Posted on April 22, 2020

With a closed fist raised in strength and defiance, the winning t-shirt design for a fun competition launched by Qatar Foundation (QF) partner university Georgetown University in Qatar, was an inspiring reminder of the power of community in overcoming difficulty. Freshman Aisha Tariq Al Muhannadi’s winning entry beat out stiff competition from other students, faculty, staff, and family members, who all submitted an original idea for a t-shirt design that reflects the university community’s resilience.

Afsha Kohli, associate director for student development at GU-Q and design competition organizer, said: “We are very focused on providing the most important support to students, such as ensuring healthcare, access to books and school work, and comfortable housing and nutrition, but we also want to remember to have fun and stay connected.” The theme of the competition, she explained, was resilience and strength. “This t-shirt contest was a great way for us to refocus and reconnect with our university values. Aisha’s winning design really captures those sentiments.”

As the unprecedented pandemic has spread across the globe, affecting millions of lives, numerous art forms have emerged to educate and motivate in the fight against the virus. For Aisha, the t-shirt design competition was a chance for her to add her voice to that effort, and to make a strong statement. “The inspiration for my design was that despite the distance between the members of our Hoya community, we all work hand in hand to promote solidarity.” The winning t-shirt design will be printed on shirts and distributed to the GU-Q community next semester. For Aisha, it’s about more than just getting a free shirt. “Under these difficult circumstances, our university is trying everything it can to keep our community uplifted. I want to thank every member of Georgetown University who has helped in keeping us connected.”

Since the start of the crisis, the Office of Student Development has worked round the clock to provide GU-Q students, whether in student housing, home with family in Doha, or abroad in their countries, with a sense of positivity, continuity, and connection despite the physical distance.