Vice-Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad al-Thani has said that Qatar is striving to achieve self-sufficiency.
Sheikha Hind said in remarks carried by The Guardian that Qatar’s policy aims at creating a diversified knowledge economy, adding that the money and the incentive of projects such as the 2022 World Cup only solve a small part of these aspirations.
She said, “It is not a secret that we are a wealthy society, but knowing that you can contribute in developing your country, and allow it to become even more prominent, is something everyone feels pride in. If anything, the siege helped that. We see a big opportunity to be self-sustainable.”
“Imagine another nation telling Britain to close the BBC you would be shocked,” Sheikha Hind said on the demands of the siege countries to close Al Jazeera. “I think when we are talking about where we want our region to be, Al Jazeera is an important part of that,” she added.
“Maybe a lot of people are not happy with things that have come out from the darkness, but if you want to build a civil society and allow people to think for themselves and be critical, every story has to come out,” Sheikha Hind further added.
In a report by Tim Adams under the title “From Qatar’s blockade, a bold, unexpected new vision is emerging”, The Guardian shed light on the repercussions of the siege of Qatar nearly a year since its imposition, stressing that the siege gave Qatar more confidence to continue building its cultural and political model with defiance, determination, and boldness.
Adams noted that the measures taken by the siege countries – closing air, land and maritime ports – are intended to subjugate Qatar’s policy to the extent that those countries wish.
He added that in the midst of these actions and the atmosphere created by the siege, the people of Qatar became more fascinated with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, pointing out that the pictures of the Amir are everywhere, covering the windows of cars and glass towers in the centre of Doha.
He pointed out that the campus of Qatar Foundation’s Education City is home dozens of universities, including Georgetown University and Texas A & M, to name a couple.
Adams noted that the latest additions to Qatar Foundation is Qatar National Library, which he described as amazing, adding that about 51% of Qataris, including a large number of children, have got library membership.
Following the opening of the library 150,000 books have been lent, he added.
Adams said that the library contains a large collection of rare manuscripts related to the Arab world.
These projects indicate that Qatar aims at cultural as well as economic excellence, he observed.
He added that Qatar Foundation provides educational freedom, without any dictation or imposition by the authorities, citing Everette E Dennis, the dean at Northwestern University at Qatar Foundation, who said: “There has never been a single intrusion into what we teach and how we teach it, the full range of social issues are freely discussed here”. Dennis said that the spirit of the critical investigation prompted authorities in Doha to address international concerns over mistreatment of migrant workers, noting that Qatar has responded to these minimum wage demands and the primary healthcare system.
He added that the siege has accelerated transparency on these matters.
HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad al-Thani stressed that despite the negative impact of the siege on social ties, the drive for self-sustainability has now increased. (Source)
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