Yesterday, HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani attended the Qatar Foundation Convocation 2017, which marked the graduation of 765 students from the Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) and QF’s eight partner universities in the Education City.
The graduates were from 19 undergraduate and 20 master’s programmes.
HH the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, QF chairperson HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, and QF vice-chairperson and chief executive HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad al-Thani were also in attendance at the grand ceremony that took place at the Qatar National Convention Centre.
At the event, HH Sheikha Moza announced a new award named “Akhlaquna” for “young people who exemplify great moral character”.
Speaking on the occasion, she congratulated the young men and women on their achievements.
She said: “Today, as you move towards your future with degrees from the best international universities, I would like to remind you that knowledge and morality are interlinked.
“Morals guide knowledge towards the good of humanity; they are intertwined. No civilisation has flourished without the pillars of knowledge and morality.”
“In order to enhance these morals and instil them in our young people, we have decided to launch an award named ‘Akhlaquna’, which will be given to those young people who exemplify great moral character,” Sheikha Moza added.
Yasmine Mostafa, the winner of Intel International Science & Engineering Fair 2015, was the guest speaker on the occasion.
Delivering the keynote speech, under the Convocation’s theme of Breaking New Ground, she highlighted how she was the first female from her village to take up STEM subjects in school and how she went on to win the Intel competition.
Discussing her innovative project, in which she harnessed the power of rice straw in Egypt, Yasmine demonstrated how age is no barrier to success, and encouraged the young men and women to pursue their dreams.
In discussing some of the difficulties she had faced over the years, Yasmine explained the importance of persistence.
“No one can predict the future, but I know I want to do my Master’s and then a PhD. I also want to continue conducting research in the fields of environment and energy, and to implement my project internationally,” she said. “I know for certain that I want to continue having new experiences, face new challenges, and, of course, to be persistent.”
The convocation also featured a short film, which included testimonies from the graduates and highlighted a selection of the Class of 2017’s achievements and accomplishments; as well as a group photo alongside the dignitaries.
Concluding the event, the graduates passed through the “Door to the Future”, a symbolic passage representing a new phase of responsibility and challenge on their continuing journey of growth and lifelong learning.
Aside from HBKU, the partner universities in the Education City are Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Texas A&M University at Qatar, Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar, Northwestern University in Qatar, HEC Paris in Qatar, UCL Qatar, Georgetown University in Qatar, and Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar.