Life normal for expatriate students despite siege
26 Jul 2017 - 1:36
By Fazeena Saleem / The Peninsula
The ongoing unjust blockade on Qatar by siege countries has not affected expatriate students. Expressing solidarity with Qatar, they said the country has given the best quality higher education to them.
Several expatriate students at the Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), The Peninsula spoke to, said they consider Qatar as their second home.
Waqas Nawaz, a Pakistani student doing his PhD in Sustainable Energy, at HBKU’s College of Science and Engineering said, “Over the past five years, I have seen that the people of Qatar are like a big family and it gave me immense pleasure to see that nothing has changed even in the tough times. The country is blessed with the leadership of the Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and it is now our responsibility to stay united and stand with him confidently in support of our country.”
HBKU of Qatar Foundation is an emerging research university that acts as a catalyst for transformative change in Qatar and the region while having global impact.
Being here for five years, Qatar is second home for Nawaz and has a deep affection for the country. “There is a famous saying that ‘true character of nations comes out at the time of difficulties’ and I must say that the character of people of Qatar has indeed came out in the light of current situation. It is commendable how people have stood by each other in an unprecedented situation. My message to the fellow countrymen is to continue to stay united and take this situation as an opportunity to flourish in future. In order to ‘think globally and act locally’ – promote the Qatari products since these are no less in quality than other products,” he said.
“The opportunities that one gets in Qatar for research and development, and academia are matchless to what is offered in other parts of the world,” said Nawaz who came to Qatar in 2012 as a Masters student in Texas A&M University at Qatar. “The country’s ideology to diversify the economy and investing in human capital are the two core instruments which brings quality education at the door step. As a result, we get to see the world’s top universities in the country, state of the art laboratories, and most importantly, a research culture. I believe that my development as an engineer, as a researcher, as a human being could not have been better,” he added.
Similarly Wafa Trad, a Tunisian studying for Juris Doctor at HBKU’s College of Law and Public Policy, expressing solidarity with the country said, “Qatar has given a lot to us and we will always be grateful.” She says, higher education is unique in Qatar and delivers international standard opportunities.
“Unlike higher education elsewhere, where you need to travel to receive a good education, being a student in Qatar means that the world will travel to you to offer a high- quality education. So, I personally think that the most significant role played by Qatar’s higher education is that it exposes students to different teaching methodologies presented by an elite of a qualified, experienced and reputable professors from around the world,” said Wafa.
“This has certainly developed my critical thinking skills besides other personal and professional capabilities. What is also worth noting, is the world-class facilities and the generous research funds offered by Qatar’s educational institutions to its students,” she added. Umair Dogar is the other expatriate student who has been in Qatar for almost 17 years. He first studied at the Georgetown University in Qatar and is now following Juris Doctor program at HBKU’s College of Law and Public Policy. “I have lived in Qatar since 2000 and can be easily considered as a complete product of Qatar’s Higher Education. I started my higher education at the Georgetown University in Qatar and now studying at the HBKU. I am graduating next year with a strong resolve to give back to the country that has given me so much,” he said.
Expressing solidarity with the country, Dogar said, “Qatar’s leadership has already given its people so much to be proud of. Their mature response to recent events has got to be the icing on the cake. Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, you are indeed glorious. You have set an example for many to follow in the years to come.”