Posted on March 31, 2015

Al Faisal Without Borders Foundation (ALF) held its biggest and most successful Destination Imagination (Wajeh Wujhatak) National Finals event at the QNCC, in the presence of HE Dr Saleh bin Mohamad Al Nabit, Minister of Development, Planning and Statistics, HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani and Sheikh Mohammed bin Faisal Al Thani, who took to the stage. 

To an audience of thousands 220 teams of over a thousand students from 70 schools in Qatar competed fiercely to win the opportunity to fly the flag for Qatar at the US global finals in May of this year and received roars of approval from the onlookers for their performances.

HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, Chairman of Al Faisal Without Borders, said:” One of the essentials pillars of our vision at Al Faisal Without Borders is an interest in education, and to provide an improved quality of life for people in our community – “giving people something which no-one can take back”. This is why we brought the DI life skills program to Qatar, to empower students and schoolchildren here. With God’s grace, Qatar has become the center of this dynamic program in the region. Last year we saw participation of seven schools and the finalists went to America and China, and this year we have had 70 Schools with 1200 students participating, in all a 600% increase on last year’s program.  This is why Qatar was chosen to host next year's Conference, which will be attended by about 3000 students from around the world.”

“The results achieved by our students’ were phenomenal, I came in the morning and in the afternoon, and attended workshops in which students’ creativity was at its best. We also saw the participation of teams from the United Arab Emirates and Jordan this year and God willing, next year the challenge will be even greater among Qatari schools. We are working hard to do everything in our power in order to achieve the Qatar 2030 Vision.  We as the private sector, together with private institutions, charities and foundations are doing our best to come up with ideas that serve and improve our country, to realise the aspirations of the Emir of Qatar, and we are equally proud of the achievements of both Qatari youth and expat residents” he added.

ALF’s Destination Imagination 1 [].JPG

HE the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Rabia Mohamed Al-Kaabi, said:” I am pleased to see the development of the competitions in this program year after year, and the enthusiasm of such a large number of schools wanting to participate in this creative activity. This aligns with the aspirations of the Supreme Council for Education to help students have self-confidence, enhance their abilities and develop strong personalities, to be able succeed in life.”

“On this occasion, I have to extend my sincere thanks to His Excellency Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani, and "Al-Faisal Without Borders" who have provided the physical and human resources to create greater participation from schools in the program since its inception, and succeeded in organizing a very special National Competition that has achieved numbers of schools participating far beyond our expectations.”

Alf Foundation General Manager Abdullatif Al-Yafei said: “The final session of this year’s DI program reflects ALF’s mission to promote innovative educational development and the capabilities of our young people in line with the 2030 Vision to support human capital. The DI National Finals demonstrated what students can achieve through collaboration, creativity, scientific research, problem solving and critical thinking, as they developed skills that will help them excel both in and outside school. The DI Program promotes life-long learning, teaching students who participate in it the skills necessary to adapt to an ever changing world and become active decision makers of the future.  We congratulate all the students that took part for their creativity, resilience and ideas and salute them for their hard work and efforts – they are the future.”

He went on to praise the teachers and volunteers who helped to supervise the program so effectively and to thank the accreditation authorities for their understanding and support of the aims of the program. To parents in the audience he reaffirmed that they deserved the success of their sons and daughters and finally thanked the partners and sponsors for their unstinting support.

Ali Mare, Executive Director of ALF, said: “Over a thousand school children from across Qatar pitted their creative, innovative and imaginative talents against each other in the various solutions they performed to DI Challenges at the rousing 2015 DI National Finals Day event.  The dynamic DI empowerment program that has brought significant personal and social benefits to Qatar’s youth over the past year, has been a resounding success and seen 600% growth this year as it captured the imagination of schools, students and their parents across the country. This year’s winners who all received their awards in the Closing Ceremony– some 150 students in 24 teams – will be jetting off to the global finals in the US in May as ambassadors for Qatar, highlighting the country’s leadership in innovative education initiatives.”

ALF’s Destination Imagination 2 [].JPG

The winners of the tournament were chosen thorough an intense scoring process that highlighted their creativity, originality and innovation in both the planning process in addressing their specific challenges and in executing their inventive and imaginative solutions. This year’s DI national Finals were supported by the Supreme Education Council and sponsored by Amlak, the QNCC, Microsoft, Qatar Airways and Bedaya Center for Entrepreneurship and Career Guidance.

The 2015 – 2016 Challenges that student teams addressed were Technical, Scientific, Fine Arts, Improvisational, Structural, Service Learning / Project Outreach and Early Learning/ Rising Stars. Talent development, independent thinking and teamwork were key aspects that underpinned the DI program to ensure that students recognized their abilities, used them to the full and applauded the abilities of others. The DI program empowers students to acquire 21st century life skills such as public speaking, collaboration, project management, creativity and innovative thinking, to get a head start in life.

Following the tremendous success of the DI Qatar program in the past year, some 160 schools with 500 teams from Qatar and 50 international teams from the rest of the world will take part in a 4 day Tournament in 2016, which Qatar will host after being singled out by the US DI Headquarters for its exemplary growth of the DI program in the region.