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Story | Education
10 June 2020

In her own words: Awsaj Academy taught me to dream big


Image source: Africa Studio, via Shutterstock

Haya Al Thani, a graduating student from a Qatar Foundation school, explains why it is the perfect place for students to both learn and enjoy, and why she will always remember her time there.

Today, as I graduate from Awsaj Academy, I look at the past 11 years I have spent in this school, and I recognize how my time here has given me some of the most remarkable and cherished moments of my life.

I enrolled in the school in 2009 as a Grade 2 student. At that time, the school was quite small; there were just 100 students there. But what I immediately found, and what has always continued through my time at Awsaj Academy, is that I never felt left out at. The school has always ensured that all its students, as well as all its teachers, interact freely with each other.

And the fact that Awsaj Academy was the ideal place for students both to learn and to have fun is what has made it so memorable to me.

Haya Al Thani

My second home

Awsaj Academy, a school for children with mild to moderate learning needs, and part of Qatar Foundation’s Pre-University Education, has always felt like a second home to me. I have learned many life lessons from my teachers and classmates. The teachers have gone out of their way to make our time at the school a wonderful experience. They treated me as one of their own, and because of this, I have looked up to them and marveled at what they do.

My time at the school has taught me the value of friendship, love, and hard work. All these qualities have shaped me into the person that I am today. I feel I grew so much at Awsaj Academy, especially in the past four years; I considered everyone there to be my family. We have loved, cared about, and fought for each other.

One of the things I am most proud of is my senior project, where I made a video about opening a successful bakery in Qatar

Haya Al Thani

One of the things I am most proud of is my senior project, where I made a video about opening a successful bakery in Qatar. I visited a local bakery where I got a few lessons about baking, as well as an interview with the owner, who told me about her experience of starting such a business here in Qatar.

She described the difficulties she faced, as well as the successes she achieved, and how all of this made her business resilient. My video aimed to chronicle a day in the life of a baker in Qatar, and by making it, I saw how many Qataris are looking to start businesses and become entrepreneurs, as well as gaining an insight into the challenges they have to overcome.

Saying goodbye

For a long time, I have always considered my graduation from Awsaj Academy as a simple step, and I was initially excited. However, as the day neared, I realized that I was not ready to leave just yet.

I am going to miss everything about the school, and I look back at my time there wanting to cherish all the great moments that I had, as it feels like they all ended in the blink of an eye. Many adults have told me this would be the case, but we never truly realize it until it happens.

Haya explains how the school has taught her the value of friendship, love, and hard work. Image source:, via Shutterstock

I am grateful for everything that I have done and gained at Awsaj Academy. I know I involved myself in as many adventures and experiences as I possibly could. And although I will miss this school, I am glad to be starting the next chapter of my life.

Having been accepted into VCUarts Qatar, I will now be majoring in art history.

Haya Al Thani

Having been accepted into Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar, a Qatar Foundation partner university, I will now be majoring in art history.

I have many dreams I aspire to accomplish, but I still cannot pick one of them over another. I just hope to live up to these dreams as much as I can.

Awsaj Academy taught me to dream big and to never turn back, even if you face hardships. It is said that all our dreams come true if we dare to go after them. My greatest dream is to live to be 90 years old and reflect upon a life of many achievements. I want to be adventurous, and my journey is only just beginning.

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