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Story | Education
11 July 2021

From being dependent on family to becoming independent leaders, QLA Graduates share experiences

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Twin brothers from the QF school talk about their journey at the leadership academy and the pride their father showed in their achievements

Six years have passed since the day that Abdulrahman and Abdulaziz Al-Hashmi’s father took his two sons to Qatar Leadership Academy (QLA) for the first time. Today, he feels very proud of their graduation.

On their first day at the school, I wanted them to grow and go through life's experiences. Now, I see, in front of me, two mature young men

The father

“On their first day at the school, I wanted them to grow and go through life's experiences. Now, I see, in front of me, two mature young men. This graduation does not only indicate their academic progress, but also reflects their personal and leadership growth,” the father of the boys says.

Abdulrahman and Abdulaziz Al-Hashmi’s first day at QLA – which is part of Qatar Foundation’s (QF) Pre-University Education – was not an ordinary one. Their father had dropped them off at their new school, where they would stay for the next six years, away from home.

Abdulrahman Al-Hashmi

Abdulaziz Al-Hashmi

“The first days were a challenge for us, as we lived in the school accommodation. We moved away from our family, and we had to learn so many different skills,” Abdulaziz says.

Introverted and shy, both brothers still remember the challenges they faced during the first months of joining the academy, and how they overcame them with time.

“I remember that I was very shy, and unable to express my opinion or make any impact on others. Living with my friends, and the environment of the academy, allowed us to develop our personalities, as well as our communication skills,” Abdulrahman says.

In the academy, we follow very strict rules, this includes schedules of sleeping and waking, arranging our rooms, all of which is subject to daily inspection

Abdulrahman Al-Hashmi

As for Abdulaziz, he says the first days at the academy seemed long, and “we missed our family greatly. With time, we began to adapt and strengthen our relations with our friends, and we became less shy and more open to talk to others.”

A typical school day for students at QLA begins with performing the morning prayer, attending classes until afternoon, and after a short break, students attend leadership programs for two hours daily.

Discipline is one of the core values that students learn in their leadership program, including self-control. And thanks to his innate leadership abilities, Abdulrahman even won the first place in leadership program.

Abdulrahman and Abdulaziz spent six years at QLA which was enough to make a big change in their personalities. They learned how to rely on themselves and manage all aspects of their lives.

“In the academy, we follow very strict rules – mobiles and internet are not allowed, and a daily system is in place that needs to be followed. This includes schedules of sleeping and waking, making our beds, arranging our rooms, and keeping it tidy, all of which is subject to daily inspection,” Abdulaziz says.

It can be said that my brother has a higher rank in leadership than me, but academically, I beat him, as I secured first place in academics

Abdulaziz Al-Hashmi

Abdulrahman says that after being extremely dependent on their parents to provide for all their needs, learning to become self-dependent, although a useful life-skill, caused some amounts of frustrations initially. “Daily behavior determines the level of the student,” he says.

Despite all his efforts in winning first place in the academy, Abdulrahman had a strong contender – his twin brother Abdulaziz – who was no less hardworking and determined.

“It can be said that my brother has a higher rank in leadership than me, but academically, I beat him, as I secured first place in academics,” Abdulaziz says.

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The twins in the classroom.

The twins’ academic years in QLA

As Abdulrahman prepares to join Texas A&M University at Qatar, a QF partner university, and Abdulaziz aims to join the field of business and economics, their father highlights the role that QF has played in motivating his sons to pursue a better future.

He says: “Our sons are a source of pride for me and their mother, who has always supported them. Thanks to the unique environment at QF that enabled them to achieve what they have so far and prepare them for a bright future.”

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