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Qatar tribune
Tribune News NetworkDohaAs the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 approaches, a focus on football has infused the campus community at the Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) from the classroom to the pitch. As the pandemic restriction began to be lifted in Fall 2021, a few GU-Q students took the initiative to organise intramural football matches for teams of students at the HBKU Student Center and invited the faculty to play in a tournament and to serve as referees in the final game. For Dr Yehia Mohamed, associate professor of Arabic, the student initiative was an unexpected way to re-engage with students. “My introduction to the men’s football team began the year before in my role as a volunteer coach. This intramural initiative was a wonderful way to open bridges and create connections outside of the classroom with students, and a reminder of the outstanding sports resources and facilities we have access to as part of the Multiversity in Education City.”“Staff, students, faculty and their families coming together and sharing a fun evening outside the walls of the campus greatly boosted the sense of community,” said Anwaar Malik (SFS’24), who is also the president of the GU-Q Football Club. In Spring 2022 a faculty versus students match leveled up the competition by including customized jerseys and an audience of students, staff, faculty and family members who cheered on their favourite team from the sidelines. The student team dominated, winning against the faculty team 6-2. “It’s a really nice feeling to be able to engage with the professors outside the classroom, especially in something that we are all really passionate about,” said International Economics major Hamza AlSioufy (SFS’24).The semester of activities culminated in a three-hour long “festival of football” which saw four teams composed of students and one member of faculty or staff compete for the winning title. After six intense matches, the team captained by Visiting Associate Professor Ramon Cobo Reyes Cano nabbed the victory, with the team led by Associate Professor Omar Khalifah garnering second place. Fans cheering on players included Dean Clyde Wilcox, and Visiting Professor and cruciverbalist Leonard Williams. “I genuinely loved watching my students play football in Education City, and they clearly appreciate faculty and staff who care enough to join in the fun,” said Dr Williams.Dr Yehia Mohamed says future plans include ensuring opportunities for women’s football competitions and activities as part of a regular football calendar of events that will bring the GU-Q community together. The upcoming World Cup tournament has also inspired plans for a diverse array of events and activities to connect the games to the key issues in international affairs students study in the classroom. Enisha Sharma (SFS’24), International Economics major and head of public relations with the Football Club, summed up the significance of the intramural activities that emerged in response to unprecedented circumstances. “With different cultures, finding an event that unites the Georgetown community could be a challenge. With football, we’ve been able to overcome that barrier, allowing us to develop a sense of a well-knit community despite the challenges that had kept us apart.”
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05/08/2022
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