Qatar Delegation Visit to AQB
Tuesday, June 28th, 2022
On Tuesday, June 28, 2022, Al-Quds Bard College, represented by Dr. Amneh Badran, Assistant Dean, and Dr. Issam Khoury, EAA-Qatar Scholarship Manager, welcomed a delegation from Qatar, representing the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD), led by Mr. Ali Al-Dabbagh, Deputy General Director/ Executive Director of Corporate Strategy, and the Education Above All Foundation (EAA), led by Program Director Mr. Talal Al-Hothal.
The delegation met with Al-Quds University President, Dr. Imad Abu Kishek, and members of his cabinet to discuss potential collaborations. Dr. Abu Kishek gave a brief history of Al-Quds University and its various initiatives in promoting the rights and presence of Palestinians in Jerusalem, while Mr. Al-Dabbagh referenced several relations with mutual parties between QFFD and AQU, including the Qatari Red Crescent Organization, and the Institute of Palestinian Education. Finally, Mr. Al-Dabbagh stated his organization’s involvement in a series of initiatives to aid Palestinians abroad, as well as Jerusalemites facing descrimination in their own city, to which Dr. Abu Kishek took great interest and suggested a collaboration.
The delegation was then introduced to a group of EAA Scholars to have lunch and discuss scholarship benefits, civic engagement and other questions scholars had. Scholars took the chance to express their gratitude towards both QFFD and EAA, and highlighted how this opportunity has given them the space to explore not only the liberal arts form of education at AQB, but also venturing into community building activities thanks to the civic engagement component of the Qatar Scholarship. Mr. Al-Dabbagh and Mr. Al-Hothal both pressed on their interest and encouragement of scholars to look at this opportunity not only as a way to receive a degree, but as a life experience. Scholars were then happy to share examples of what they have been working on, on and off campus, and how civic engagement has helped them cement their experience as Palestinian scholars.
A fascinating section of the discussion saw scholars ask Mr. Al-Dabbagh and Mr. Al-Hothal about higher education pursuits abroad, to which the esteemed guests stated the existence of a plan to host EAA Scholars in Doha in the future. They also emphasized the importance of Palestinians building and prospering in Palestine in the long term, to combat the expulsion policies conducted by the Israeli Occupation against Palestinians living in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.
Both QFFD and EAA representatives received a welcoming gift from AQB before finally departing to Al-Aqsa Mosque escorted by Assistant Vice President of Administration and Finance, Dr. Sameh Hallaq.
Mr. Al-Dabbagh and Mr. Al-Hothal concluded by expressing their organization's interest to continue supporting Palestinian access to high-quality ducation at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at Al-Quds Bard College for the foreseeable future, and will make more opportunities available for EAA Scholars to travel to Qatar to participate in upcoming QFFD and EAA related events.