Qatar getting ready for an even better future
02 Oct 2017 - 3:51
By Fazeena Saleem / The Peninsula
Qatar’s resilience to the current situation shows that the country can withstand the external challenges and it is developing infrastructure for an even better future, says Dr Ahmad S Dallal (pictured), Dean of Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q).
Dr Dallal spoke to The Peninsula about academic aspects of the ongoing situation as the unjust blockade on Qatar by siege countries, reach 120 days today and he highlighted that Qatar continues to provide an open space for some of the best universities in the world to be here and provides a learning opportunity to students from around the world.
“Education City ensures extraordinary learning and teaching opportunities for not only citizens of Qatar, but for citizens and residents of the greater Middle East, Asia, and beyond. Despite the challenges that the nation has faced for the last three months, Qatar and the Qatar Foundation did not waiver in their support of our academic activities. All of our activities continue as planned and there has been no impact on our curriculum delivery,” said Dr Dallal.
He also emphasised that, Qatar has made sure that there will be negligible impact to usual activities due to the present situation.
“We had complete assurances from the Qatar Foundation that no activity would be impacted and we have had no change in our operations or activities since June of this year. Qatar has chosen the path of dialogue and diplomacy. The nation has not placed restrictions on anyone from the other countries,” said Dr Dallal.
He said that the blockade accelerated the country’s ongoing plans to be more self sufficient. “Qatar has been working to diversify its economy to a knowledge-based one since the 1990s, when Education City was conceived. The nation has been working to be more self-sufficient for many years; the current crisis simply accelerated the plans by creating new opportunities for the country, including new trade routes between global ports and new domestic business development. The situation has highlighted the importance of food security, hence invigorating local farmers’ desire to achieve self-sufficiency in food production, and boosting domestic demand for nationally produced goods,” said Dr Dallal.
He also said that although, there has been some short-term economic impact due to the unjust blockade, Qatar has managed to mitigate limitations in goods transportation by creating new shipping and trade routes and supporting new domestic agricultural and dairy enterprises. Dr Dallal is serving as the dean of GU-Q since September 1. Prior to his appointment as the dean at GU-Q, besides holding several other positions, he has been a part of the international Georgetown community and actively involved the field of higher education in Qatar.