Panel discussion led by Her Excellency Sheikha Hind focuses on the power of collaboration
Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, today participated in I AM QF – an event that celebrated the 25th anniversary of the organization that her vision made possible, and the benefit it has brought to Qatar and the world – alongside Qatar Foundation members and stakeholders.
A day that marked a milestone in the journey of Qatar Foundation (QF) saw members of its community – from staff and students to teachers, faculty, and researchers – join ministers, university and industry leaders, and other guests at Qatar National Convention Centre to reflect on what QF has achieved since its establishment in 1995, and look to the future.
As one of its centerpieces, I AM QF featured a high-level panel discussion moderated by Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation, where speakers from some of QF’s key stakeholders focused on how collaboration – one of the core principles of QF – can advance Qatar’s development, strengthen its human capacity, and enable its people to realize their full potential.
Speaking during the panel discussion, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser said: “Today I am glad to see faces that have always been present throughout all of QF’s achievements. The main challenge that we faced was always to try convincing others to make a positive change, and that is through education, because education is our true wealth.
“We focused on building our education ecosystem based on our heritage not against it. And looking at the activities here today, I was pleased to see how proud and confident the Qatari youth are in their culture and identity, and in speaking the Arabic language. This is what we have been aspiring to create through Qatar Foundation, as well as throughout other educational institutions in Qatar.
“It was a dream, and we made it come true through Qatar Foundation and its stakeholders.”
The discussion saw Her Excellency Sheikha Hind being joined by Her Excellency Lolwah Rashid Al Khater, Assistant Foreign Minister and Official Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Bin Hamad Al Thani, Director of Public Health, Ministry of Public Health; Dr. Hassan Rashid Al-Derham, President of Qatar University; and Dominic Genetti, Vice President and Joint Venture Executive Director, ExxonMobil Qatar. They explored how collaboration has already benefited Qatar, how it can be enhanced, and what it can mean for the future of the nation.
“QF’s journey has been all about producing knowledge, generating ideas and perspectives, and nurturing talent,” Her Excellency Sheikha Hind told the I AM QF audience. “And we share all of this with the world, from our unique perspective as a nation proud of its Arab and Islamic heritage.
“Now, we’ve reached a milestone in our journey, and so it’s time to ask ourselves: where do we go from here? How do we build on everything we have already achieved? And what do we need to do to realize everything we now want to achieve?
“For QF, I believe the answer rests on all elements of our ecosystem shaping, informing, and benefiting each other. We need to disruptively collaborate in a way that allows everyone to see the big picture, and recognize their role in creating it – because QF is a platform for everyone to engage, and contribute.”
Her Excellency Sheikha Hind explained how collaboration has underpinned QF “from its first day to its 25th year” – from allowing students to cross-register for courses at different universities and advancing autism research, to supporting young Arab innovators, and cultivating young people’s STEM skills. And she said: “It’s how we enable universities and technology companies, schools and think tanks, health experts and Islamic scholars, to complement and benefit each other.”
Her Excellency Lolwah Al Khater said: “Any system, no matter how good it is, relies on input, and the message we send to the world will only ever be as powerful as the substance we have, so the way we continue to deliver quality education and good health services, and the way we conduct research and train and develop people, is the strongest message we have to send abroad.
“And when I send this message, the strongest talking-point I have is QF. All the great work being achieved here is not just great work for Qatar, but for the wider region, and it is very important that we deliver that message.”
Speaking about Qatar University’s history of collaboration with QF, Dr. Al-Derham told the discussion: “QF was established through a vision that changed the way we look at things, and that recognized the need to think outside of the box.
“We have been fortunate to partner with the elite universities at QF, and that has provided us with the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with researchers, education providers, and talent. Without QF, these collaborations would not be possible. We now have a golden opportunity to move toward new frontiers, building on everything we have achieved together over the past 25 years.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Genetti explained that, for ExxonMobil Qatar, partnering with QF has been ”a natural fit”, saying: ”We share many of the same values, including in education, health, research, and technology – all of which help to drive a society toward being knowledge-based.
”If you look back over 25 years, it is amazing to see what collaboration has achieved in Qatar. Research is a long-term endeavor, and you have be committed to it for years, even decades, to see its full benefits. But we can achieve more together if our strategic objectives are clear and we collate all our efforts – across universities, research institutes, and the private sector – to move in the same direction.”
According to Dr. Al Thani: ”QF has helped to change Qatar for the 21st Century, and it has always supported healthcare in our nation – that is at its core.
”We are looking to build human capacity in healthcare while also nurturing a healthy population and enabling people to live longer, more productive lives. We hope that with the continued support of QF, we can build a healthcare system that ensures people can bring value to our community for a long time to come. And we will look to develop more focused research, supported by the way institutes within QF work together, that is applicable to Qatar but also to other countries, and that helps us to eradicate our biggest health issues.”
I AM QF also included a series of Discover QF talks, focusing on themes, topics, and initiatives at the heart of the organization’s mission, and an array of activities for its community. The event concluded with Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser being presented with a special gift – letters and pictures containing messages from students at QF’s schools and universities.