QAI was excited to host Georgetown University alumni for our Food Festival tonight celebrating 230 years since Georgetown’s founding and ten years since the first class graduated from the university’s Qatar branch. The event featured the current and former Deans of Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.
The reception featured guests of honor Dr. Robert Gallucci, Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy and the former Dean of the School of Foreign Service and Dr. Joel Hellman, the current Dean of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. The two deans were joined by Georgetown University’s Regent Board member, Paul Horvath, who is also the Group Chief Executive Officer for Orchard Global Capital Group. Also in attendance was Patrick Theros, a former U.S. Ambassador to Qatar who, along with Dr. Gallucci, was instrumental in establishing Georgetown University in Qatar.
Dean Gallucci, within his remarks, recounted the story of how Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service came to have a branch campus in Qatar. He went on to stress the important relationship between Qatar and the United States, and Qatar’s progressive attitudes towards education and research.
Dr. Robert Gallucci, former dean of the Walsh School of Foreign Service at @Georgetown University spoke at QAI’s Georgetown Alumni Food Festival on the origins of the @GUQatar campus in #Education City, Qatar. #QatarAmerica pic.twitter.com/RjjqMaRG3J
— Qatar-America Institute (@QatarAmerica) January 31, 2019
Following Dean Gallucci’s comments, the current dean of the Walsh School of Foreign Service, Dr. Joel Hellman, commented on both the openness and uniqueness of the Qatar campus. He stressed the branch campus’ diversity and the way that the people of Qatar have made it their very own.
At last nights QAI’s Food Festival celebrating @Georgetown Alumni, the current dean of the Walsh School of Foreign Service Dr. Joel Hellman (@joelhellman_SFS) comments on the university’s branch campus (@GUQatar) in Qatar. #QatarAmerica pic.twitter.com/7yIa5eFH1W
— Qatar-America Institute (@QatarAmerica) January 31, 2019
Guests of the event were able to enjoy delicious chocolate truffles provided by Washington’s Capital Candy Jar to celebrate the Chocolate, Tea, and Coffee Festival being held in Doha. Find an album of the event below.
Georgetown Alumni Food Festival – Album
On Sunday, America’s Islamic Heritage Museum in Washington, DC hosted a brunch for local Muslim leaders. The brunch featured a presentation by museum director Amir Muhammad overviewing the museum’s growth and its future development plans in the context of increasing investment in the Anacostia area.
QAI sponsored the brunch, organizing the catering for the event. In discussing the future of the museum, QAI and other participants considered possibilities for future programming, including cooperation between QAI and the museum.
(Image Source: MuslimsinAmerica)
This week, Qatar Foundation CEO Her Excellency Sheikha Hind Al Thani gave an interview to Annmarie Hordern of Bloomberg and discussed the work of the Qatar Foundation and the empowerment of women in Qatar.
Qatar Foundation has always offered equal opportunities to men and women, according to Sheikha Hind. Citing that half of the student body at Texas A&M University at Qatar and the majority of computer science students at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar are female, she says that Qatar has simply had to offer the opportunities for women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in the first place, rather than close a gender gap.
“Women are much more active in the workplace today than they were 20 years ago. Once you get the women involved in the conversation, you will see a societal impact and a societal change.” Sheikha Hind Al Thani
Sheikha Hind also discussed the impact that the illegal blockade has had on the students within the Qatar Foundation. While Qatar Foundation itself has not been meaningfully impacted by the blockade, many students had their exams and education disrupted as a result, and were forced to restart their degrees elsewhere or on the U.S. campuses of Education City’s university branches because they were no longer allowed to study in Doha.
On January 13th, 2019 the United States and Qatar held the Second U.S.-Qatar Strategic Dialogue in Doha under the theme “Forward Together.” Chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, the dialogue focused on: regional security and defense cooperation, education and culture, law enforcement and counterterrorism partnerships, commercial and energy cooperation, and labor issues.
This year’s Strategic Dialogue builds on the historic achievements of the First U.S.-Qatar Strategic Dialogue, in Washington, D.C., in which Qatar and the U.S. agreed to landmark cooperation in several areas.
A Joint Statement produced by the U.S. and Qatar details the outcome of the dialogue, progress made in key policy areas, and the signing of three Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and Statements of Intent (SOIs) to advance mutual cooperation.
Full Remarks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani at a Press Availability (01/13/2019)
Full Remarks at the Opening Ceremony of the U.S.-Qatar Strategic Dialogue from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani (01/13/2019)
Below is a summary of key developments from the Joint Statement produced at this year’s U.S.-Qatar Strategic Dialogue:
Officials reaffirmed their commitment to ongoing senior-level engagement:
Qatar and the United States expressed strong support for the expansion of bilateral relations evinced by high-level meetings in 2018 between: U.S. President Donald J. Trump and HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani; U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani; U.S. Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis and Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defense Affairs Khalid al-Attiyah; and an exchange of other minister-level visits to Washington and Doha. These high-level diplomatic engagements highlight the two nations’ shared commitment to advance cooperation and promote global peace and prosperity.
The U.S. recognized Qatar’s role as a leader in global humanitarian assistance and development:
The United States acknowledged Qatar’s generous humanitarian role bilaterally and multilaterally through the work of various UN agencies, in the form of a $500 million multi-year assistance pledge, including $8 million annually between 2019 and 2023 to support forcibly displaced populations, and assist refugees including millions of vulnerable young children and women.
Both countries reiterated the essential role the U.S.-Qatar defense partnership serves in international security:
Qatar and the United States emphasized the vital contribution their defense partnership provides for the security and stability of the region. This strong and lasting partnership is key to successfully combating terrorism, countering violent extremism, and deterring external aggression. U.S. officials lauded Qatar’s contributions in supporting the strategic U.S. military presence in Qatar under the U.S. Central Command.
Three key developments in defense were announced:
- The two governments reaffirmed their commitment to the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation to promote peace and stability and counter the scourge of terrorism.
- The United States welcomed Qatar’s generous offer to expand critical facilities at bases used by U.S. forces in the country and to align operating procedures at these bases with NATO standards, thereby increasing the operational capability of U.S. and coalition forces based in Qatar.
- The U.S. and Qatar signed an MOU enabling deeper coordination on potential expansion at Al Udeid Air Base. Qatar’s offers to fund capital expenditures and sustainment affords the possibility of a more enduring U.S. presence.
The U.S. recognized Qatar’s commitments to defeat radical extremism, prevent terrorism finance, and to support U.S. anti-terrorism efforts:
The United States thanked Qatar for its continued efforts to counter terrorism, counter the financing of terrorism, and prevent violent extremism in all forms. Both sides intend to strengthen their security and counterterrorism (CT) partnership to eradicate terrorism and violent extremism. The United States welcomed Qatar’s commitment to provide $75 million over five years to the work of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, including its efforts to help Member States develop and implement advance passenger information and passenger name record systems in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2396.
The forward progress made on several counterterrorism agreements, including the July 11, 2017 MOU on Counterterrorism, was reviewed:
They reviewed the positive progress made under the terms of the MOU on Counterterrorism signed on July 11, 2017, and the second bilateral CT Dialogue convened in Doha September 5, 2018, including the 2018 Joint Action Plan to implement provisions on border security, information sharing, countering the financing of terrorism, anti-money laundering, aviation security, cybersecurity, and judicial capacity building.
A Memorandum of Understanding in education was signed by Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister bin Abdulrahman Al Thani:
The U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani signed the MOU in the field of education to continue building and sustaining key partnerships in the fields of: primary, secondary, and higher education; English and Arabic language instruction; student advising; promoting academic exchange; and facilitating a wide range of study abroad options that enable students to achieve their personal and professional goals.
Qatar and the United States welcomed the role of U.S. companies in Qatar’s development and of Qatari investment in U.S. firms and jobs:
The Qatari delegation outlined successful implementation of reforms designed to attract foreign investment in Qatar, including free trade zones and expanding business ownership for non-citizens. Both countries also underscored their commitment to boosting trade and investment and noted the growing strength of bilateral trade relations.
Qatar confirmed that the United States is its top import partner, representing 18% of all imports to Qatar in 2018.
The two governments recognized Qatar Investment Authority’s (QIA) previous commitment to invest $45 billion in American firms, real estate, and jobs. QIA Chief Executive Mr. Mansour al-Mahmoud described plans to increase Qatari investments in American infrastructure.
The United States and Qatar emphasize the importance of their continued partnership which benefits the interests of both countries, as well as the security and prosperity of the Gulf region.
This Strategic Dialogue process underlines the commitment of Qatar and the United States to increase cooperation in fields that provide the greatest mutual and practical benefit. Such cooperation includes the issues discussed today but also incorporates important work in the fields of health, food safety, intellectual property rights, nuclear safeguards and more. Qatar and the United States remain committed to dialogue and long-term cooperation on political issues, consolidating state-of-the-art defense facilities, combating terrorism and violent extremism in all its forms, countering the financing of terrorism, expanding their trade and investment partnerships, and enhancing educational and cultural cooperation.
To expand partnerships and advance mutual policy goals in those areas, the two sides agreed to hold the first working group in April of 2019. Qatar and the United States look forward to reviewing progress in these areas at the next Strategic Dialogue in Washington in 2020.
(Image Source: Middle East Monitor)
The 2018 Doha Forum was held in its namesake city this year from December 15-16, 2018 and brought together key leaders from the international community under the Forum’s theme “Shaping Policy in an Interconnected World.”
The 2018 Doha Forum was launched with an opening address by His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of Qatar. His Highness stressed the need for free speech and dialogue between the Gulf countries.
The Financial Times reported on the mission of this year’s Doha Forum:
“The 2018 Doha Forum brought together political figures, thought leaders, governmental agencies, and civic society organizations with the aim of facilitating dialogue about how conscious policymaking can guide us to our global tomorrow. The forum addressed today’s urgent issues and ways the international community can come together to solve them. The forum also highlighted the modern success models and discusses how we can expand on them and replicate them. Through active and responsible global leadership, our possibilities are limitless.”
Below are some highlights of key 2018 Doha Forum developments, events, speeches, and speakers:
- Qatar Announces USD Half Billion in Aide to UN Agencies
Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Qatar Fund for Development today signed agreements with multiple United Nations agencies to support humanitarian, counter-terrorism and relief programs around the world on the sidelines of Doha Forum. The multi-year assistance to ten UN agencies amounts to USD 500 million, including 28 million to the UN Development Program (UNDP), 8 million annually between 2019 and 2023 to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 4 million annually to UNICEF and 15 million annually to the Security Council’s Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC).
- Announcement of the Doha Forum Award
The first Doha Forum Award will be given in 2019 to recognize outstanding achievements in diversity, dialogue and diplomacy, and will be worth half a million US Dollars.
Opening address by HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of Qatar:
Keynote address by HE António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations:
- H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Qatar
- H.E. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the United Nations General Assembly
- H.E. Hassan Ali Khaire, Prime Minister, Somalia
- H.E. Teodor-Viorel Meleşcanu,Foreign Minister, Romania
- Wolfgang Ischinger (moderator), Chairman, Munich Security Conference
- Brett McGurk, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS
- Vladamir Voronkov, U.N. Undersecretary General for Counter Terrorism
- Peter Bergen (moderator), Vice President for Global Studies & Fellows, New America Foundation
- H.E. Ali Shareef Al-Emadi, Minister of Finance, Qatar
- H.E. Berat Albayrak, Minister of Treasury and Finance, Turkey
- Christian Sewing, CEO, Deutsche Bank
- Chris Giles (moderator), FT Economics Editor
- Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP, Minister of State for the Middle East at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office & Minister of State at the Department for International Development
- H.E. Sigmar Gabriel, Member of the Bundestag (Parliament), Former Vice Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs
- H.E Dr. Mutlaq Al-Qahtani, Special Envoy of the Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar for Counterterrorism and Mediation of Conflict Resolution
- Ibrahim Kalin, Special adviser to President Erdogan and the Presidential Spokesperson
- Julien Barnes-Dacey (moderator), Director, Middle East and North Africa Programme, European Council on Foreign Relations
- Michael Rich, President, RAND
- Alain Gresh, Editor, OrientXXI
- Ahmed Elmagarmid, Executive director, QCRI
- Nicholas Enfield, Director, Sydney Social Sciences and Humanities Advanced Research Institute, University of Sydney
- Steve Clemons (moderator), Editor-at-Large, The Atlantic
- H.E. Moussa Mara, Former Prime Minister of Mali
- Yéro Boly, Former Defense Minister, Burkina Faso
- Hannah Armstrong, Senior Sahel Consultant, International Crisis Group
- Phillip Carter III, Consultant, The Mead Hill Group, Former US Ambassador to Ivory Coast
- Rinaldo Depagne (moderator), West Africa Project Director, International Crisis Group
The conference attracted over 300 Qatari undergraduate and graduate students from universities across the United States. QAI participated in the conference with a booth at the Exhibitor’s Hall, where conference attendees were educated on QAI’s work by staff members, recruited for internship, fellowship, and advisory board positions at QAI and at organizations throughout Washington, D.C.
In addition to Qatari students, special guests at the conference included:
- H.E. Deputy Minister of Education & Higher Education Dr. Ibrahim Bin Saleh Al Nuaimi
- H.E. Consul General of Los Angeles Khaled Al Saada
- Qatar’s U.S. Cultural Attaché Mr. Mohamed Al Hamad
A 35-year-old Palestinian neurosurgeon named Walid Albanna won Stars of Science‘s tenth season competition. Albanna won 32.5% of the online vote for his “Neurovascular Retina Analyzer,” a wearable retina camera that improves care treatment for patients who have suffered a stroke. His first place victory won him $300,000 in investment. Runner ups included Nour Majbour‘s “Parkinson’s Early Detection Kit,” Sylia Khecheni‘s “Home Privacy Drone Blocker,” and Salim Al Kaabi‘s “Safe Frankincense Varnish for Artists.”
Stars of Science is a Qatar Foundation “edutainment” reality show, where innovators from across the Arab World compete in Qatar Science and Technology Park for funding for their inventions. The show has been profiled and praised by outlets like the Harvard Business Review for offering smarter content than most of the reality TV genre and for showcasing and supporting the under-recognized ingenuity of the Arab World.
— شبكة مرسال قطر (@Marsalqatar) November 24, 2018
(Image Source: @StarsOfScience )
You probably already knew that Qatar is a hot country, located in the heart of the Middle East with summers often breaking 100 degrees Fahrenheit, but did you know Qatar is also a cool country? Here are five quick, cool facts about Qatar:
1. – QCOOL is an innovative new air conditioning technology developed by the Qatar-based Gulf Organization for Research & Development Institute. QCOOL dehumidifies and cools air in open or closed spaces, and reduces energy consumption by nearly 50% compared to conventional cooling and dehumidifying systems.
2. – Msheireb Downtown Doha and Lusail City, two urban development projects underway in Qatar, are leveraging a technique known as “district cooling,” which centrally cools multiple buildings from a single plant. By consolidating the cooling infrastructure, district cooling improves cooling energy efficiency by up to 40%!
3. – District cooling and solar energy are also being used at Qatar’s 2022 World Cup stadiums to efficiently cool fans and players. Thanks to these technologies, Khalifa International Stadium (built in 1976, then renovated for the World Cup and reopened in 2017) is the coolest open-air sporting venue on earth!
4. – The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will take place in November and December, when Qatar’s average temperature is 67-82 degrees Fahrenheit. That is actually cooler than the average summer temperature in Los Angeles – 86 degrees Fahrenheit – which will likely be one of the host cities for the 2026 World Cup.
5. – Qatar is the largest exporter of liquid natural gas (LNG) in the world, accounting for nearly 30% of the global LNG market. LNG is natural gas that has been converted into a liquid by cooling it to -260 degrees Fahrenheit! LNG is 600 times smaller than gaseous natural gas, making it easier to transport on ships across longer distances. Qatar Petroleum is even investing $20 billion in an LNG plant in Texas, expected to make 45,000 American jobs.
Qatar continues to be committed to advancing science and technology research. Several decades ago, Qatar’s economy was heavily reliant on fishing and pearl diving. This has dramatically changed due to the discovery of one of the world’s largest natural gas reserves. Yet, the leaders of Qatar have recognized the dangers of relying on a single commodity. As a result, the nation is working to build a knowledge-based economy.
One such example of the nation’s push to both diversify and strengthen its economy can be seen through the Qatar Foundation’s Science & Technology Park. The mission of the national agency is to “execut[e] applied research and deliver commercialized technologies in four areas: Energy, Environment, Health Sciences, and Information and Communication Technologies.” The agency can be thought of as a national incubator for the upcoming generation in the above-listed fields.
The Park most recently opened the Digital Core Laboratory at the Maersk Oil Research and Technology Centre. The Maersk Oil Digital Laboratory is the first of its kind in the Middle East and will support research efforts in oil recovery, employing computed tomography (CT) to measure structures of rock sample.
Qatar’s commitment to science and education can also be seen within the nation’s entertainment sector. Instead of prizing entertainment over educational content, the nation leverages the allure of talent competitions and pairs it with science. The show “Stars of Science” is a combination of a reality TV show, talent contest, and educational broadcast.
One of the judges of “Stars of Science,” Dr. Khalid Al-Ali, has stated:
“Now I am a proud father and a proud husband myself. I treasure my children, and I want to bring them up in such a way that they appreciate the power of innovation… I am equally passionate about inspiring young people around the region to be interested in the problem-solving potential of science and technology.”
Dr. Ali, a Silicon Valley executive and former NASA researcher, shares this perspective with many of the leading figures in Qatari society. Another judge on “Stars of Science”, Professor Fouad Mrad, has stated, “Without a culture of productive innovation, our communities will stumble in reaching the knowledge-based economies, even with the best policies, infrastructure, and support.”
Qatar continues to invest in education and has illustrated its commitment to the pursuit of knowledge. The nation has managed to attract six of the leading U.S. universities (Georgetown, Northwestern, Texas A&M, VCU, Carnegie Mellon, and Cornell) to Doha.
(Image Source: Qatar Foundation)
On Tuesday, the Qatar-America Institute hosted a diverse group of students and alumni from Georgetown University for the season-opening basketball game of the Georgetown Hoyas. In a close match, the Hoyas beat the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks 68 to 53.
Georgetown University opened its branch campus in Qatar in 2005, specializing in international relations. The campus has become a prominent center of academia and research in Qatar and the greater Middle East, with 389 alumni from around the world. It is also home to the Center for International and Regional Studies, a prominent center of scholarship on foreign affairs in both Arabic and English.