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The seventh annual THIMUN, Model United Nations was hosted by Qatar Foundation (QF), on Friday, January 26. It saw participation of more than 1,300 local, regional, and international students, who touched upon broad-ranging discussions and debate around global issues.

The Model United Nations (MUN) conference was held at the Qatar National Convention Centre gave students opportunity to  participate in a variety of committees addressing a range of  global topics, including disarmament, the environment, human rights, and the rule of law.

The event motivated the students to a great extent as various UN representatives addressed them during the conference, like Mr. Roberto Abdalla, Ambassador of Brazil in Qatar; Mr. Eric Chevallier, Ambassador of France in Qatar; and Ms. Ewa Polano, Ambassador of Sweden in Qatar.

Dr. Bahia Tahzib-Lie, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Qatar, encouraged all delegates, saying: “You can inspire the leaders of the world. You are in command of the coming days. Show us how to build a better and more peaceful world.”

Gilberto Duarte, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer, UNODC, said: “This is a great opportunity for youth to learn more about the importance of UNODC-related issues; topics they may or may not be aware of but which certainly impact us all. This idea of working with young people and building a better understanding of rule of law issues at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels is key to UNODC’s Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, part of our Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration.”

The participation of UNODC was derived by the recommendation made at by young people at the Doha Youth Forum on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, jointly organized by QF, held in April 2015.

The seventh year of MUN, encouraged participants to prepare and engage in a simulation of the United Nations, taking on roles as diplomats, to discuss and debate on international issues and develop solutions to some of the greatest challenges faced by international community.

Themed on  ‘Gender Equality and Empowerment for Women and Girls’, inspired by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), Trisha Shetty, Founder and CEO of SheSays India, a youth-led NGO with a focus on youth and civil society engagement to promote gender equality, delivered this year’s keynote speech.

Another highlight as the ‘MUN Impact’ program, which served as a hub for sharing stories of impactful MUN activities, best practices, and ways to support the SDGs through action.

Other issues highlighted by the students to the MUN Impact initiative were: the Hope for Education and Leadership in Afghanistan, the Salam Centre for Peace, and Online Model United Nations. The developments made in the seventh THIMUN made a greater difference since it elevated the MUN from a debate platform to a driver of social change.

Hopefully such continued efforts will be able to create the rational aptitude and environment needed to sought collective resolution for a comprehensive development of the global society.


Celebrations were in order last night for 650 students who graduated from nine institutions in the Qatar Foundation 2016 Convocation.

The Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani joined QF chairperson Sheikha Moza bint Nasser to congratulate the students, in the event at the Qatar National Convention Center near Education City last night.

The keynote address to the Class of 2016 was delivered by QF chief executive and vice-chairperson Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al-Thani, who was also graduating with an Executive MBA from HEC Paris in Qatar.

Qatar Foundation Convocation 2016


Qatar Foundation Convocation 2016

She told the assembled graduates, family and friends:

“Your ambition and determination makes us truly believe that you are at the vanguard of the prosperous future we aspire to achieve.

“This is a very special moment in our lives, as we transition from the classroom to the workplace. After we graduate, we must not stop learning and seeking fulfilling experiences. We must continue to keep up with the latest knowledge in our chosen fields.”

Sheikha Moza presented each student with a graduation ring, accompanied by the Deans of their respective universities, QF said in a statement.

The new graduates then passed through a “door to the future”, symbolizing their journey from education into employment.


The institutions which graduated students last night were:

  • Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU);
  • Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q);
  • Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ);
  • Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar (WCM-Q);
  • Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q);
  • HEC Paris in Qatar;
  • University College London in Qatar (UCL Qatar);
  • Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar (GU-Q); and
  • Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (VCUQatar).

This year’s batch of 650 students receiving Bachelors and Masters degrees was slightly down on the 672 who graduation in last year’s convocation.

The number of QF graduates has grown steadily since the first 122 students finished school in 2008.

Qatar Foundation Convocation 2016


Qatar Foundation Convocation 2016

Some 44 percent of the graduates were Qatari nationals. Students at Education City come from 43 countries, and around 60 percent of them are female, Gulf Times reported.

The students’ address was delivered by Shoaib Rashid, a blogger, entrepreneur and YouTube presenter. He told the graduates:

“It is your responsibility to contribute to society by reinvesting the extraordinary skills and talents which we are here to celebrate today.”

Three graduates also received the Q 2016 Excellence Award for their contribution to the campus, the local and international community as well as their outstanding academic performance.

They were Hissa Al Noaimi from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar; Sana Zeenal Britto from Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar; and Vignesh Shanmugam from Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar.

Many took to social media last night to congratulate the new graduates and wish them well for their future, while other students expressed their thanks for their education.

Congratulations, graduates! Thoughts?

All photos courtesy of Qatar University

More than 1,400 students from Qatar University celebrated their graduation in two separate ceremonies held over two days at the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC).

Deputy Emir at QU Graduation 2015

Qatar University/Twitter

Deputy Emir at QU Graduation 2015

The Deputy Emir and Chairman of QU’s Board of Regents Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Thani was the main guest of honor for the male students’ ceremony on May 20, while the women’s event on May 21 was honored by Sheikha Jawaher bint Hamad bin Suhaim Al -Thani, wife of the Emir.

Women comprise the majority of students at Qatar University, and a total of 1,041 received their degrees from QU President, Prof. Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad.

Meanwhile, 381 male graduates were awarded degrees in the presence of the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, as well as other government ministers.

This year’s ceremonies were among the university’s largest in recent years, with 153 more graduates than last year. In 2013, 1,071 QU students were conferred degrees.

The Class of 2015 included 169 top-achieving students (136 women and 33 men) with a GPA of 3.50 or above, which equates to an A- grade.

Qatar’s first PhD

This week, Qatar also the graduation of its first homegrown PhD students, from the College of Engineering, the college’s dean announced on Twitter:

Maan Mohammed Jalal Haj Rashid received his PhD from the college’s department of Computer Science and Engineering, while on Thursday Alaa Ghassan Aboutaqa was awarded her degree certificate from the department of Civil Engineering.

“This is a milestone for the college that has grown by leaps and bounds since its establishment and which is now one of the best in the region,” Dr. Alammari said in a statement.

A total of 1,243 Bachelors certificates (924 women and 300 men) were awarded across the two ceremonies, with the majority (414) from the university’s largest college, the College of Arts and Sciences, which also has the most number of female undergraduate students (368).

The College of Engineering had the largest number of male graduates with bachelor’s degrees (124).

At the graduate level, there were 199 students awarded – 185 with Master’s, 11 as Doctors of Pharmacy and one education diploma, in addition to the two PhDs.

Well wishes

Messages of congratulations to the graduating students buzzed through Twitter, under the hashtag #QUGrad15:

Valedictorian Ahmed Al-Faridooni

Qatar University

Valedictorian Ahmed Al-Faridooni

Valedictorian Ahmed Al-Faridooni from the College of Law spoke for his peers, saying: “We’ve waited for this moment since we were school students, and today we are starting a new phase in our lives.

“We overcame a lot of challenges to realize this successful chapter and we thank Qatar University who gave us high-quality education and the opportunities to excel and unlock our potential, our parents for their continuous support and sacrifice, and our professors for their guidance and contribution in developing our academic and professional abilities and capacities.”

Congratulating the latest batch of graduates, Prof Al-Misnad said:

“We are proud of you for achieving this milestone of a lifetime which highlights your hard work, commitment and dedication. You will embark on a new and exciting phase of your life as you prepare to join the labor market and pursue other endeavors…”

She also highlighted the important role of women in society, as “leaders in the world of business and other professional sectors,” and said the university would support them to overcome challenges, societal restrictions and cultural barriers to enable them to succeed.

Congrats, grads! Thoughts?