Sunday 24/06/2007
Issue 9 - Past Issues
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The Scene


Qatar University, in facing the new challenges of the 21st century, knows well that it needs new blood and a new spirit of Qatari academics. And accordingly, it has planned and is planning to recruit more of its talented graduates to study abroad - where encounters of cultures and minds are taking place. Later, these graduates will bring their new knowledge and experience back home, to Qatar. Last week, QU leadership organized a meeting with eight of 35 the graduate students who will eventually become part of the QU faculty. QU President Prof. Sheikha Abdulla AlMisnad and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Sheikha Bint Jabor AlThani, in the presence of the deans, heads of departments, faculty and teaching assistants, welcomed these study-abroad students and asked them to share their experience with the audience, their future colleagues.One of those students was Salman Ahmed Al Ansari, who is now working toward his master's degree in commercial law from Pennsylvania University. His remarks focused on language - on learning and knowing English as a tool and as a medium - especially in his case, when he finished Law School in Arabic. AlAnsari explained how he challenged and overcame the language obstacle.Next to speak was Ahmed Abdulla Alaon, who is pursuing his master's studies in AlFiqh in Jordan University. He told the audience about the necessity of encountering other cultures and learning from them, and how this was realized through his studies in Jordan and the research he has done about the Islamic finance system.The studies he is pursuing in Social Service in Britain were focus of the talk of Mohsen Zayed Alelm AlKhayareen. Later, Sara Mubarak AlMohannadi talked about her studies in The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London in the field of translation. Her translation studies started when she encountered the two English translation versions of Usama Bin Ladin broadcast message after attacks of Sept 11, 2001. They were from BBC and CNN, and they were different. Building on this interest and involvement in translation studies, her PhD thesis was on the English translations of the play "Al Sultan Al ha'ir" (The Sultan Perplexed), by the giant figure in Arabic literature, Tawfik AlHakim. In her thesis, Ms. AlMohannadi compares two translations of the play, one by Denys Johnson-Davies and the other by Mohamed Badawi.Then came the turn of "Seita AlQatariyya," as Seita AlAzba is known in the Jordanian university where she is doing her post-graduate studies in Arabic language toward a master's degree, which she expects to achieve in two years. After that, Badr Abdulla AlIsmail, who is working towards a PhD in Human Resources Management at the University of Hull in the UK, and Hamad Faraj Azran, a graduate of the Media Department at Qatar University who went to Cairo University and completed his master's degree with a thesis entitled "Development of the Layouts of Newspapers in Qatar." Last but not least, Meera Abul Rahman Alkawari took the stage to talk about her experience as an English major from Qatar University who has been at The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London since September 2006 for a master's degree in translation.The President said in her comments that the University is eager to sponsor talented students, to hire them after their graduation, and to send them to continue their studies in prestigious universities.The Vice President pointed out that the university's objective is to ensure that more and more qualified Qatari nationals are on its various faculties. Currently, Qatari teachers account for 40 to 50 per cent of the total teaching staff of the university, she said.The QU President stressed the importance and necessity of gaining knowledge and experience from abroad, especially from western universities. She also pointed out that the policy adopted by the leadership has as a goal an avoidance of 'inbreeding,' and that it also ensures that Qatari academics have a steady international presence in order to diversify and enrich the academic life and consequently the students' knowledge.According to the university's leadership lists, 35 students are studying and finishing their post-graduate studies abroad. Twenty four of these are pursuing doctoral degrees, three of which are in their final stages and within months will join QU academics.Dr. Hind Jolo, Director of the Human Resources Department which is overseeing and managing the program of students scholarship, explained that the strategic plan aims at qatarization of the next generation of faculty, preparing the new Qatari academics to be ready for the coming years. This training project is meant to introduce new blood into the academics of the university. The process of selecting the candidates and matching them with specific universities is a thorough operation in which the requirements of the university are considered and the skills of the candidates are evaluated in order to make the better choice for the expected position on the planned strategy.Dr. Jolo pointed out that it is not new to the university to send its graduate students abroad to get higher degrees. This has been happening since its establishment in the 1970's. However, indeed it got a great push in the last few years. The process of recruiting, hiring, and sending top students abroad for post-graduate studies has been carried out with the participation of other national and educational institutions. That system is ending; starting next academic year, the University will handle the whole process by itself from A to Z through a special office for academic scholarship.The university recently recruited 12 new teaching assistants in different disciplines, who will soon start their studies abroad in western universities. The pursuit of this plan, as it is expected, will have its results in the coming five years.As Dr. Hind pointed out, new challenges and new opportunities are facing the university. But she emphasized that, "No doubt we can foresee a better future with Qatari scholars equipped to handle the challenges of the 21st century," and added: "Those who have returned from these study trips come to help, and to put their input into QU as well as other national institutions."
Campus Life: "Campus Life" is published electronically once a week – every Sunday by the External Relations Department.

"Campus Life" tries to reflect, record and review what's going on in Qatar University. The QU community is vivid and active and its activities go beyond the campus area to the whole of Doha, the wider region, and around the globe. "Campus Life" will try to capture all that and put it in words and photos. Don't hesitate to interact and to write to us (jbennetthenry@qu.edu.qa) your own news and views. We appreciate and welcome your participation.

  • Judith Bennett Henry: Editor
  • Ashima Gaur: Designer.
  • Tamam Khadduri: Developer
  • Mustafa Omaira: Photographer
  • Mohamed Sherif: Photographer
  • Ali Emad: Photographer

 

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