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.
3,000 Qatari Patients Benefit From the Hamad Medical Corporation’s Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic
Since the Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic (SSPC) opening at Hamad General Hospital (HGH) in April 2018, 3,000 visits have been made. The purpose of the clinic is to offer services in prevention and education to reduce the risk of recurrence in patients who have recently had a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA).
”The patients that we see in this clinic have a high risk of suffering a stroke or TIA, often for the second or even third time,” stated Dr. Naveed Akhtar, Head of Stroke Services at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).
The clinic offers a wide range of services, such education, prevention, and monitoring. Preventives services can include diagnostic results, education of healthy lifestyle habits and explanation of main risk factors for stroke. These services are delivered by specially-trained stroke consultants, clinical nurse specialists, educators, and pharmacists. Moreover, the SSPC focuses on health promotion and education in order to keep the Qatari population as healthy as possible.
“Studies show that the risk of recurrent stroke is between 5-10% within the first 30 days and rises to up to 40% within five years of the initial stroke. For this reason, it is essential that we provide suitable education and support for stroke patients to try to prevent any further incidents,” says Dr. Akhtar
With the opening of the SSPC, more than 3,000 patients are benefiting of the stroke team’s expertise, and more will be taken in in the near future.
(Image Source: Hamad Medical Corporation)
The State of Qatar announced that the final $13.7 million of the $30 million Qatar Harvey Fund will be directed towards a variety of Houston area community development projects. $3.3 million will be donated to build eight soccer fields that will also serve as flood mitigation basins. In addition, $1.72 million will aid Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts (MECA), a cultural and community center in Houston.
“Helping to provide continued access to educational resources and opportunities in the wake of Hurricane Harvey is a primary goal of the Qatar Harvey Fund,” stated His Excellency Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani, Qatar’s Ambassador to the U.S. and Chair of the Qatar Harvey Fund.
The Qatar Harvey Fund was established in 2017 by the State of Qatar to support recovery in Southeast Texas after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. The $30 million fund provided aid to veterans impacted by the hurricane, created scholarships to support students to continue their education, helped rebuild homes, and assisted in the reopening of a hospital.
Qatar has also given aid to Haiti and Japan after devastating earthquakes, and has funded development projects in Mali and Tunisia.
(Image Source: Twitter – @Amb_AlThani)
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)
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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 )
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.
On 15 May 2019, the Qatar-America Institute hosted a representative of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), a Qatari entity mandated to deliver the infrastructure and legacy programs for the upcoming FIFA World Cup™ in Qatar, who shared relevant information about the mega-event set to take place in November and December 2022.
The SC is tasked with delivering the proposed tournament venues and projects for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ – the first to be held in the Arab world – while ensuring its preparations align with the Qatar National Vision 2030.
For the FIFA World Cup™ in 2022, there will be a total of eight stadiums, all being built within a 55km radius, making it the first compact FIFA World Cup™ in the modern era. Each stadium will fulfill multiple purposes, not just sporting; community-based workshops were held to address and express the needs of local constituencies in the surrounding areas. The aim was to maximize benefits by realizing and integrating local demands as the stadiums are being completed to ensure they are used long after the last ball has been kicked in 2022.
This strategy will foster local development, promote and increase social cohesion, avoid bureaucratic mismanagement of resources duplication, and decrease the likelihood of disenchantment or skepticism from the local population towards the perceived benefits of hosting a sporting mega-event such as the FIFA World Cup™.
A concrete example of this strategy can be seen with the construction and completion of the new state-of-the-art Doha Metro Red Line South. The Red Line runs from Lusail to Al Wakra and connects Hamad International Airport with Doha.
The Doha Metro project will serve a dual purpose. Firstly, it will offer sustainable and accessible transportation to tournament venues and Qatari attractions for the 1.5 million fans Qatar expects in 2022, and secondly it will enhance accessibility and connectivity among the eight municipalities that make up Qatar. Therefore, the FIFA World Cup™ will act as an opportunity for Qatar to showcase its position as a primary international destination for sports, while also acting as a catalyst for the modernization of the country’s infrastructure.
Another noteworthy characteristic of the eight stadiums for the FIFA World Cup™ is that they are being built according to a criterion that incorporates sustainability and efficiency. For instance, the under-construction Ras Abu Aboud Stadium will be a clear example of such commitment and, furthermore, demonstrate the country’s degree of technological sophistication. Like a Lego set, the stadium will be fully demountable, and is being built via the assembly of repurposed shipping containers that were used to transport materials to Qatar. Thus, once the tournament ends on 18 December 2022, state-of-the-art software will be employed to assist the disassembly of the structure. The various parts and components will be re-allocated to create both sporting and non-sporting facilities in Qatar. Ras Abu Aboud Stadium will be the first fully demountable tournament venue in FIFA World Cup™ history.
The completed Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah City, which was launched on 16 May, and will be one of the eight venues for the FIFA World Cup 2022™. Al Janoub Stadium was designed by Zaha Hadid and AECOM Architects. The arena has a capacity of 40,000 and boasts a fully retractable roof. It also features innovative internal cooling technology for the benefit of both supporters and athletes. This sophisticated technology will allow local residents to enjoy the stadium all year round. Once the FIFA World Cup 2022™ is over, half of the stadium’s capacity will be removed and allocated for foreign and/or external development or sports projects. All of which further illustrating Qatar’s commitment to sustainability and development.
During the briefing, the SC representative noted Qatar’s recently implemented reforms for workers’ welfare, all of which reflect the commitment to respecting the standards of hosting the tournament and to improve the welfare of the country’s expatriate workforce.
This was emphasized by the following policy decisions: Qatar’s unilateral decision to sign a three-year technical cooperation agreement with the United Nations’ International Labor Organization to promote labor laws, increase government officials’ capacity to implement them and ensure recruitment practices are in-line with best international practices. Additionally, the Amiri’s promulgation of Law No. 13 of 2017, which established a judge-led Labor Dispute Resolution Committee, and Law No. 15 of 2017, which limited working hours and secured paid leave, and the creation of a Workers’ Support and Insurance Fund to ensure workers are paid overdue wages are just a few of the other significant reforms made.
Most notably, the SC pledged to allocate between $40-50 million (USD) to write off the debts that supply-chain migrant workers may have incurred as a consequence of unscrupulous non-affiliated recruiters in key labor markets. The recruitment and placement industry, which is a global phenomenon, is a $464.3 billion industry that affects more than 150 million migrant workers. The SC’s pledge will transform the lives of those affected by these illegal practices.
The SC representative also discussed safety and security preparations for the FIFA World Cup 2022™ and INTERPOL’s Project Stadia, which was established by INTERPOL in 2012 and funded by Qatar. The aim of Project Stadia is to create a Centre of Excellence to help INTERPOL member countries in the planning and executing policing and security preparations for major sporting events. The ten-year project will contribute to policing and security arrangements for the FIFA World Cup 2022™ in Qatar and will leave a lasting legacy for the world’s law enforcement community.
Lastly, the representative emphasized the existing degree of U.S.-Qatar economic ties in relation to the mega-event. Qatar has worked with over 30 U.S. organizations across a range of industries to date, all of which have been involved in some of the country’s most important tournament projects.
Turner International, CH2M, Jacobs and AECOM have been integral to a number of construction projects. CISCO, Oracle and Amazon have been working with Qatar on everything from IT to networking to cybersecurity solutions, all to ensure 2022 will be the most connected tournament ever, for fans and businesses. Leading U.S. universities including Georgetown and Northwestern and tech giant Facebook have been helping support Qatar’s innovation legacy programs. Overall, $10 billion will be invested in American services and expertise for the upcoming tournament in 2022.
Several Qatari public institutions have pledged their support for fair recruitment of migrant workers in lieu of an initiative by the Qatari Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor, and Social Affairs (ADLSA). The pledges were made at a conference titled “Joining Forces to Ensure Workers do not Pay Recruitment Fees and Related Costs,” held on May 20, 2019. The conference was organized by the ADLSA in cooperation with the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Qatar Foundation, the International Labor Organization Project Office, and the U.S. Embassy in Qatar.
“Ensuring that the payment of recruitment fees by employers is included and evaluated during contract bidding will give a clear signal to all contractors that recruitment fees and related costs should be borne by them. It will also create a level playing field for all companies.”
– Houtan Homayounpour, Head of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Project Office for the State of Qatar
The pledges commit to the principle, enshrined in Qatar’s labor laws, that workers should not have to pay to be recruited for a job. Signatories commit to ensuring that contractors themselves pay the recruitment fees and related costs for workers.
“The issue of fair recruitment is at the heart of our country’s labour reform agenda. I would like to commend the public institutions that have already signed the pledges on fair recruitment and recognize the contribution this will make to ensuring all workers arrive in Qatar debt free.”
– His Excellency Yousuf Mohamed Al Othman Fakhroo, Minister of Administrative Development Labour and Social Affairs
Signatories to the pledge include: the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Qatar Rail, Manateq, Qatar Museums, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Middle East District. The pledge is still available for institutions and organizations to sign until the end of May.
In July 2019, ADLSA will facilitate a quarterly working group meeting of public sector stakeholders to develop policies and tools to address the issue of fees and deception during workers’ recruitment.
On Monday, the Qatar Fund for Development released its 2018 annual report. The report documents $585 million in projects in education, healthcare, economic empowerment, infrastructure, and humanitarian relief in 70 different countries.
QFFD structures its grants in coordination with other organizations and donors, allowing it to mobilize billions of dollars of funding in total. Some of the projects QFFD supported in 2018 include the following:
$52 million to support healthcare, housing and vocational training in Syria and for Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey.
$30 million supporting relief and reconstruction following Hurricane Harvey, including $5 million to the Rebuild Texas Fund, $1.2 million to the YMCA of Greater Houston, $3.2 million in scholarships for students affected by the hurricane, $6 million dollars for the “Qatar Veterans Fund” in partnership with the Bob Woodruff Foundation, and more.
$3.5 million in support of healthcare and shelter for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, in coordination with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and local NGOs.
$8 million supporting healthcare projects in Libya, benefiting 600,000 people.
$6.5 million in healthcare projects in Yemen, supporting 680,000 people.
$75 million in emergency response aid to Gaza, as well as $50 million in support to the UN Refugee and Works Agency
At the unveiling of the report, the Director General of Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD), H.E. Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Kuwari stated that from 2015 till May 2019, the total aid amounted to QR 8.15 billion, which equates to US$ 2.24 billion. The previous year (2018) the Fund’s assistance reached $585 million, with 206.7 million in in humanitarian aid and US$ 378.6 million in development assistance.
Mr. Al Kuwari also added that “This aid was distributed geographically among 70 countries around the world. The total value of aid to Arab countries amounted to $451.8 million, whereas the aid to Africa totaled to $64 million, Asia $28.5 million and $17.9 million was disbursed in aid to North and South America. In terms of international and multilateral organizations, the amount of assistance provided for core funding has reached $20.1 million.”
Speaking about the Fund’s work, Mr. Al Kuwari noted: “The Fund’s work is focused on empowering people through the promotion of education, health and economic development. This is visible in the increase in the annual allocations of these sectors which reflects our belief that these sectors serve as the foundation for human and economic development and a gateway for achieving peace and justice.”
Some of the organizations QFFD either supported or worked with include: The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); The World Health Organization; and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).