Sunday 06/03/2011
Issue 216 - Past Issues
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QU students Q & A with German President H E Christian Wulff
Visit closely follows that of British PM David Cameron
Students raised questions and comments on local and regional developments

QU international affairs students participated in a Q&A event on February 28 with President of the Federal Republic of Germany H E Christian Wulff.

QU President Prof Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad, QU VP and Chief Academic Officer Dr Sheikha bint Jabor Al-Thani welcomed President Wulff and his delegation which comprised German Ambassador to Qatar H E Anne Ruth Herkes, government representatives, Embassy officials and a large number of accompanying journalists.

In his opening remarks, President Wulff lauded QU as one of the most important academic institutions in the region and pointed to its efforts to advance education, research and science in line with Qatar’s development. He noted the extent of openness and participation enjoyed by Qatari society, drawing attention to Al-Jazeera’s programming and the Doha Debates.

President Wulff discussed the strong role of women in Qatar especially at Qatar University, further applauding the fact that the head of the institution’s College of Sharia and Islamic Studies is a woman. He stated his intention to encourage universities in Germany, especially those that teach Islamic Studies, to establish links with QU, in the spirit of cooperation and exchange.

He commended Qatar for taking a leading role in the dialogue on such conflicts in Lebanon and Sudan. He also voiced his approval for the level of tolerance and respect demonstrated by Qatari society to the number of different peoples, cultures and religions living in the country. He noted that likewise, German society is making approaches to gain better understanding of Islam and Muslims such as introducing Islam in schools and spreading knowledge of Islam throughout Germany.

President Wulff fielded questions on the EU stance on Turkey joining the EU, Qatar’s development towards National Vision 2030, the Israel/Palestine conflict, Europe’s treatment of Muslims, the current situation in Libya, Germany/Egypt relations, and the relegation of the recent uprisings in the Middle East as an Islamic movement.

On Turkey, President Wulff noted that ongoing negotiations would take into account whether Turkey fulfils the necessary conditions to join the Union. He also stated that the EU has to develop its structures to the extent where it is properly ready to welcome others.
Commenting on Qatar’s development, he pointed to the state’s continued efforts to build on successes and not rest on its laurels, and keeping a focus on the future. He noted that Germany has a lot to offer Qatar in terms of technical cooperation in the area of low carbon construction, medicine, and sport, and in the development of judicial systems.

President Wulff voiced his approval of a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, saying that peace is possible on the basis of the Saudi Arabian initiative towards peaceful co-existence, and that both sides should be willing to make compromises.

On Libya, President Wulff stated that no country is justified to use arms against its people. He noted that the Libyan government is currently de-legitimized, and out of touch with the expectations of its people. He expressed the hope that the Libyan leader would be brought before the International Criminal Court for his actions.

President Wulff said that Germany will step up its approaches in Egypt in terms of education and training. He stated further that it was important for Egypt to develop a society in which everyone is allowed to participate, where there is a strong middle class, and where small and medium enterprises are encouraged. This would be a model for other countries in the region, and in Africa to follow, he said.

President Wulff noted that extremists, regardless of religion, take advantage of situations such as the recent uprisings in the region, to position their agendas and subvert the legitimacy of demands for freedom, prosperity and political participation. Should they succeed, it will be a blow to achieving stability in the region, he said.
 

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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