SFSQ seniors to graduate on May 12
TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK
DOHA GEORGETOWN University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar will graduate its fourth class of 31 seniors on May 12. There will be 11 students majoring in culture and politics and 20 in international politics.
Speaking on the occasion, Dean Gerd Nonneman said, “The Class of 2012 is the perfect embodiment of the Georgetown values of the pursuit of excellence, contemplation in action, and the engagement with their surrounding societies and the world at large, that is represented in such mottos as ‘Men and Women for Others’. They take these values into their professional lives or further study, boosted by the broadbased education and specialist training in ‘international politics’, ‘international economics’, or ‘culture and politics’, that Georgetown University in Qatar has given them.
They will make a difference and the Georgetown family wishes them every success.” And the students are also driven by the university’s high standards.
Jibin George Koshy, born and raised in Qatar and in the Indian school system of secondary education and travelled to India for college being uncertain about what he wanted to study for his career.
“That’s why it was a big challenge for me to come back to Qatar. I was used to an education system in which rotelearning is favoured and questioning the professor is unacceptable,” he said.
Embarking on an entirely new course upon his return to Qatar, Koshy began a degree in international relations at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar, a liberal arts programme offering an entirely different world-view than what he learned through his business and science courses.
Johara al Thani is a softspoken, thoughtful young woman. Her presence immediately demands respect, in its understated signal of a keen intelligence. She is a culture and politics major at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar. “The things I’ll remember most are the people,” she said, when asked about her experience during her fouryear undergraduate degree at SFSQ. “The friends, the professors… I never would have thought it would be possible to form such strong bonds.” Johara participated in a variety of extra-curricular activities during her four-year undergraduate degree at SFSQ, broadening her experience beyond the classroom; in particular she became heavily involved, the SFSQ Help Club providing English tutorial services to manual labourers in Qatar.
She also played a significant role in the Middle Eastern Studies Students Association’s (MESSA) first international research conference this year, helping to organise the conference involving many students from prestigious institutions around the world to SFS-Qatar.
Lamia Adi, a recent SFSQ graduate, is a subtle force to be reckoned with. From a Syrian family, born and raised in Kuwait and naturalised in Canada, Adi found her way to the Gulf region, moving to Doha to study.
Beginning a liberal arts degree at Georgetown SFSQ, Adi had to convince her family to get on board.
Adi persevered in obtaining her objective of a Bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service. She described how her own way of thinking was challenged with regard to her core beliefs during her education at SFSQ. “This taught me how to articulate myself, which is something that is important to me. I used it to reaffirm my identity as an Arab and a Muslim.” As a culture and politics major, Adi completed a thesis project for her certificate in Arab and Regional Studies on authoritarianism in the Middle East.
Raghda El-Meligy has a calm demeanor and sunny disposition. It’s no wonder she’s smiling these days, as she recently celebrated Georgetown Day, marking the end of a semester of coursework and with it, the completion of her bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service from SFSQ. Entering her university studies after having completed her high school education in Riyadh, El- Meligy immersed herself in Georgetown life in Qatar.
El-Meligy’s fondest memory from her time at SFSQ was the intake week or Frosh week as it is commonly termed. “Most of my dearest friendships were formed in that first week,” she reflected.
For Nouf al Thani, the opportunity to complete her undergraduate studies at Georgetown University SFSQ has been a blessing. The Qatar campus of Georgetown University provided her with the rare opportunity to explore an academic field she found intellectually stimulating with the expertise of inspirational professors, as well as a diverse student body, in a geographic location so close to her area of study.
With graduation around the corner and her coursework on international politics submitted, Nouf looks back with fondness at the focused one-on-one mentoring she received from professors.
The low student-to-faculty ratio at SFSQ definitely enriched her education.
According to Nouf, very rarely are students able to receive detailed constructive criticism, advice and guidance from a professional in the field to the extent that students at SFSQ do.
Salma Mousa applied to SFSQ from a high school in Abu Dhabi offering an American curriculum. “They held a university fair, and SFSQ was one of the booths,” she said.
Although she is the only graduate of her high school to have enrolled in an Education City university in Doha, she hasn’t regretted her decision.
“I don’t think anything would have prepared me for life after university the way that Georgetown did. I’ve already entered the working world through internships, I’ve studied abroad and I’ve worked as a French tutor,” Salma said.
According to Salma, these experiences prepared her to obtain the job she currently has, working at a local NGO that examines issues related to Arab youth and unemployment.
“The level of maturity I gained through my degree at Georgetown University SFSQatar was crucial.”