Ph.D students from Hamad Bin Khalifa University have been sharing their sustainability expertise with young learners from one of QF’s schools
Throughout the generations, those who call Qatar their home have always recognized the need to respect nature. And as Qatar prepares to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the people of the nation want to ensure nature continues to be nurtured.
It is important to make the next generation understand the effort that has gone into to organizing and making the World Cup sustainable.
Water conservation, waste management, reducing carbon emissions, increasing use of renewable energy, and protecting the environment head the list of topics that Qatar is teaching its young people about, both for the country’s future resilience and to show them that even a tournament of the scale of a World Cup can be held in a sustainable way.
As part of these efforts, Dr. Sami Al-Ghamdi, Assistant Professor of Sustainable Development at Qatar Foundation (QF) member Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s College of Science and Engineering, and a group of his Ph.D students shared their expertise in sustainability with Qatar Academy Sidra students during an interactive workshop on the sustainability of 2022 FIFA World Cup stadiums.
"The upcoming World Cup is a very important event for Qatar,” says Dr. Al-Ghamdi. “When the country invested its resources in facilities for the tournament, we did it with sustainability in mind, and it is important to make the next generation understand the effort that has gone into to organizing and making the World Cup sustainable.
“We explained more about the aspects of sustainability that were incorporated into the planning and construction of the eight World Cup stadiums, and discussed important themes related to sustainability – including energy, water, and the local environment and its resources – with the students.
"For HBKU, serving the community is one of our goals. Meeting Qatar Academy Sidra students was an important step in this direction, as it enabled us to share details of the major events taking place in Qatar, and educate them about the future challenges.
During the workshop, students constructed a miniature model of an environmentally friendly home and were given an insight to how renewable energy can be part of construction processes, so that new developments produce clean, environmentally friendly energy.
"We choose workshops based on the subjects offered by schools to students,” said Dr. Al-Ghamdi. “We learned that one of the topics presented by Qatar Academy Sidra was around the World Cup, so we wanted to take this opportunity to explain the meaning of sustainability to students and provide them with information.
"Our workshops vary from one school to another – for example, we cover topics related to recycling and waste management, energy, and water, according to the subjects offered by the school."
Qatar’s development is based on science and technology. But if we do not transfer knowledge – along with the message of the importance of sustainability – to future generations, our current efforts will be in vain.
Mohammed Zaher, a Ph.D student in Sustainable Environment at HBKU, was part of the presentation and said: “It's always good to transfer knowledge to the next generation because they are our future.
“Qatar’s development is based on science and technology. But if we do not transfer knowledge – along with the message of the importance of sustainability – to future generations, our current efforts will be in vain.”
Speaking about how students at Qatar Academy Sidra – one of the schools under the umbrella of QF’s Pre-University Education – interacted with the topics presented in the workshop, Zaher said: “They learned about different aspects of sustainability, how to reuse materials, and design sustainable and efficient buildings, which are more cost-efficient while also supporting the development of our economy and society.”
Ayman Raouf, a Ph.D student in Sustainable Environment at HBKU, said: “I am working on research on green building projects, and through our community service program at HBKU we visit various schools, such as Qatar Academy Sidra. This means we can reach out and educate students about green buildings and sustainable environment when they are young, creating engagement and interaction.
"One of the things that surprises students today is that one of the 2022 World Cup stadium - Ras Abu Aboud stadium – can be completely disassembled after the tournament, and this approach reduces the waste generated during production of stadium components and the waste created on-site during construction.
“The topic of sustainability and green buildings is a significant one, which we try to deliver using simple language. Despite their young age, their participation in the workshop was excellent in terms of interaction. The students’ interest in, and understanding of, the subject was palpable, and this enabled us to deliver our message to them.”
Ali Al-Dosari, a student at Qatar Academy Sidra, said: "I learned the basics of implementing green buildings and their importance, because they preserve the environment and protect them from pollution.
“We are proud that Qatar is creating green buildings and sustainable stadiums for the 2022 World Cup.”
Fellow student Hiba Sharif said: “The workshop provided me with more information on sustainability, and how we can recycle and use things in other and better ways.
“Green buildings are a good way of preserving our environment, and the way the 2022 World Cup stadiums are designed, where parts of them can be reused in other countries, is great.”