This is my university is a slogan that represents me and every Qatari who is proud of his only national university, which has led higher education in Qatar since the first college was founded in 1973 (officially opened in 1977).
We are proud of all the phases of its development that kept pace with the times and were in line with the country’s development in different spheres.
This slogan also represents me and every Qatari who is proud of his university, including the pioneer generation and outstanding experts who are currently leading ministries and institutions in Qatar. Many of these graduates made the same achievements in Western universities.
In addition we are proud of a leader like H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, wife of the Father Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and mother of the Emir H H Shiekh Tamim bin Hamad, who is known globally and led our educational development and set the standards for the education system.
We are also proud of Sheikha Abdulla Al Misnad, who has received an honorary doctorate in law from Dalhousie University, which is one of the best universities in Canada, in appreciation of her exceptional achievements in the education sector.
Before we listen to Sheikha Al Misnad’s statements in her speech in Dalhousie University, we thought that Qatar University was proud of itself and its students, as it is a prestigious scientific institution and not a commercial centre that went bankrupt and rebuilt itself once again.
Human resources cannot be overlooked by any prestigious scientific institution, as it takes advantage of these resources in its development. Denying history is a denial of reality and becoming blind to the future, even if it is a university whose achievements of more than 30 years have been dismissed in a word on the occasion of honouring one person.
We thought that the University of Qatar was proud of its pioneers as well. Some of these pioneers are now holding high positions, and some of them deserve these positions and are considered an honour and a symbol of the university, while others are occupying positions without relevant qualifications.
We also thought that the University of Qatar was proud of its outstanding students, but it did not look into its archive to put their names, which are embellished with scientific and professional achievements, in the alumni list created in March 2012. The University did not bother to put H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser’s name on its alumni list as an outstanding graduate and not just as the wife of the Father Emir.
There are graduates who have many achievements to their names and have contributed to the university even after graduation, but they did not get membership in the alumni association or even an invitation to its launch or to the meetings of the association.
We all know how prestigious universities treat their graduates, how they send them membership cards to the alumni association and how they record their achievements in their yearbooks. Some Qatar University graduates took the trouble of learning English according to the standards of international universities after completing their formal education, unlike those who learn it from an early age.
As Qatari citizens, we are proud of setting a standard of education in Qatar that the Dalhousie University mentioned while honouring the president of Qatar University. Nevertheless, we want to point out that the project that the university launched to improve its academic and administrative performance in 2003 was very important.
Of course, we appreciate a diligent academic who made laudable efforts to raise the standard of higher education in Qatar and improved quality, regardless of controversies about how this was done. Nevertheless, reformation and development of the university did not start from zero, as a renowned Qatari lady said at an international forum. In her statement she also said that the number of Qatari students dismissed was 1,000, while the actual number is 1,800 students, dismissed as part of the university’s reforms, and she may not be aware of the pain caused to the students and their families in a country described as rich in energy resources and having a small population. The population has been also described as dependent, not hard working, which is a painful insult to the people in an international forum. Therefore, I demand, along with others, a tactful apology, because this is an insult to Qatari citizens. Failure to apologise will only infuriate the public more.