Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, participated in a special discussion session entitled “Stories from Qatar Foundation Not Yet Told”, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Qatar Foundation, which was broadcast on Qatar TV this evening.
During this session, Her Highness shed light on the personal and national motives that inspired the establishment of Qatar Foundation more than 25 years ago, and the challenges that took place in the founding journey, starting from laying the foundations of pre-university education at the moment of establishing Qatar Academy and achieving a balance between originality and modernity, through negotiations With partner international universities that posed a very difficult challenge, to building a culture of scientific research and innovation, in order to support the country’s march to build a sustainable future.
Her Highness participated in a number of Their Excellencies and personalities who played a key role in transforming the vision of Qatar Foundation into reality, namely: HE Mr. Youssef Hussein Kamal, HE Dr. Ibrahim Al Ibrahim, HE Dr. Sheikha Al-Misnad, Dr. Saif Al-Hajari, and Engineer Abdul-Ridha Abdulrahman.
Her Highness said, “Despite the challenges and twists and turns that we faced at the beginning of our journey a quarter of a century ago, our belief in the success of the Qatar Foundation project was firm. On the day of the opening of Education City in 2005, we promised that tomorrow would be here. Indeed, tomorrow was made at Qatar Foundation.” .
Her Highness added, “We have never looked at the Foundation’s projects, centers and initiatives as serving a specific geographic scope. We have thought of Qatar Foundation as an Arab and Islamic developmental renaissance project on Qatar’s land to promote sustainable development in the Arab world, by bringing about the desired positive change in the academic and research aspects. and societal.”
Speaking about the beginnings and the establishment of the Qatar Academy, Her Highness said, “The moment of thinking about the project to establish the Academy had a personal dimension, and stems from my role as a mother concerned with the education and upbringing of my children, and the second dimension is national, represented by our role in the development of society. I realized at that stage that we are facing a national challenge in the issue of Education, and that a radical change must be made in the educational system, and that we need to provide advanced quality education, based on logical analysis and rational deduction that were known by previous Arab civilizations and applied by Western civilizations, and at the same time preserved our heritage, language and national identity.
Her Highness added, “The Qatar Academy project has grown and developed, and it was necessary to continue the march of progress and development by building the components of a prestigious university education and building a culture of scientific research, for the sake of community development.”
Regarding the broadening of the vision from the basic education project, and the change of the scheme from establishing a single university to attracting international universities according to the disciplines that meet national needs, Her Highness said, “We wondered about the effectiveness of repeating experiments that did not prove successful in many societies. So we decided to start from The others ended and we resolved to attract prestigious international universities according to the disciplines that meet national needs, and to provide an educational and research system based on creativity and innovation, which enables us to acquire knowledge, localize it, and reproduce it.”
Her Highness added, “One of the challenges we faced while negotiating with prestigious international universities was their questions about the academic level of our students, but our belief in human capabilities in Qatar and the Arab region was not shaken, and we were aware that if these young people were given the appropriate educational environment and the necessary opportunities, the world would witness their achievements, and this is what Check today.”
On the challenges of attracting prestigious international universities, building a culture of scientific research, laying the foundations for research infrastructure, empowering local researchers, and making Qatar a destination for researchers and scientists, Her Highness said, “The issue of building a culture of scientific research posed a real challenge. But we believe that innovation is the basis of the philosophy of Qatar Foundation.” Her Highness added, “We wanted this institution to be an incubator for Arab scientists, researchers, innovators and inventors and others from all over the world, because we realize that scientific research continues as long as human life continues.”
Regarding the Qatar Foundation logo and the value that the Sidra tree symbolizes, as a station for reminiscing about how to choose this logo during this discussion session, which took viewers on a journey through time, Her Highness said, “There is a close relationship between the Sidra tree and every Qatari house, and the familiarity between Qatari people and Sidra.” This tree, which has tremendous endurance, and beautiful patience, and shades its leaves over everyone.. We decided that the Foundation should take this slogan and this direction, so that Qatar Foundation would shade its sons and daughters in Qatar, and be patient, because we were aware of the magnitude of the challenges that would come our way. We are confident that Sidra will remain green because it is able to overcome all challenges.”
In turn, the speakers in this session recalled the journey of establishing the Foundation more than 25 years ago, to achieve the vision of His Highness the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, regarding the future of the State of Qatar, and the ideas, goals and decisive moments that this journey brought. It led to the creation of Qatar Foundation’s unique model in the world in 1995, which is based on education, research and community development.
For his part, His Excellency Youssef Hussein Kamal highlighted education as an essential pillar of economic development, saying, “Successful economic models in many developed countries that do not have natural resources, such as Korea, Japan and Singapore, depended on investing in brains.”
His Excellency added, “The graduation of engineers, doctors, diplomats and other specialists in Education City’s universities is in itself a successful investment idea to support the goals of economic development at the time, when it was relied on scholarships abroad in order to acquire knowledge while it was required to produce it.”
As for His Excellency Dr. Ibrahim Al-Ibrahim, he said, “The educational model that we aspire to in that time period did not exist anywhere in the world, and this increased the challenges and difficulties before us, as our goal was to attract the most prominent universities in the world in terms of the specializations we need, including those related to oil. And gas in order to advance the development of the country, and this was not easy at all.”
His Excellency continued, “But we worked on identifying strengths and weaknesses during negotiations with international universities, according to our perspective and our needs, and we were able to achieve what we aspire to.”
For her part, Her Excellency Dr. Sheikha Al-Misnad highlighted the national motivation that motivated the work team to make unremitting efforts to transform the vision into reality. Her Excellency said, “The Qatar Foundation project was new to us, and to the world as well, with all its aspirations. It carried the beginnings of This project causes feelings of anxiety and thinking about all possibilities, which is the natural feeling at the beginning of a project of this level locally, regionally and internationally.However, the determination of the leadership of Qatar Foundation to achieve the vision of the foundation, formed a national motivation for us, so that the vision of the leadership of the foundation became our vision that we adopted as Qataris and we worked to implement it in order to Supporting the Renaissance in the State of Qatar.
While participating in this session, Dr. Saif Al-Hajri said, “The Qatar Foundation project has been built since its inception on solid pillars stemming from the national identity and the privacy of Qatari society, supporting the ambitions of our children and the aspirations of their families, balancing the studied openness based on successful and distinguished global experiences, and preserving our heritage. And our values.. The aim of building this project was to produce, develop and export knowledge to the region, which would help achieve sustainable development in the State of Qatar in its various fields.”
Through a special message in a video shown during the discussion session, Dr. Fathi Saud, former CEO of Qatar Foundation, said: “Since the beginning of the establishment of the Qatar Foundation project, we aimed to develop an integrated system for education, scientific research and innovation, and to respond to the requirements of community development, most notably dealing with a new era in an approved world. on knowledge.”
Dr. Fathi added, “As a team, we tried tirelessly to knock on all the doors during our negotiations with the most prestigious international universities to build cooperation and partnerships with them, and we succeeded in that, until we reached the day when the doors of Qatar Foundation were knocked by prestigious and well-known international universities to establish partnerships with Qatar. “.
On the importance of research, development and innovation as a pillar on which the Qatar Foundation was built about a quarter of a century ago, and how to create the idea of Qatar Science and Technology Park, Engineer Abdul-Ridha Abdulrahman explained, “The idea of building the Qatar Science and Technology Park came from the name of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development itself, which requires sustainability. Education The existence of scientific and technological research that supports the disciplines that the State of Qatar needed to work on achieving the sustainable development goals.
Eng. Abdul-Ridha Abdul Rahman concluded his participation in the discussion session moderated by Khadija bin Qanna, by saying, “At the same time, community development requires building a culture of scientific research and spreading a sense of innovation and creativity. Therefore, the research, development and innovation sector system is the third and inseparable part of the foundation triangle. Diameter”.