Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) Mirage 2000s, a U.S. B-52H Stratofortress, and U.S. F-35A Lightning IIs fly in formation over Southwest Asia, May 21, 2019.This flight was conducted to continue building military-to-military relationships with the QEAF. The B-52H is part of the Bomber Task Force deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility to defend U.S. forces and interests in the region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Keifer Bowes)
In an effort to boost tourism in the Gulf nation of Qatar, the nations Tourism Council has partnered with Qatar Airways to make it increasingly easier to visit Qatar.
Qatar Airways is offering a 25% discount on flights to those who expect to visit Qatar through Hamad International Airport, until mid-August. The partnership is also offering a 25% discount for those interested in “meet & greet” services.
However, passengers are still able to take advantage of multiple deals if they happen to have a layover in Qatar. Qatar has greatly simplified passengers’ abilities to see what the country has to offer.
As an effort to boost tourism, a transit visa has been instituted that allows passengers that have a layover longer than 5 hours, to receive a 96 hour transit visa. Qatar Airways has taken advantage of this development and instituted a stopover package that would provide discounted hotel rates.
Qatar continues to become a cultural hub of the Middle East and actively supports the creation of institutions and public artworks, with most recently unveiling the iconic Qatar National Museum. The nation also offers a host of other museums and cultural attractions for those interested in experiencing a Middle East Gulf nation that has struck a balance between modernity and tradition.
On May 17th, 2019, the Confederation of North and Centra American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced that one of the 16 referees for this year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup will be a Qatari national.
CONCACAF stated that such decision was part of an agreement in which CONCACAF officials were able to work at this year’s Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Mexican referee, Cesar Ramos, was the only CONCACAF referee that officiated four matches at the Asian Cup, including Qatar’s striking 4-0 victory over the UAE in the semifinals.
The Qatari referee for the Gold Cup will be Abdulrahman Al Jassim, who has previously officiated 4 Asian Cup matches, including Iran’s 3-0 victory over China.
In addition, three American referees will be at the Gold Cup: Ismael Elfath, Jair Marrufo and Armando Villareal. The Gold Cup starts on June 15h and terminates on July 7th. Most of the matches will be held in the United States, with games also in Jamaica and Costa Rica.
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).
Qatar Airways and the Qatar-America Institute together donated two round-trip business class tickets to Doha to Luke’s Wings – a nonprofit dedicated to supporting wounded American veterans and their families. Luke’s Wings is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that arranges flights for wounded veterans and their families. The tickets were the highest bid-on item at the silent auction at Luke’s Wings’ annual Heroes Gala.
Luke’s Wings was founded in 2008 after Sarah Wingfeld, a Redskins Cheerleader Ambassador, visited Walter Reed Medical Center. She met Luke Shirley, a double amputee recovering away from most of his loved ones. Seeing how quickly his demeanor changed when his mom walked in, she realized the impact loved ones have in supporting soldiers’ recovery.
Sarah and Luke’s Wings co-founder Fletcher Gill learned the US government only provides three flights for loved ones to be present upon initial injury, after which families must finance their own transportation to medical centers. Luke’s Wings – named after Luke Shirley and Sarah Wingfeld – was established to raise money so families could visit their loved ones at Walter Reed.
In 2012, Luke’s Wings secured enough funding to hire three full-time workers, allowing it to expand its work across the country. Today, Luke’s Wings serves military medical facilities, VA medical centers, and hospice facilities across the United States and has provided airfare for families internationally and across all 50 states.
On May 10th, 2019 S&P published an affirmation of Qatar’s credit rating at AA- with a Stable Outlook. The stable outlook reflects Qatar’s prudent fiscal management and investment-led economic growth, leading to a fiscal surplus of $US1.2bn in 2019 – the first surplus in three years – and an expected GDP growth rate of 2%.
S&P has noted Qatar’s resilience to the pressures of an air, land and sea blockade. Qatar’s economy is driven by government investment: At an estimated 45% of GDP, Qatar’s investment spending is among the highest of all the sovereigns rated by S&P.
“The stable outlook primarily reflects our view that Qatar will continue to effectively mitigate the economic and financial fallout of the boycott imposed on the country in June 2017… and that Qatar will continue to pursue prudent macroeconomic policies that support large recurrent fiscal and external surpluses over 2019-2022.”
Research Summary, S&P Ratings, May 10th, 2019
The impact of the boycott on Qatar’s external performance has been limited; most of its export earnings from natural gas come from Asian customers.
“Investments related to the government’s sizable infrastructure program will continue to support economic activity, outweighing negative sentiment related to the ongoing boycott.”
Research Summary, S&P Ratings, May 10th, 2019
(Image Source: Wall Street Journal)
Al Wakrah Stadium, the newly built venue for the 2022 World Cup, will host the Amir Cup final 2019 on May 16th. The Amir Cup final will be between Al Sadd and Al-Duhail. Furthermore, the match takes on added significance as it will be the final match for the legendary midfielder and SC Ambassador- Xavi Hernández. The match will be attended by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad al-Thani. Gates and fan zones will open at 7:30 p.m. Cultural activities will precede the match, which will commence at 10:30 p.m.
Qatar Football Association (QFA) and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) are responsible for the organization and preparation of the Amir Cup final. Henceforth, to make it a world class experience, QFA and SC will be offering free WiFi access in cooperation with Ooredoo. In addition, 52 cameras will be employed to cover the event for those viewing the game from home.
Around 90% of the tickets have been sold, with the remaining tickets available until May 15ht. For more relevant information about the Amir Cup final and access to the stadium, inquirers should download Amir Cup App available on App Store and Google Play.
For additional information about Qatar or visiting Qatar, please reference our webpage.
(Image Source: Supreme Committee)
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)
On Sunday, May 12, Qatar Museums revealed that it had 22 art objects from its collection in loan at NYC’s the Met Museum. The objects were showcased at its recently-concluded exhibition ”Monumental Journey: The Daguerreotypes of Girault de Prangey.” The exhibition told the three-year photographic excursion of French artist, architectural historian, archaeologist, and photographer Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey throughout the Middle East and East Mediterranean. Among the images he created are the earliest surviving photographs of Greece, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, and Jerusalem and among the first daguerreotypes depicting Italy.
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#Repost @almayassabnthamad ・・・ نظم متحف الميتروبوليتان في نيويورك معرضًا رائعًا بعنوان "رحلة ضخمة: داغوريات لـ جيرولت دي برانجي . في عام 1842 ، بدأ الفنان والمؤرخ المعماري وعالم الآثار والمصور الرائد جوزيف فيليبيرت جيرولت دي برانجي (1804-1892) في رحلة تصوير فوتوغرافية مدتها ثلاث سنوات في جميع أنحاء شرق البحر الأبيض المتوسط ، وعاد إلى فرنسا بأكثر من ألف من النماذج الداغورية – إنجاز لا مثيل له في تاريخ التصوير الفوتوغرافي. ومن بين هذه الصور التي ابتكرها نجد مجموعة من أوائل الصور التي تم التقاطها بالكاميرا الداغورية ومازالت باقية حتى يومنا هذا لكل من لليونان ومصر وتركيا ولبنان وسوريا والقدس، بالإضافة إلى أوائل الصور الداغورية التي تصور إيطاليا. كان من دواعي سرورنا إعارة 22 قطعة من مجموعة متاحف قطر إلى هذا المعرض. _ The @METmuseum has organized a wonderful exhibition titled ”Monumental Journey: The Daguerreotypes of Girault de Prangey”. Where in 1842, artist, architectural historian, archaeologist, and pioneer photographer Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey (1804–1892) embarked on a three-year photographic excursion throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, and he returned to France with more than one thousand daguerreotypes—an unparalleled feat in the history of photography. Among the images he created are the earliest surviving photographs of Greece, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, and Jerusalem and among the first daguerreotypes depicting Italy. We are pleased to loan 22 objects from @Qatar_Museums collection to the exhibition. #MonumentalJourney #MET #QatarMuseums
This is not the first time a Qatari organization collaborates with an American museum. Last year, Qatari fashion designs had an exquisite presence at the DeYoung’s Contemporary Muslim Fashions Exhibition in San Fransisco, CA.
(Image Source: 4Columns)