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Posted on December 12, 2013

Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development hosted the Moroccan Olympic champion Hicham El Guerrouj, earlier today. A welcoming committee led by Fahad Saad Al Qahtani, Group Executive Director of Qatar Foundation Administration and Ibrahim Abdulla Al-Obaidli, Director of Community Affairs at the Support Services Directorate, received the star athlete at the Qatar Foundation Visitors Center.

As a top-level sportsman, El Guerrouj is an Ambassador for Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organisation, as well as a member of its Champions for Peace club, a group of 54 famous athletes committed to peace in the world through sport. El Guerrouj is also a member of the International Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission and a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. He was named the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Athlete of the Year in 2001, 2002 and 2003. During his visit, El Guerrouj was shown a presentation that outlined the vision and mission of Qatar Foundation. He was also introduced to Qatar Foundation’s many educational initiatives, community development plans, and scientific research programmes.

El Guerrouj, who set a world record and won gold medals in the 1,500 metres and 5,000 metres races at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, said, “I am very happy to have visited Qatar Foundation, since it helped me form a much clearer understanding of the organisation’s various initiatives. After what I have learned today, I can say that I am even more proud to be an Arab. Qatar Foundation has a philosophy and a deep-rooted vision to build the future of Qatar, as well as the future of youth across the world.”

He added, “Despite my interest in sports, what captured attention was the Foundation’s steadfast commitment to education, under the support and guidance of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation. Education is a key to the future of our children and countries and it is what helps to build a strong society that we can all be proud of. Therefore, I sincerely hope that the Foundation continues its efforts in this field and I wish them the best of luck in their endeavours.”

The exceptional athlete was also briefed on Qatar Foundation’s various sustainability initiatives and climate action solutions. After the presentation, he was shown an impressive 3D scale model of the current buildings and construction projects underway at Qatar Foundation. El Guerrouj came on a visit to Qatar to take par tin Doha GOALS 2013, an annual forum that is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of Qatar, and which aims to build a community of global influencers from all industries who believe that sport is a crucial vehicle for social and economic development. As the visit drew to a close, El Guerrouj signed the visitor’s book and was presented with a commemorative gift from Qatar Foundation.