Young scientists in Qatar need to be given the support and encouragement to pursue careers as inventors and help foster an environment of innovation and creativity, according to young Qatari, Hashim al-Sada who has had to overcome a number of challenges during his rise to the status of an international award winning inventor.
Al-Sada has already had a number of his inventions patented, and has been offered tens of millions of dollars from countries throughout the world desperate to buy the patents for his inventions.
However, he has yet to feel fully embraced by the community in Qatar, claiming that he feels much greater interest from outside his home country than within.
The reason for this is unsure, but he said it was perhaps the small population and a lack of tradition in the field of inventing may be contributing factors.
“Some people have a bad opinion of young Qatari men, thinking that all they do is play with their cars and enjoy themselves all the time,” he said.
“But this is not true for all of us, and I know many smart young Qatari men and women who are looking for a chance to show their potential,” he added.
Al-Sada is a pioneer in the true sense of the word, and he hopes that his efforts can encourage other young Qataris to feel inspired by science and inventing.
He is the supervisor of the ‘Future Scientists’ summer camp at the Qatar Scientific Club, where he has worked over the past five years educating youngsters and helping them to develop a passion for science and learning.
“There is a problem with education in general, in that we do not inspire children and teach them to enjoy a subject like science,” he said.
“When you talk to children about a subject and really get them to understand it, they can learn much more than just by reading a book -- in fact it will make them want to read about it and learn more,” he said.
With the efforts being made in the fields of research and science and technology in Qatar, al-Sada hopes that more local scientists will emerge and be given the opportunity to operate research centres and launch programmes here to contribute towards the government’s initiatives.
“It is great to be an inventor and have this experience. I want others to share it too,” he said, adding “I believe that inside every human being is an inventor, you just need to find the key to unlock this talent.”
Although Qatar does not have a tradition of invention, with very few if any Qatari inventors contributing research and inventions on an international scale, al-Sada believes that this can be changed, and he wants to be a driving force behind this change.
And a major part of transformation for the next generation has to involve a greater level of environmental awareness, with youngsters needing to learn the importance of man’s relationship with nature, according to al-Sada.
He hopes that people in Qatar will begin to look at ways of reducing their carbon footprint and use renewable energy sources and smart solutions to reduce consumption and to curb the negative impact on the environment.
Al-Sada also suggested that the government could offer households, incentives to use renewable energy sources to help the transition into a more environmentally-friendly society in the future.
And he said that there will come a day when most energy requirements in Qatar could be provided by solar energy. “It will take time, but we can choose when the time comes depending on how much we spend on research,” he observed.
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