Category: Culture

United States Wins 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup

The United States Women’s National Soccer Team won the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, defending their title by beating the Netherlands in the final. The World Cup was held in France, and was contested by 24 women’s national teams.The U.S. advanced through the group stage with a perfect record, then beat Spain, France, and England in the knockout stage to become finalist.


The final was held on 7 July 2019 in Lyon, in which the U.S. beat the Netherlands 2-0. The two American goal scorers in the final were Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle. Rapinoe also received personal awards for best player and top scorer of the tournament.

The United States broke several records during the 2019 World Cup. Its group-stage game against Thailand resulted in a tournament-record 13-0 score. With 26 total goals scored, the U.S. now holds the record for most goals scored in a Women’s World Cup tournament.



With the 2019 title, the United States has now won the World Cup for a record four times, while Coach Jill Ellis became the first coach to win the World Cup two times. The final game was highly anticipated in the United States. According to the official broadcaster FOX Sports, the final delivered over 14 million American viewers, topping the 2018 men’s final by 22 percent.


Qatar was represented at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in several ways. Qatar Airways has been an Official Partner and the Official Airline of FIFA. Through this partnership, Qatar Airways has sponsored many FIFA events, including the 2019 World Cup. The airline will continue to sponsor major upcoming FIFA events, including the 2019 and 2020 Club World Cup, and the 2022 World Cup that will be hosted by Qatar.


Qatar also helped train referees for the World Cup by offering a Women’s Referee Course in Doha. The event hosted by the Qatar Football Association was participated by 75 referees. The course included training for the newly implemented video assistant refereeing system (VAR), as well as simulations, theory lessons and fitness checks.


In addition, the World Cup provided six Qatari students the opportunity to attended one of the semi-finals as flag bearers. Students were chosen from Qatar Foundation programs by one of the official partners of FIFA called Wanda Group. This opportunity provided students a lifetime experience that included standing alongside the players before kick-off, watching the game at Stade de Lyon, and touring the beautiful French city of Lyon.




(Image Source: Axios – Photo: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images)




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QAI Supports Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington

On July 1st, the Qatar-America Institute hosted a group of DC-area professionals to see Hugh Jackman: The Man. The Music. The Show. at the Capital One Arena. The guests were friends and family of a couple that purchased the tickets at auction at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington‘s annual BlueFest fundraiser.

The show featured music from across Jackman’s career in film and theatre, with stunning dancers and elaborate costumes and sets.

Jackman used the platform of the concert to highlight the music of indigenous people of his native Australia and to celebrate the impressive talent of his local Washingtonian dancers.

Guests enjoyed the thrilling show and discussed the multiple facets of the Qatari-American relationship in fashion, defense, and business.




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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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QAI Hosts Reception for Illinois State Society

On Thursday June 27th, the Qatar-America Institute hosted a reception for the Illinois State Society. Guests included Hill staffers, think tank members, and more. Attendees enjoyed catered Middle Eastern food, drinks and mocktails, and a view of the Capitol.

The event featured brief remarks by QAI Executive Director Paul Hamill and Illinois State Society Historian Ryan Gleason on the work of the Qatar-America Institute and of the Illinois State Society.


Event Images



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The Most Accessible World Cup in History: The Sensory Rooms

To offer the most accessible World Cup in 2022 in the tournament’s history, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) of Qatar has developed an innovative and unique approach to make sure every supporter will be able to support their favorites teams.

On May 16th, for the 2019 Amir Cup Final, 22 children from the Qatar Foundation Disability Football Programme and the Qatar Rehabilitation Institute – joined by their parents – watched the game from the comfort of the new sensory room at Al Janoub Stadium. The room provides a safe place to people with autism and other neurobehavioral conditions. The new sensory room is equipped with bubble tubes, beanbags, a ball pen, and also includes relaxing wall and ceiling projections.

“We are committed to promoting accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities in all aspects of life in Qatar, including working together to reach the vision of a fully accessible World Cup. The QRI has provided a range of specialist sensory equipment for the sensory room which is now available in the stadium for children and adults who have conditions such as attention deficits, autism and head injuries. The room enables users to watch the matches under the supervision of an expert occupational therapist in a nurturing, client-centered sensory supportive environment.” – Sultan Al Abdulla, QRI’s Chief of Occupational Therapy.

Al Janoub Stadium and the Khalifa International Stadium are both offering these sensory rooms. Both of them will offer this amazing experience to supporters during the 2022 World Cup.



(Image Source: The Peninsula)



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QAI Hosts Reception Celebrating Doha Debates

On Tuesday, the Qatar-America Institute hosted a reception celebrating the work of Doha Debates, a program of the Qatar Foundation dedicated to discussing major global issues. Guests included employees of Doha Debates, Qatar Foundation, and Washingtonians interested in the hard-hitting, groundbreaking discussions Doha Debates organizes.

In February, Doha Debates held a discussion on the global refugee crisis, featuring Douglas Murray, Marc Lamont Hill, and Muzoon Almellehan. Its most recent debate centered around the risks and opportunities surrounding the rise of artificial intelligence, and featured Nick Bostrom, Joy Buolamwini, Dex Torricke-Barton, and Muthoni Wanyoike.

The event featured remarks by Amjad Atallah, the managing director for Doha Debates and former bureau chief for the Americas for Al Jazeera.


Event Images






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Qatar University Jumps 56 Places in QS World University Rankings

Qatar University jumped 56 places in the annual World University Rankings published by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). In the 2020 rankings, QU places 276, becoming one of the most improved universities in the world.


The President of Qatar University, Dr. Hassan Al-Derham, stated, “This is a staggering jump and one we are all immensely proud of as it reflects the success of our direction and our strategy. We are committed to transforming higher education in Qatar by proactively playing a leading role in shaping and enabling the transformation of the nation’s higher education system. We are honored by the recognition that comes along with placements such as this one, which opens up opportunities for our students, faculty and community.”


The institution was established as the College of Education in 1973, and later expanded to Qatar University in 1977.  QU was founded with new colleges; Education, Humanities & Social Sciences, Sharia, Law & Islamic Studies, and Science. With the country’s rapid development, there has been an increased need for growth in Qatari higher education. As the university expanded, new schools including Business, Medicine, and Engineering were added. In 2017, the university introduced a five-year strategy complying with the aspirations of Qatar National Vision 2030.


Today, Qatar University is one of the region’s leading higher education institutions, with over 20,000 students and an extraordinary group of over 2,000 prestigious faculty. QU’s mission is to promote Qatar’s national heritage and values, and to educate and prepare students to become future leaders of Qatar.





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QAI Conducts Outreach in Chicago

JUNE 17-18, 2019 — CHICAGO, IL: The Qatar-America Institute (QAI) completed a two-day outreach trip to the city of Chicago with His Excellency Nasser Allenqawi, Consul General of the State of Qatar from New York. The visit included a series of high-level engagements in the city focused on education and culture. The visit is part of a series of outreach visits focused on enhancing the US-Qatar bilateral relationship.


Philip Jodidio [left], Richard Roth [right]

As part of the Qatar America Institute’s Expressions Series on those that have been inspired by Qatari art and culture, noted author and architectural critic Philip Jodidio and former Senior Associate Dean of Northwestern University in Qatar, Richard J. Roth, kicked off the Chicago-based events with 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 major design and sustainability innovations by Chicago-based architects and engineers; the Sidra Medical and Research Center, and a host of Pritzker-laureate architecture that forms the campus of the Qatar Foundation and six top U.S. universities in Doha; and the newly-opened National Museum of Qatar—Jean Nouvel’s second iconic work to be built in Doha.


Mr. Jodidio and Mr. Roth expanded the discussion with audience members to focus on ways the special relationship between the U.S. and Qatar has led to an increasingly progressive and open country, radical innovations in sustainable public transit for Doha, and the highest concentration of original architecture by Pritzker Prize in the world.


“There is a desire for openness, there is a desire for lasting quality, there is desire for modernity,” said Mr. Jodidio. “Some of this must seem strange for people who listen to the news and sometimes hear negative things about the region, but after 18 visits and extensive time working in Qatar, I can tell you this is a truly inspiring place that is open, forward-thinking, and preparing its own people for a future which might just be one without carbon-based fuels, gas, and oil.”


Attendees at Qatar-America Liqa Reception

QAI also hosted the U.S. representative from the Qatar World Cup organizing entity, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), in a briefing session with Chicago-area executives and leaders from across the sports sector.


The SC shared currents and updates, and address questions about the mega-event expected to attract 1.5 million fans to Qatar in November 2022. During the briefing, the SC’s representative emphasized Qatar’s commitment to deliver a “not only national, but also tournament showcasing all countries and cultures of the region.”



Another commitment that was highlighted was the SC’s pledge to allocate between $40-50 million to pay off construction migrant workers debts at their home-countries. The representative stressed the existing U.S.-Qatar economic ties in relation to the Qatar World Cup which will reach $10 billion invested in American services and expertise for the upcoming tournament in 2022.


During the briefing, the SC’s representative noted Qatar’s recently implemented reforms for workers’ rights, which reflect their commitment to respect the standards of hosting the tournament and to improve the welfare of the country’s expatriate labor force. This was witnessed with the following policy decisions: Qatar’s unilateral decision to sign a three-year technical cooperation agreement with the United Nations’ International Labour Organization to promote labor laws in the country and build government officials’ capacity to implement them and ensure that recruitment practices are in line with best international practices.


Jesse Clark White, Secretary of State [Illinois]

The two-day run of events concluded with a packed reception that gathered more than 100 local business and community leaders to celebrate the impacts, cultural and education links, business opportunities and jobs created by the long-standing partnership between Qatar and the U.S. Consul General Allenqawi and Illinois Secretary of State the Honorable Jesse Clark White addressed the guests and underscored the commitment to continued collaboration between Qatar and Chicagoland businesses and cultural institutions.


In his concluding remarks, Consul General Allenqawi thanked QAI and Chicago’s local business and cultural communities for a successful series of meetings and events. “I sincerely hope this was energizing and inspiring for you all, as it was for me, and that we can build and inspire on the ideas exchanged to further the relations between our two nations.”









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Qatar National Library – The Largest Book Collection in the Middle East

Qatar National Library (QNL) opened in 2018. The establishment of the library is a continuation of the Qatari government’s commitment to promote education and pivot to a knowledge-based economy. With its prominent universities such as Qatar University and Hamad Bin Khalifa University, the peninsular country has become a leading hub of research and education in the Middle East. QNL adds to the prestigious list of educational and cultural institutions.

Qatar National Library is located in Doha’s Education City, home of the campuses of some of the world’s leading universities. The project of establishing a national library was announced in 2012. The grand opening ceremony was held on 16th April 2018. With over one million books and 500,000 digital editions, QNL now has the largest collection in the Middle East.


The library’s state of the art building was designed by world-renowned architect Rem Koolhaas. The 45,000-square-meter building provides a community space for exchange of ideas and learning. It also features a 120-seat auditorium for special events. The mission of Qatar National Library is to preserve the nation’s and region’s heritage and enable the people of Qatar to positively influence society by creating an exceptional environment for learning and discovery.


Despite the illegal blockade imposed on Qatar, Qatar National Library was able to increase its collection to have the largest in the area. Since its opening, QNL has collaborated with libraries outside the region and has hosted over 1,000 events, many featuring authors and scholars from Europe and North America.





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America SCORES Airs 1st National Commercial During FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019

The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 is currently underway in France and the US Women have started off the tournament with two wins. One of USA National Soccer Team‘s key sponsors is Volkswagen, which has donated its own advertising time during the tournament to America SCORES, a national youth soccer nonprofit organization.


America SCORES partners with public schools in low-income areas to provide after school programs to elementary and middle schoolers. The organization aims to build team players, inspire self-expression and create community changers. They accomplish this by having the participating students play in soccer leagues, write their own poems and compete in competitive poetry slams, and be actively involved in service projects in their communities.

America SCORES serves more than 13,000 students enrolled in 311 schools in 12 cities which include Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New York City, Portland, St. Louis, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver and Washington, D.C. Of those 13,000 students roughly 85% or approximately 11,000 live at or below the poverty level.


“As Soccer grows rapidly in popularity in the United States, we can’t leave behind those who otherwise have little access to the ‘beautiful game’. We appreciate Volkswagen for its generosity in supporting America SCORES, and helping us provide what is often the only after school program available to underserved young people.” – Bethany Henderson, President of America SCORES National Network and CEO of DC SCORES


As a part of its “Drive Bigger” campaign, Volkswagen has teamed up with America SCORES to run a 30 second spot that will air throughout the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The collaborative advertisement is AMERICA SCORES’ first ever national commercial and features an original poem by Charity Blackwell, an award-winning spoken word-artist and the Director of Creative Arts at America SCORES. It aired for the first time June 19, 2019 and will also be featured during the USA vs Sweden game at 3pm on June 20, 2019.


“We’ve known of the good work America SCORES does for some time. They have a fantastic story to tell, and by producing this ad, Volkswagen hopes to demonstrate how all of us can drive something bigger than ourselves in our own communities.” – Jim Zabel, Vice President of Marketing for Volkswagen of America


On May 22, 2019, Qatar-America Institute, partnered with DC SCORES, Washington D.C.’s affiliate of America SCORES, and America’s Islamic Heritage Museum, to host an Interfaith Poetry Night and Iftar. This event had over 100 guests that ranged from students, artists, law enforcement and more. The iftar (breaking the fast) was preceded by original poetry from students that are currently enrolled in DC SCORES.





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