson motorcycles holding both American and Qatari flags. Whereas others were literal, depicting artist installations in and around Doha by American artists Richard Serra and Brian Donnelly (better known as KAWS).

 

One Journey, One Ride – Captured by Sujan Archibald

 

While the purpose of FOCI’s establishment is to celebrate the over four decades of partnership between the two nations, the many shared ties and achievements between the two communities, and the power of cross-cultural exchange, it also helps to show American audiences a very different perspective of Qatar –  and the Middle East in general – that wouldn’t otherwise be seen on other platforms. “What you know about Qatar is that it is the richest country in the world, and it is going to host the FIFA World Cup [in 2022],” remarked Second Place winner Noman Quadri as he received his award. “What you all don’t know is that Qatar is also rich in its diversity and its passion for arts and culture.”

 

Following the reception, the exhibition is currently stationed at QAI’s office in downtown Washington, DC, where it is open to visitor appointments before it makes its way to New York City, where it is to be exhibited briefly to the public.

 

 

The 2019 FOCI Photography Competition made possible thanks to the generous support of the Qatar National Tourism Council.

 

 

 

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Qatar’s NHRC- Mental Health Remains an Important Strategic Pillar

On October 10th, 2019, the Secretary General (SG) of Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), Maryam bint Abdullah Al Attiyah, reiterated that mental health remains one of the central strategic pillars of the Committee. The SG’s pronouncement was made on the occasion of the UN’s World Mental Health Day, demonstrating Qatar’s solidarity and commitment in raising mental health awareness on a national and international scale.

Most notably, health, including mental health, is one the main human development pillars contained in Qatar’s National Vision 2030 (QNV2030). The following passage illustrates the significant role of health in QNV2030, “Improving the health of Qatar’s population, through an integrated healthcare system, managed according to world-class standards. Designed to meet the needs of existing and future generations…”

So far, as the SG commented, the National Committee has been proactive in urging the development of a comprehensive mental health legislation that services all residents in the State of Qatar. In fact, the SG noted that the Committee has regularly visited and engaged with domestic mental health institutions and experts for qualitative input in order to actualize improvements, address problems, and find patient-centered solutions.

                                                                                                                             A Medical Panel at a 2015 Mental Health Conference

In addition, the SG stated that the NHRC welcomed the country’s positive progress in psychological care and/or services. Such progress can be seen with the greater resources being allocated in hospitals and health centers and with increased accessibility and availability to specialized mental/psychological care as well. These measures underscore Qatar’s dedication in ensuring that all of its citizens are given the adequate support they need to live healthy and fulfilling lives.

In order to understand Qatar’s vigorous efforts in tackling mental health, consider the nature and role of the country’s National Health Strategy (NHS), which incorporated a National Mental Health Strategy (NMHS) as well.

The NHS 2011-2016 laid the solid foundations and framework for future projects and policies for each of the identified objectives. One of the objectives was the first National Mental Health Strategy, which was drafted and launched by the Mental Health Implementation Committee in 2013. Both the NHS and the NMHS have been subsequently revised and updated as the goals were being reached and new ones were being identified.

Currently, Qatar has modified its course of action by implementing two strategic national policies: the National Development Strategy 2018-2022 and NHS 2018-2022. In tandem, Qatar has also adopted Triple Aim, and selected 7 priority/targeted populations. Individuals diagnosed with mental health (or related conditions), are one of the seven targeted populations.

The NHS 2018-2022 seeks to improve access and availability to mental health services and increase mental health awareness. This rigorous approach was justified by a study of 1,660 people between the ages of 18-65 that was conducted and that found that nearly 25% of adults who attended a public health consultation had at least one type of mental disorder.

 

 

 

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World Teacher’s Day

Since its inception in 1994 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), October 5th of every year marks World Teacher Day. This year’s theme was ‘Young Teachers: The Future of the Profession.’ The day provides the occasion to celebrate the teaching profession worldwide, to take stock of achievements, and to address some of the issues central for attracting and keeping the brightest minds and young talents in the profession.

Qatar celebrated with the participation of a number of UNESCO-affiliated schools in a ceremony held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

Education plays a vital role in the Human Development Pillar of the Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV 2030). The Human Development Pillar looks to enable the Qatari people sustain and grow the country’s progression in all areas. Education is the foundation of the Human Development Pillar. Qatar is actively focusing on education from primary school all the way to higher education levels, in an effort to have one of the top education systems in the world.

 

 

Education City is a major part of Qatar’s education initiative. There are various programs ranging from IB-accredited school systems to specialized schools for K-12. For higher education, there are offerings that include a range of degrees from undergraduate to postdoctoral degrees. In total, there are 20 schools located in Education City; 11 are K-12 schools and 9 of them are universities. Of the universities, six of them are American universities: Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar School of the Arts, Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar, Texas A&M University at Qatar, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Georgetown University in Qatar, and Northwestern University in Qatar.

“Education is one of the basic pillars of social progress. The state shall ensure, foster and endeavor to spread it.”

– Permanent Constitution of Qatar

The State of Qatar has been a member of UNESCO since 1972, and currently holds a seat on the Executive Board. Qatar has 82 UNESCO associated schools (6 pre-schools, 39 primary, 9 primary and secondary, and 28 secondary schools). Qatar also hosts a UNESCO office in Doha, which was established in 1976 and serves as a cluster office for Qatar and other countries in the Gulf region.

 

 

 

 

(Image Source: Qatar Foundation International)

 

 

 

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Qatars Efforts in Stemming the Impact of Climate Change – UNGA

On September 23, 2019, world leaders convened in New York for the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Prior to the start of the high-level debate, world leaders convened for the UN Climate Action Summit to discuss the damage that rapid climate change is causing on our ecosystems and societies.

 

Qatar’s Amir, HH Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad Al-Thani, participated in the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 – specifically, for the Climate Finance and Carbon Pricing Coalition session. At the session, the Amir was joined by foreign counterparts, such as President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Jamaica, Andrew Holness.

During the session, the Amir reiterated Qatar’s responsibility and commitment to confront and resolve the transnational threats emanating from climate change.

 

This was displayed by Qatar’s ardent support for the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015. At the national-level, the Amir declared that Qatar has implemented and pursued many measures to develop sustainable technologies. Qatar, under the Amir’s stewardship, has tackled clean energy, increased the overall efficiency in the gas and energy sector, aimed to improve waste-management and recycling processes, and to increase the usage of green technology in infrastructure. Many of these environmental policies and objectives are a part of Qatar’s National Vision 2030.

Most notably, the Amir referenced the transnational and indiscriminate effects of climate change by stating the following:

 

“…The phenomenon of climate change is undoubtedly one of the serious challenges of our time. It is a problem that is continuously exacerbating and causing many problems which intertwine in their economic, environmental and social dimensions and have very serious negative repercussions on all forms of life including human life and on both developed and developing countries alike, especially on the tracks of the sustainable development which all peoples aspire to.

This serious phenomenon makes it incumbent upon the international community to cooperate and double efforts to confront it and reduce its repercussions.

 

Within the same context, the Amir mentioned the importance and exemplary role that the Qatar Sovereign Wealth Fund has taken in combating climate change. The Qatar Sovereign Wealth Fund is a founding member of the “One Planet” Global Sovereign Wealth Fund. The latter was established as part of an initiative with France’s President Macron. The fund actively promotes green investment activities and will seek to adopt low-carbon economic growth, which will complement the goals of the Paris Agreement and those of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Furthermore, as Qatar prepares itself to host the highly anticipated 2022 FIFA World Cup, the Amir highlighted Qatar’s commitment the make the mega-event a carbon neutral tournament. This will be achieved via the use of solar-powered stadiums and the application sophisticated cooling/lighting technology that will be water and energy efficient.

Lastly, the Amir announced Qatar’s financial contribution of $100 million to support small developing island states and least developed states to tackle the challenges of climate change, natural hazards, environmental degradation, and to support state/institutional capacity building initiatives that focus on countering the destructive impacts/effects of climate change.

 

 

 

 

 

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President Trump Gives a Warm Welcome to Qatar’s Amir

On July 8th, 2019,  the Emir of Qatar, H. H. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and other high-ranking cabinet officials, such as Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, attended a dinner hosted by Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of Treasury, at the Treasury Department in honor of the Emir’s official visit to the U.S. The dinner was also presided by President Donald Trump.

At the dinner, Secretary Mnuchin acclaimed Qatar’s strategic partnership and efforts in the fight against terrorist financing by stating the following:

 

”I am pleased that you have joined us in the Middle East region to open the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center.  We are sharing intelligence and operational capabilities to ensure that our financial system is not used by those seeking violence… Our governments continue to work together on your counter-terror financing legislation, and we are grateful for your country’s commitment to uphold the U.N. counter-terror obligations.”

Furthermore, during the dinner, President Trump praised US-Qatar military-to-military strategic relations and cooperation by adding the following:

 

“I know everything is going to be very positive. You’ve been a great ally, and you’ve helped us with a magnificent military installation and military airport, the likes of which people haven’t seen in a long while.”

Instead, on July 9th, 2019, President Trump hosted  H. H. Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani at the White House for a bilateral meeting. At the White House, the President and the Emir discussed regional security in the Gulf region and their economic and military partnerships.

 

During the meeting, H. H. Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani highlighted and emphasized the close ties between respective countries by stating that:

“…our economic partnership has been more than $185 billion, and we’re planning to double this number…We have a lot of investments in the U.S.  We trust the economy here.  We do a lot in the infrastructure, and we’re planning to do more investments.”

 

Subsequently, the two leaders signed a commitment which includes, among other things, the purchase of Boeing Airplanes, the agreement between Chevron-Phillips Chemical Company LLC and Qatar Petroleum on petrochemical development in Qatar.

The Emir’s visit and the signing of the agreement illustrated the strength and vibrancy of bilateral and diplomatic ties between Qatar and the United States.

 

 

 

 

 

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Summer in Qatar

The Qatari government has been investing in tourism through the Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC). QNTC has created several programs to promote tourism and increase the number of visitors to Qatar. This summer, a wide variety of programs and promotions are being offered to welcome tourists during the summer season. This summer’s program, called ‘Summer in Qatar’, runs from June 4 to August 16.

 

“This year’s summer season promises to attract visitors from across the globe showcasing Qatar as a destination for its unparalleled hospitality and authentic experiences”-Akbar Al Baker, Secretary-General of QNTC and GCEO of Qatar Airways.

 

QNTC has partnered with companies in both the public and private sectors to deliver the program. Partnerships with companies from the travel and hospitality industries provide discounts to tourists. Qatar Airways has been offering 25% discount on flights to Doha from more than 160 destinations worldwide. The promotion lasts until August 16. Furthermore, a wide variety of hotels offer promotions of up to 25% throughout the summer.

 

‘Summer in Qatar’ offers a large variety of programs, including indoor and outdoor activities and entertainment. Tourists can attend concerts by both international and Arab artists, or watch performances and comedy shows.

 

Visitors can also tour Doha, or go on adventures in the surrounding area. Indoor and outdoor theme parks also offer fun for the whole family. There are many opportunities for indoor entertainment, including a wide range of museums and exhibitions that promote the art of Qatar and the surrounding region. Shopping malls also provide entertainment, activities and retail discounts.

 

 

(Image Source: Flickr)

 

 

 

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