Posted on December 08, 2014

Today at the opening of the National Day celebrations, His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Prime Minister and Interior Minister, visited the tent of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) at the Darb El-Saai grounds. HE the Prime Minister was given a special presentation about Qatar Foundation’s various events and activities during the central National Day Celebrations, which showcase QF’s pride in Qatar and foster an engaged society appreciative of the Qatari national identity and heritage.

The tent received many visitors of all ages and backgrounds in its first day of National Day activities. The creative events helped introduce the public to Qatar Foundation’s many initiatives and achievements supporting the nation in building a knowledge-based economy by unlocking human potential.

The events started with students of QF member, Qatar Leadership Academy,raising the national flag. The tent then opened to visitors who were taken through a journey of discovery, highlighting Qatar Foundation’s achievements since its launch in 1995 to the present day. Every visitor got a Qatar Foundation Passport to Unlock Human Potential, a brochure listing the various events taking place at the venue, and each left with a souvenir gift. Many children took part in the Professions Exhibit, specially designed to help them choose a career path that serves the nation’s development in line with the principles set out in the Qatar National Vision 2030.

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Mr. Fahad Al Hajri, career service and student employment co-ordinator in the Student Affairs Department at QF member, Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU), explained that this activity is meant to put students on track to achieving their full potential. “Qatar Foundation helps students choose an educational path that empowers them and enhances their personal skills,” he said. “To achieve this, we give them a number of tests that help them find the most suitable career for them.”

“Once they get the results, we direct them to an activity that would be interesting for them. For example, if a child displays a talent for the media, we invite them to visit the QF Radio Studio inside the tent where they try radio journalism for themselves,” he added.

Throughout the National Day Celebrations, taking place from Monday 8 December until Saturday 20 December, Qatar Foundation’s in-house broadcast station, QF Radio, will provide children with the opportunity to play the role of a radio reporter and interview visitors. As part of QF’s objectives of developing the nation’s human capital, the purpose of this activity isto boost children’s confidence and self-expression by interacting with the general public.QF Radio will be providing special coverage, featuring many exciting programmes and live broadcasts from the location of the celebrations on its Arabic channel on 93.7 FM and its English channel on 91.7 FM.

Other activities in the tent engage children in games based on themes of environmental sustainability as part of Qatar Foundation’s efforts to promote environmental awareness. These fun past-times include art activities that use recyclable materials such bottle caps to promote sustainability.

Engineer Meshal Al Shamari, Director of Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC), which is a member of QF, pointed out that these events are important for young people to understand the concept of sustainability: “We have solar-powered games to introduce youngsters to the practical aspects of solar energy. This will drive home the idea that solar energy is a real thing. There are also many other activities we are offering here like art made from recyclable materials, turning waste into beautiful works of art.”

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“The National Day is an opportunity to remember the past, celebrate the present and the nation’s vision for the future. The Qatar National Vision 2030 focuses on sustainability, which is a concept that touches our lives in many ways. That is why we are making sustainability an integral part of our culture, especially among children and young people,” he added. Further activities at Qatar Foundation’s tent at Darb El-Saai include a reading corner for young people, introducing them to Qatari culture in order to create a powerful bond with Qatar’s  history.

QF member, Al Shaqab, is also making available special riding and grooming lessons as well as horse healthcare tips outside the tent in an interactive and educational setting. This activity allows visitors to explore the world of horses, which is deeply rooted in Arab and Qatari heritage, and supports QF’s commitment to the community by preserving the country’s traditions. In addition, the tent also features additional activities and events that encourage visitors to lead a healthy lifestyle. The section where children choose their favourite ingredients and can use a work out on an exercise bike to make their own fruit smoothie was particularly popular. For adults, there are also various health activities, including weight and fat measurements to help them identify and overcome health risks.