The three finalists in the fourth cycle of the initiative are awaiting the results of a public vote and jury assessment of their value-driven projects
With enthusiasm and confidence, the three finalists for Qatar Foundation’s Akhlaquna Award are looking forward to the outcome of a public vote and a jury evaluation of their projects that will determine the winner.
The award – now in its fourth cycle, which comes in a year when Doha is the Capital of Culture in the Islamic World 2021 – celebrates young people who embody Islamic values that are the cornerstones of a strong and sustainable society.
With the public vote closing on June 30, the three nominees are eagerly awaiting the outcome of their efforts in completing projects that reflect the moral values that Akhlaquna promotes and instils. And while each of the finalists has high hopes of winning, they all agree that reaching the final stage is an achievement in itself - one that will empower them on the next step of their journey as they are developing their projects further.
With the aim of motivating healthcare students in Qatar to contribute to advancing the country’s health system and providing them with the tools and resources needed to make a real difference in their community, a team of students at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, a Qatar Foundation (QF) partner university, founded the Qatar Medical Students' Association (QMSA).
We have decided to take the first step to contribute to the improvement of healthcare, by establishing of the first student-run association in Qatar
Ghada Abdelaziz, a member of the association – which is among the nominees for the fourth cycle of the Akhlaquna Award – says: “We have decided to take the first step to contribute to the improvement of healthcare, by establishing of the first student-run association in Qatar, which aims to unify all medicine and healthcare students in the country to redefine the healthcare landscape.”
QMSA has obtained full membership of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), and a delegation of students from the association represents Qatar in international conferences hosted by IFMSA throughout the year.
"We participated in the Akhlaquna Award to help building a conscious, tolerant, generous society,” says Ghada. “We hope that we will be able to inspire and empower medical students to play an active role in the community locally and globally through this award.
"Although we hope to win, our belief is that simply participating in an award like this – one that embraces good values and morals – is a positive step towards a better society.”
A neglected agricultural space behind a school motivated Qatar University student Al-Anood Al-Kubaisi and her colleagues to launch an initiative and devise a solution to make a radical change to this piece of land.
Al-Anood, who is a member of the Grass Banking initiative that has been nominated for the Akhlaquna Award, says: “In the last year at our high school, Qatar Banking Studies and Business Administration Independent Secondary School for girls, we wanted to leave a positive imprint on it.
Our initiative embodies the values of generosity and compassion for all beings, and even for soil and plants
“Together with farmers and irrigation experts, we improved the land and prepared it for agriculture, which we learned a lot about. We planted a lot of plants and trees, and then we enlisted students who have artistic skills to rotate things from the house, and paint on the walls to help create a wonderful green space. After that, we introduced the technology element, as we assigned each plant a specific code that includes information about it.
"The success of our project motivated us to transfer our experience to the community and to spread awareness of the importance of home farming, and we were able to motivate many families to plant in their homes, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. We also sought to extend this experience to all public schools and private centers, and we donated all our products to Qatar Charity.”
Al-Anood feels the Grass Banking project - which won first place in a food security competition at the secondary school where it was carried out – reflects the values that are inherent to Akhlaquna, and QF’s efforts to spread the initiative’s message among members of society.
“Our initiative embodies the values of generosity and compassion for all beings, and even for soil and plants,” she said.
“By their nature, a Muslim loves to spread goodness, whether it is through a smile or through a purposeful initiative, and that is why we participated in the Akhlaquna Award. Just reaching its final stages is an achievement that we are proud of.”
With the aim of empowering and inspiring Arab children in their mother tongue through social media channels, Mohamad Al Jandali – who is also one of the finalists for the fourth cycle of the Akhlaquna Award 2021 – created the Step One Kids channel, which teaches children values and skills in an engaging, fun way.
Our participation in the Akhlaquna Award supports our goals of promoting positive values in individuals, such as tolerance, moral character, and generosity
“During my university years, I used to read stories to children and noticed that attracting their attention constantly required effort, so I thought about how I could invent a way of attract their attention to learning,” says Mohamed. “I created a YouTube channel that provides educational and entertaining content for children in Arabic.”
Stemming from his hobby of composing music and writing poetry, Mohamed composed educational songs himself to promote positive behaviors in children, and he hopes that being nominated as an Akhlaquna Award finalist will provide him with the opportunity to expand his project. "Our participation in the Akhlaquna Award supports our goals of promoting positive values in individuals, such as tolerance, moral character, and generosity,” he said.
And he aims to make the channel an integrated world for children, having made plans to implement innovative ideas aimed at diversifying the form of entertainment and learning it offers. As he says: "I want to develop the channel to include educational games and stories, and I hope it will spread further so that, ultimately, it can enter the home of every Arab family.”
Announced by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, in 2017, the Akhlaquna Award promotes the timeless and universal values exhibited by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and celebrates Qatari citizens and residents aged from 15-24 whose actions mirror what the award represents and who are making change happen within their communities.
To vote for the winner of the fourth cycle of Akhlaquna by June 30 – and to find out more about the finalists, the judges, and the award – visit www.akhlaquna.qa