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Art of Athletics Festival

February 14, 2023 @ 12:30 pm - 6:00 pm EST


Join us at 12:30 PM EST live or via Zoom for a conversation with celebrated Olympic swimmer and UNCHR Goodwill Ambassador, Yusra Mardini. The conversation will be followed by a screening of the 2022 biographical film inspired by Mardini’s life, The Swimmers. Visitors interested in attending both the live-streamed conversation and the in-person only film screening, are invited to do so in QAIC’s Arab Film House. 

Starting at 2:00 PM, children are invited to participate in a tech and art eSports workshop. Workshop activities include storytelling, e-gaming and more with D.C.-based non-profit S.T.E.A.M. Your Dreams (recommended for children 5+ years). Visitors will learn about and play traditional Qatari board games. We will also be discussing the contemporary history and culture of robotic camel jockeys.

QAIC’s Perfumery Museum, and culture and technology exhibition, Research Labs from VCUarts Qatar in Doha, will be open to the public.

Schedule (EST):

*Doors open at 12 PM*

12:30 – 2:00 PM

Join QAIC’s Executive Director for a special live-streamed conversation with Yusra Mardini followed by a screening of The Swimmers (in-person only).

2:00 – 6:00 PM

Explore eSports with S.T.E.A.M. Your Dreams and learn about and play traditional Qatari board games, and the history of robotic camel jockeys.

*Doors close at 5:30pm*

About Yusra Mardini

Syrian refugee and Olympic swimmer, Yusra Mardini, was appointed the youngest ever at age 19. Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, the UN agency working with refugees, in April 2017. She advocates for refugees globally by sharing her own inspiring story. As a powerful voice for the forcibly displaced across the world, Yusra is an inspiring example of the resilience and determination to rebuild lives and contribute to their host communities.

Yusra fled conflict in Syria when she was just a teenager, making the treacherous sea journey to Europe with her sister, Sara. When the engine on their boat stopped working mid-crossing, the sisters and two others jumped into the water, guiding their dingy to safety. This act of courage saved the lives of everyone onboard.

After finding refuge in Germany, Yusra was selected to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics as part of the first ever Refugee Olympic Team. Having written about her ongoing struggle with being identified as that of ‘refugee’, she became the proud flag bearer for the team. She was catapulted onto the world stage, addressing world leaders at the UN General Assembly, meeting Pope Francis and honored with numerous awards. Yusra competed once again for the Refugee Olympic Team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Yusra’s incredible story is told in her memoir, Butterfly: From Refugee to Olympian – My Story of Rescue, Hope and Triumph, and in the Netflix film, The Swimmers, released in November 2022.

About S.T.E.A.M. Your Dreams

STEAM Your Dreams is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that delivers STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics), eSports school club leagues and national tournaments. Their mission is to impact the pipeline of scholarships for underserved youth and communities through edutainment (educational entertainment). They engage, inspire and empower elementary and middle-school children through STEAM-based eSports and eGaming. Their primary goals are to promote reading and math literacy, inspire creative problem solving, and encourage children to go into inclusive, diverse STEAM careers such as the gaming industry. To learn more, visit: https://steamyourdreams.org.

This program is made possible in part by the generous support of the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Washington and ConocoPhillips. QAIC wishes to also thank partners S.T.E.A.M. Your Dreams and QAIC Advisory Board Member, Deborah Sawaf.


February 14, 2023
12:30 pm - 6:00 pm EST
Event Category:


Qatar America Institute for Culture


Qatar America Institute for Culture
1319 18th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036 United States
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