July 15 marks World Skills Day for Youth. 1.2 billion people between the ages of 15 and 24 make up 16% of the world’s population. The UN’s sustainable development goals require citizen participation from all age groups. Young people, as the decision-makers of the future, play an enormous role in this citizen participation. Young people are the key to building sustainable, just, inclusive and stable societies in order to avoid or address the threats of tomorrow. These include climate change, unemployment, poverty, gender equality, global conflicts, and exponential migration.
However, young people between 15 and 24 years of age are three times more likely to be exposed to unemployment than adults. In addition, they are continually exposed to lower quality jobs, greater labor market inequalities and longer and less secure school-to-work transitions.
Going further, women between the ages of 15 and 24 are more likely to be underemployed and underpaid and to work part-time or on temporary contracts.
Silatech, a non-profit company in Qatar, has a mission to include and connect young people around the world, especially in the workplace. Silatech provides innovative solutions in the field of youth employment. The company works with national, regional and international partners to provide financial, technical and operational contributions to young people who wish to develop their skills and employment opportunities.
In an interview between Forbes and Ms. Sabah Al-Haidoos – CEO of Silatech, on 29 January 2019, Ms. Al-Haidoos elaborated on the scope of Silatech’s work, the importance of the role of young people in the world and their values: “Without economic and social empowerment of young people after graduating high school, education won’t be as useful. Investing in innovative educational solutions and tools at the grassroots level is a worthwhile venture because it is the conduit to economic opportunities when all enabling factors align. (…) We also work with partner organizations that believe in our mission to empower and inspire youth to transform their lives for the better and lead the change in their communities. ”
The current challenge regarding youth employment is the central point of the organization’s values. Silatech believes that it is necessary to educate society on this global problem, to achieve the development of a political strategy for governments. In addition, Silatech proposes to launch media campaigns to encourage and support innovative and innovative employment methods for young people, but also for companies.
Amir Berbić, a design expert who has worked in the United States, Europe and the Middle East, has been named Dean of VCUarts Qatar. Berbić, a professor of graphic design at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has served as associate dean for faculty affairs of the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts; chair of graphic design; and as acting director of the School of Design. Prior to working at the University of Illinois, Berbić was a faculty member of the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.
“It’s a pleasure to welcome Amir Berbić to VCUarts Qatar. I am confident the university’s legacy of groundbreaking innovation and creativity will continue with Dean Berbić as leader. I look forward to working with him for years to come,” said VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D.
In addition to working at universities, Berbić has collaborated with cultural organizations, arts institutions and publishers. His work has been recognized in several renowned publications, conferences and exhibitions including Design Issues, International Council of Design, and AIGA Design Educators Community. His work is featured in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Berbić was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and moved to the United States in the 1990s. He holds an MFA in visual communication from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA in graphic design from the University of Illinois at Chicago. “VCUarts Qatar is nimble, dynamic, experimental, and it is a lab for innovative ideas that emerge out of research, teaching and student initiatives within a very unique environment. I am inspired by the cooperation between VCU and Qatar Foundation to establish a world-class arts institution in the Gulf — one that responds to the local context while having global impact,” said Berbić.
VCUarts Qatar is the Qatar campus of the prestigious Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts located in Richmond, Virginia. It was established in 1998 in a partnership with Qatar Foundation, and was the first campus established in Education City located in Doha. Since then, it has been joined by campuses of several prestigious American Universities, including Texas A&M University at Qatar, Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar and Georgetown University Qatar.
The vision of VCUarts Qatar is “to contribute to the vitality of human, social, economic and environmental development in Qatar and the region through creative innovation, expression and collaboration.”
VCUarts Qatar offers students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in fashion design, graphic design, interior design and painting & printmaking, a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history and a Master of Fine Arts degree in design. In 2010, the university doubled its facitlities through a major expansion project, and added a media lab, digital fabrication lab, printmaking studios, photography studio, an expanded library and the first materials library in the region.
(Image Source: VCUArts – Qatar)
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.
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.
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.
Lone Star College, Texas, just received a donation of $300,000 from the Qatar Harvey Fund (QHF). The purpose of this donation was to provide financial aid through scholarships to students impacted by the Hurricane Harvey.
“The goal became to create scholarship funds that would allow students to continue their education or give them an opportunity to enroll at a university,” said Stephen Head, Chancellor of Lone Star College.
The category 4 hurricane interrupted many students’ studies and impacted their finances. 300 students will be able to return to school thanks to scholarships from the Qatar Harvey Fund. Scholarships will be available to students in the fall and winter of 2020. In addition, students will receive financial support for mental and emotional health services, tuition and other education-related costs.
“We have heard so much about the negative ripple effect of Hurricane Harvey on the communities of southeast Texas. The damage goes far beyond physical damage and people are still recovering from the enormous financial burden that caused so many to stop or delay their education in order to meet urgent needs,” said His Excellency Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani, Qatar’s Ambassador to the U.S.
QHF has donated $3,25 million Texas’ colleges in 2019 alone to assist students impacted by the Hurricane. Qatar pledges to give $30 million to help the people of Texas to recover from Hurricane Harvey.
(Image Source: Community Impact )
As part of the annual Aggie Service-Learning Experience, eighteen Texas A&M at Qatar students volunteered in Laos for nine days. The students engaged with country’s culture, stayed with host families, learned the Lao language, and visited local religious sites.
“I wanted to help guide the students through this trip in a way they can gain culturally as well as personally. But I found that at the same time I can learn so much from the participants and that was a rewarding experience.” -Abdulkarim Mohamed
“I wanted to become a leader to improve my communication skills and enhance my problem-solving abilities. In this experience I gained lessons in both intercultural connection and compassion.” -Aisha Al-Naemi
As part of the service program, students also hosted a blood drive, participated in an autism walk, organized beach clean-ups, and volunteered at the Qatar Animal Welfare Society.
(Image Source: Texas A&M)
May 6th – Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q), Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q), and VCUarts Qatar (VCU-Q) hosted commencement ceremonies for their 2019 graduates. On May 9th, Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) and Texas A&M at Qatar (TAMU-Q) also hosted graduation ceremonies.
CMU-Q, which turns 15 this year, graduated 78 students from 16 countries. 46% of the graduates hail from Qatar. The 2019 class comprised 10 graduates in biological sciences, 32 in business administration, one in computational biology, eight in computer science, and 27 in information systems. They bring the total number of CMU-Q alumni to nearly 850.
“Never has life been more complex or so full of potential – and more in need of CMU graduates like you. The story of this century will depend on the things that you do best: answering the questions that will be critical to our future and exploring exciting new modes of discovery.” –
VCUarts Qatar graduated 76 students total – conferring 68 bachelor’s degrees and eight master’s degrees. The graduates’ specializations include fashion design, graphic design, interior design, painting and printmaking, and art history. The commencement comes just after VCU-Q hosted a fashion exhibition highlighting the use of khadi – a South Asian fabric increasingly popular among Indian designers – as part of the Qatar-India 2019 Year of Culture, organized by Qatar Museums.
“You are creative scholars who embody the very best of our university and illuminate the very meaning of our humanity. I know you will use your vast talents to benefit humankind.” –
Northwestern University in Qatar, which specializes in journalism and communications, graduated its largest and most diverse class yet – 68 students, speaking 12 languages and representing 17 countries. 70% of the graduating class is female, and 16 earned minors. Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro and alumna Sara Abdullah Al Saadi – a graduate from NU-Q’s inaugural class – spoke at the commencement.
“[NU-Q had] an incredible impact on the person I am today; this school has given me a world-class education, lifelong friends, and the tools to go on and make a difference.” –
Sara Abdullah Al Saadi, Director of Public Diplomacy at the Embassy of Qatar in Washington, DC
Texas A&M in Qatar graduated its 1,000th engineer in a ceremony on May 9th that awarded 95 bachelor’s degrees in chemical, electrical, mechanical, and petroleum engineering, as well as 12 Master of Science and Master of Engineering degrees in chemical engineering. 36 of the 95 bachelor’s degrees were awarded to female graduates, and the majority of the degrees were awarded to non-Qataris.
“I am honored and humbled to receive this honorary degree from Texas A&M University. This is not only a personal accolade for me but also a tribute to the State of Qatar under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar. Since 2003, I have witnessed the evolution, development and growth of Texas A&M at Qatar as a branch campus of Texas A&M University. It is a matter of pride for all of us to have witnessed the successes and accomplishments of this institution over the past 16 years. The work of Texas A&M at Qatar directly contributes to the pillars of the Qatar National Vision 2030, and I applaud this prestigious institution for all it does to make a positive impact on Qatar and throughout the region in the noble cause of education.” –
His Excellency Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada, the former Minister of Energy and Industry and former Chairman of Qatar Petroleum
Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) also held its graduation ceremony on May 9th, awarding 64 Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degrees. 49 of the degrees were awarded to women. This year marks several milestones for Georgetown, including the 100-year anniversary of the School of Foreign Service‘s founding and the GUQ100 Celebration of Knowledge.
This marks over 100 academic volumes published since GU-Q opened in 2005. GU-Q has now graduated more than 500 students from over 50 countries, offering the same internationally renowned curriculum as Georgetown’s home campus in Washington, DC.
“Today’s GU-Q graduates carry on a legacy of academic excellence, strength through diversity, and an unwavering commitment to work for the common good. Through dedicated scholarship in the field of humanities and social sciences, their academic work has contributed to the development mission of Qatar Foundation, and the ambitions and optimism of tomorrow’s leaders inspire us all to envision a better future.” –
Her Excellency Ambassador Sheikha Alya bint Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani, Qatar’s Ambassador to the United Nations
Qatar Foundation (QF) also held its annual convocation ceremony celebrating all 786 of its graduates across its member universities. QF’s member universities also include Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, HEC Paris, and UCL Qatar. Qatari Amir, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and QF Chairperson, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, both attended the celebration.
“Every member of our Class of 2019 has recognized and maximized the unique educational opportunity that Qatar Foundation provides. Their academic excellence has been matched by their growth as knowledge-seekers, critical thinkers, and active citizens who are determined to be drivers of positive change. As embodiments of QF’s belief in what quality education stands for, and what it makes possible, they will always be part of our story – and we will watch with pride as they write their own.”
– H.E. Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson & CEO of Qatar Foundation
TAMU-Q graduated 95 students with bachelor’s degrees in chemical, electrical, mechanical, or petroleum energy. 36 of those graduates were female. TAMU-Q also graduated 12 students with Master’s of Science and Master’s of Engineering degrees in chemical engineering. This raises the total number of engineers TAMU-Q has graduated to 1,056. More than 50% of those graduates are non-Qatari citizens.
Texas A&M University awarded His Excellency Dr. Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada an honorary Doctor of Letters degree during the ceremony, in recognition of his accomplishments and support of the university.
HE Dr. Al Sada is Qatar’s former Minister of Energy and Industry and the former chairman of Qatar Petroleum.
“I am honored and humbled to receive this honorary degree from Texas A&M University. This is not only a personal accolade for me but also a tribute to the State of Qatar under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar. Since 2003, I have witnessed the evolution, development and growth of Texas A&M at Qatar as a branch campus of Texas A&M University. It is a matter of pride for all of us to have witnessed the successes and accomplishments of this institution over the past 16 years. The work of Texas A&M at Qatar directly contributes to the pillars of the Qatar National Vision 2030, and I applaud this prestigious institution for all it does to make a positive impact on Qatar and throughout the region in the noble cause of education.” – His Excellency Dr. Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada
“Qatar is committed to investing in the young generations and this is reflected in the success stories that Education City is witnessing, among them Texas A&M commencement, which I’m honored to speak at today where I would like to congratulate Class of 2019 graduates.” – His Excellency Hassan Al Thawadi
Coinciding with the milestone for Texas A&M at Qatar, the main Texas A&M University campus in College Station, Texas is also celebrating half a million degrees awarded since its founding in 1876.
(Image Source: Texas A&M – Qatar)
Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) has published its influential sixth annual Media Use in the Middle East survey in both English and Arabic. The seven-nation survey covers public perceptions and use of media in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, Tunisia, UAE, and Saudi Arabia. The survey was conducted via video chat from Qatar, and covers 7,635 respondents across the seven countries.
“NU-Q’s Media Use in the Middle East 2018: A Seven-Nation Survey is a comprehensive resource for scholars, as well as business, government and other thought leaders seeking to better understand and engage with the region… Since 2013, NU-Q has selected six to eight countries to approximate a reasonable representation of public opinion on media use and related topics in a turbulent and complex region. Six years of feedback suggests that our research has generated useful and discerning findings.” -Everette E. Dennis, Dean and CEO of NU-Q
Some of the findings from the survey include:
More Arab nationals consider film and TV content from the U.S. to be good for morality
Majorities of Arab nationals in most countries support online freedom of expression
Facebook and Twitter penetration have fallen among Arab nationals across the seven countries
The numbers of Arab nationals who play video games have remained steady across the region, although the amount of time gamers play per week has increased significantly from 2014 to 2018