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In this issue

Connections: Students take on summer internships Sheikha Mozah: H.H. speaks at Pittsburgh Commencement Robot invasion: Doha hosts second annual Botball challenge




Akhbar A publication of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar P.O. Box 24866 Doha, Qatar www.qatar.cmu.edu Contributors Noha AlAfifi Emma Bopf Lisa Kirchner Andrea L. Zrimsek Layout & Design IMAGEPRO Graphics Doha, Qatar Mission Published four times per year, Akhbar is the Carnegie Mellon Qatar newsletter. Articles and photographs contained in this publication are subject to copyright protection. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written permission of the university. Editorial inquires or reprints For reprints or inquiries, contact Lisa Kirchner, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, at kirchner@qatar.cmu.edu.

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Purl Diving

Maybe it’s the heat, trips to exotic locales or the anticipation of everything a new school year brings, but summer passes by in a flash. Or maybe this summer went by especially quickly since the start of the 2006-2007 school year was moved up a few weeks to accommodate the Doha Asian Games in December. But then everything about the coming year will be a little different. It was our first year of early decisions, meaning that students who applied early received early notice of our admissions decisions. This proces----long standard on our Pittsburgh campus---- enables us to attract the region’s best students. That group, now the Class of 2010, will bring our student body to nearly 135. As our campus continues to grow, so do our academics. We are up to five computer science faculty, adding courses in programming languages and software engineering; several business faculty, adding new offerings in marketing and production; and new offerings in humanities including, for the first time, Spanish. Cross-registration with other Education City universities is expanding this term and the list of student activities is ever increasing. Additionally, excavation and construction on our building is expected to start soon. Once the job is underway, we expect it to take about two years to complete. Right now that may seem like a long way away, but it wasn’t that long ago that the Class of 2008 first walked through our doors as freshman. Now they are maturing adults who are halfway through their studies and already planning for their futures. Much like the long days of summer, they will be gone before we know it. Class of 2010, I will share with you something I hope you will keep in mind during your four years at Carnegie Mellon: Your college years will go fast. So work hard, learn as much as you can and enjoy every moment along the way.


My best wishes to you all, Charles E. Thorpe, Dean

A WORD FROM THE DEAN.... Connections Royal Visit Down & Dirty Summer School No Place Like Home

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Botball Faculty & Staff News Visiting Professors Remembering A Friend

Amer Obeidah at Publicon in Jordan


Maha Obaidan working at General Electric

Students apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to real-world situations Yasmine Abdel-Rahman (Tepper, 2008) knows she will need more than high marks in the classroom to compete in a global marketing place when she graduates. She must also have hands-on experience in the workplace. “Having experience in a work environment adds a lot to your resume,” she says. “High grades and charity work is good too, but it will not always get you in the interview chair.” And getting in that interview chair is much easier if you’ve done an internship, according to J. Patrick McGinnis, lecturer in Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business. McGinnis, who teaches oral and written communications to business students in Pittsburgh and Qatar, continually stresses to his students the importance of gaining job experience. “Internships are an integral part of the American business school experience,” McGinnis says. “Students get the benefit of obtaining real-life experience and applying theories learned in the classroom to the field where they will eventually work. Employers also gain through internships because students provide a legitimate contribution to the organization.”

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Virtually 100 percent of students in American business schools complete an internship, and many even choose to complete two, says McGinnis, who is working to bring that concept to Carnegie Mellon Qatar. He says Carnegie Mellon has relationships with some of the strongest, most influential corporations in the world and an important part of those relationships are internships. “As we build our reputation in the region we will also continue to build the same types of relationships here that we have in Pittsburgh. And internships will be a very big part of that.” Businesses in Doha are already beginning to see the advantage of offering internships to students. Over the summer 22 students spent their days putting their skills to use. Imran Karim and Abdel-Rahman interned at HSBC Bank; Samiha Kamel spent her summer at ConocoPhilips; Rana El Sakhawy and Mohamed Hajaig both interned with the Al Fardan Group; Qebbas Al-Warad and Lina Agha both worket at Q-CERT; Noora Al-Ansari and Sahrr Malik spend their time at RasGas; ‘Mustafa Hasnain and Anriban Lahiri worked at the Specialty Teaching Hospital;

Mohamed Hajaig working at Al Fardan Group

Maha Mahmoud interned at the Ministry of Finance; Rasha Mkachar, Reem Khaled and Maha Obaidan all worked at General Electric; Nora Al-Subai and Maha Al-Shirrawi both interned at Qatar Petroleum; Khuloud Al-Farsi interned at Qatar Gas; Lina El-Menshawy and Basheera Banu both interned at Commercial Bank; and Omar Alouba worked at

the Four Seasons Hotel. Amer Obeidah spent his summer in his home country of Jordan interning at Rubicon. The Connections program helps match the right student with the right internship. To date more than 40 students have completed one internship and a few students have completed two. Khadra Dualeh, Director of the Office of Professional Development and International Education at Carnegie Mellon Qatar, works closely with potential employers to develop the right internship opportunities for students. This first-hand experience gives students the chance to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-world situations. “We want the internship to be a positive experience for the students, especially when they haven’t done this before,” Dualeh says. Dualeh also wants the internship to be positive for employers. By having student interns, employers are able to pre-screen potential employees. They also benefit from the fresh and problem-solving approach of Carnegie Mellon students. Most importantly, McGinnis adds, by providing internship opportunities, companies are having a hand in shaping the next generation of business people. On a recent trip to Carnegie Mellon Qatar, RasGas employee David Challenger talked with students about how working as an intern positively affects students in their job search. Put simply, Challenger says “there is nothing more impressive than receiving a CV with job experience attached to it. It moves that CV to the top of the pile.”


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Her Highness speaks at Pittsburgh Commencement

On a rain-soaked Sunday in May, Carnegie Mellon held its 109th commencement featuring Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser al Missned, chairperson of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, as the keynote speaker. Despite the weather, Her Highness addressed 3,300 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree recipients at a packed Gesling Stadium, encouraging them to cross cultural boundaries just as they’d been taught to academically. “We live in a time when we are told that there is a cultural fault line between the ‘West’ and ‘Islam.’ We are told that the ‘West’ and ‘Islam’ are at war, that the ideologies of the West are incompatible with Islam, and that each civilization is trying to destroy the other. Depending on which side you stand, one or the other is the villain,” she said. Her Highness challenged the audience to break free from these preconceived notions, to use their education to ”forge innovative solutions.” This kind of thinking, she said, results from «faulty narratives.” She went on to cite research showing similarities in Arab and Western thought, from family values to governmental checks and balances to women’s rights. Her Highness also received an honorary doctorate of humane letters, joining five other honorary degree recipients: Jonathan Borofsky (A’64), John L. Hall (S’56,’58,’62), Jeffrey Romoff, Bud Yorkin (E’48) and Vartan Gregorian, a Qatar Foundation trustee. Her Highness graduated from the University of Qatar in 1986 with a degree in sociology

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and has been awarded honorary doctorates from Virginia Commonwealth and Texas A&M. She has been actively engaged in education and social reforms in Qatar and has played a major role in spearheading various national and international projects, with Education City as a leading example. As president of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, she leads its efforts to strengthen the role of family in society, and as vice-chairperson of the Supreme Education Council, she is active in Qatar’s K-12 reform. In 2003, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) appointed Her Highness special envoy for Basic and Higher Education. Also in 2003, she established the International Fund for Higher Education in Iraq, which is dedicated to the reconstruction of institutions of advanced learning in Iraq. In 2005, she was selected as a member of the United Nations High Level Group of the Alliance of Civilizations, established by the Secretary General of the UN to develop creative mechanisms for fighting terrorism. For those of us familiar with her work in Qatar and beyond, the speech synthesized her own pioneering vision. She concluded with the following quote from Andrew Carnegie, “He that cannot reason is a fool. He that will not is a bigot. He that dare not is a slave.”


Qatar campus celebrates groundbreaking of new building

Yellow construction hats were all the rage on May 17 as students, staff and faculty of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar celebrated the groundbreaking of the university’s new building in Education City. More than 100 people braved the

“He that cannot reason is a fool. He that will not is a bigot. He that dare not is a slave.” --- Andrew Carnegie

The talk began a highly successful visit for Her Highness, which included a visit to the archives of the Million Book Project, research presentations and a tour of Borofsky’s “Walking to the Sky,” the university’s latest public art installation. It was Her Highness’ first visit to the university’s Pittsburgh campus.

desert heat to attend the ceremonial event where Dean Chuck Thorpe spoke about the future of Carnegie Mellon. “The building will be a visually spectacular addition to Qatar Foundation. But what’s much more important, it will be a spectacular space for our educational and research mission. We will, of course, have classrooms and offices and laboratories, but beyond that we will follow the Carnegie Mellon tradition of having open spaces for people to meet, talk, drink coffee and build the future. We look forward to welcoming not just Carnegie Mellon, but all of Education City to drop by and collaborate with us,” Thorpe says. Thorpe, along with Kevin Lamb, assistant dean and director for planning and operations, Nora Al-Subai (SCS, 2008) and Omar Alouba (Tepper, 2009), dug chrome shovels into the ground to mark the official site where the building will

stand. The facility, being built by Qatar Foundation to Carnegie Mellon’s specifications, will measure an expansive 42,000square meters. This will make it larger than any one building on the university’s main campus in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Situated between the existing Weill-Cornell Medical College and the Texas A&M University at Qatar building now under construction, Carnegie Mellon’s facility will be the new home for students earning undergraduate degrees in business administration and computer science at the university. In addition to lecture halls, labs and computer clusters, the educational facility will have at its core an open three-story atrium that will serve as a town square. Filled with natural light, the atrium will be home to a food court, assembly area and expansive walkway. Situated on the main east-west passage through Education City, the walkway will be alive with trees and will serve as a meeting place for students from all universities, Lamb says. Designed by renowned Mexican architects Legorreta+Legorreta, the building was conceived of in a way that will “foster the growth of the whole student - academically, intellectually, emotionally, physically and spiritually,” says Lamb. This state-of-the-art building will feature a robust palette of colors, water features and trees that will create warm and inviting spaces throughout. The firm Legorreta+Legorreta has worked closely with Lamb to create a pure and timeless space specific to the mission of Carnegie Mellon’s only undergraduate branch campus. The firm also designed the Texas A&M University building. This new facility will accommodate the expanding Carnegie Mellon student body, which increased by a third with the addition of the class of 2010. The building also will cement the university into the landscape of Doha, ensuring many more years of collaboration and education between Carnegie Mellon University and Qatar. The May event was a ceremonial groundbreaking only. Actual construction will begin this fall. Once underway, the building will take approximately two years to complete. AUGUST 2006

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Students take classes in Pittsburgh Summer is a time reserved for rest, relaxation and enjoying the long, sunny days. Unless, of course, if you’re a Carnegie Mellon student. Then summer simply means a chance to study with fewer distractions. Students at the Pittsburgh campus often take summer classes to catch up, get ahead or just earn a few extra credits in electives not offered during the fall or spring terms. Being so much smaller than Pittsburgh, the Qatar campus does not offer summer courses. So this past summer, a handful of students packed their bags and headed west to attend summer school in Pittsburgh. John Robertson, assistant dean for academic affairs, says he encourages students to take summer classes in Pittsburgh for two reasons. First of all, students can sign up for a broad range of classes to round out their academic career. “It’s a great way to earn a minor in a field that has yet to be offered in Education City,” Robertson says. The second reason is to broaden horizons. By traveling to Pittsburgh, students are fully immersed in another culture, specifically the Carnegie Mellon culture. In addition to meeting other Carnegie Mellon students, students may get involved in activities on the home campus and take in everything the city of Pittsburgh has to offer. Summer courses also give students the chance to improve their GPA by re-taking a class. Other students take a full load of classes during the summer in hopes of an early graduation. No matter what the reason, the opportunity is one that Robertson says should not be passed up. “We’ll try to do it for as many students as we can.” Studying abroad is not available to students until they are in their second full academic year. Students who elect to take summer classes in Pittsburgh typically live in one of the campus dormitories or apartments, and eat meals in the cafeteria. Qatar Foundation pays for transportation, room, board and assists students with other aspects of the trip. But getting the work done…that’s left up to the student.

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NO PLACE LIKE HOME Student Noor Al-Athirah (Tepper, 2008) reflects on semester in Pittsburgh Moving to a city that I knew nothing of, especially halfway through the school year, was pretty much like starting life from zero. There was no student orientation and I had no friends or family in Pittsburgh; everything was different. It ended up being more of a lesson on how to be thankful for life than an ordinary experience. My best friend Maha and I started talking during the Fall 2005 semester about studying abroad to experience life away from our parents. We were both equally interested in the idea and once we had the approval of our parents and the university we were on our way. We arrived in Pittsburgh in the middle of January, not knowing what to expect. For a person heavily dependent on weather, coping with Pittsburgh’s cold and unpredictable temperatures was a nightmare. Surviving days with no sunlight I count as one of my accomplishments. In the beginning we went through very tough times, like when Maha lost her luggage on the way and never got it back. We experienced stress when dealing with the housing representatives and having unfinished matters and paperwork such as insurance documents. It was upsetting having to deal with issues we knew nothing of in Qatar. One example was of our apartment’s rent. We didn’t know much about the rent prior to arriving at Pittsburgh. Then halfway through the semester, when we could do nothing about it, we discovered that the rent was

double what we thought. Classes were not so difficult, though. They were at the same level of difficulty as classes in Qatar. I had a very different standard of living in Pittsburgh than I’m used to and managing my own finances was something I had to learn. I cooked sometimes and other times we went to Subway or some other restaurant. We had dinner a few times with some of the people we knew from Qatar like Cleah Schlueter & Jacobo Carrasquel, Mr. and Mrs. Walker, David Kaufer and his family. They made the experience easier whenever they could. We definitely had a tough time making friends, getting familiar with the streets and understanding the bus system. Once we made friends, we began having fun, though I still missed everything related to home so much. Our outings were mostly to movie theaters, shopping malls and coffee shops, and sometimes we just cruised around in the car. Maha and I made many more friends from the University of Pittsburgh than we did from Carnegie Mellon. Towards the end of the four months in Pittsburgh, I was much more comfortable than in the beginning, but still very excited to leave. The overall experience was worthwhile in terms of accepting responsibility and appreciating the pretty easy life I have back home. I would love to go through a similar experience in the future, but certainly with much more preparation. AUGUST 2006

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Carnegie Mellon hosts second international Botball challenge


Robots may not be taking over the world…yet. But they were taking over Doha City Center Mall on Saturday, May 27, as Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar hosted the second International Botball Challenge. This event capped off a successful seven-week robotics programming course in which teams from six local schools designed, developed, programmed and documented their robots. The teams competed against each other on a playing field the size of a pingpong table in a high energy, non-destructive tournament. Omar Bin Khattab Scientific School won the challenge with the highest overall score, compiled from

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Botball is a U.S.-based organization that introduces robotics to high schools. Student teams are equipped with a Lego© Mindstorm robot, along with instruction on how to program it to move autonomously through a course. The programming sessions conclude with a challenge—student teams are pitted against one another to see whose robot completes the course. The winning team also must demonstrate the work they’ve done in order to program their robot.

the tournament rounds as well as the pre-competition documentation of their work. Al Khor International School took 2nd place, and 3rd place went to Amna Bint Wahhab Independent S.S.G. “I am really glad our robots worked. You cannot describe how it feels to be number one. I am very happy because we are the champions now,” said a young team member from Omar Bin Al Khattab Scientific School. Doha College, American School in Doha and International School of Choueifat also took part in this year’s challenge to showcase their autonomous robots.

The competition was judged by International experts Elizabeth Whitewolf, Botball Production Manager; Arne Suppe, research programmer at the Robotics Institute of Carnegie

them and dumped them where they belonged. That’s an amazing feat for only seven weeks of preparation.” Botball is a U.S.-based organization that introduces

Mellon University in Pittsburgh; Justin Carlson, teaching

robotics to high schools. Student teams are equipped with

assistant at Carnegie Mellon Qatar; and Mohamed Mustafa,

a Lego© Mindstorm robot, along with instruction on how

who organized the 2nd International Botball Challenge.

to program it to move autonomously through a course. The

“The winning team had a great robot; it was

programming sessions conclude with a challenge in whitch

designed well and had great engineering behind it. Not only

student teams are pitted against one another to see whose robot

that, the programming was amazing,” said Whitewolf. “The

completes the course. The winning team also must demonstrate

robot honed in on the scoring objects, picked them up, sorted

the work they’ve done in order to program their robot. AUGUST 2006

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FACULTY & As the third academic year gets ready to kick off, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar announces the addition of many new faculty members.

John Barr John Barr has been a computer science professor at Ithaca College in New York since 1991. He joins Carnegie Mellon Qatar as an associate teaching professor. During the fall 2006 Semester he will be teaching Fundamentals of Data Structured Algorithms.

Lynn Carter, Ph.D. Lynn Robert Carter has been a senior researcher and educator at Carnegie Mellon University for seventeen years. He comes to Carnegie Mellon Qatar from the West Coast campus. While in Doha he will focus on adding an undergraduate software engineering track and explore opportunities for graduate and continuing education programs. He also will be teaching Software Engineering Foundations.

Iliano Cervesato Iliano Cervesato has held appointments a Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, Princeton, Tulane and George Mason. He also has worked for ITT Industries at the Naval Research Laboratory and for Deductive Solutions. His current research interests encompass computer security, computational logic, programming languages, temporal reasoning and user productivity applications.

Erik Helin Erik Helin joins Carnegie Mellon Qatar as an associate professor. He will be teaching Spanish classes.

Ian Lacey, Ph.D.

Sham Kekre joins Carnegie Mellon Qatar faculty teaching Introduction to Business, Introduction to Accounting, and Production/Operations Management. Kekre has been a professor at University of Rochester for 15 years.

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Ian Lacey joins Carnegie Mellon Qatar as an associate teaching professor, after spending 22 years commissioned in the British Royal Navy. During his time in the Royal Navy, he held a wide variety of appointments in education, training and information systems. Most recently, he served at the Defense College of Management & Technology, part of the Defense Academy of the United Kingdom. At CMUQ, Lacey will teach Management of Information Systems.

Andrew Leung Andrew Leung holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Carnegie Mellon University. He will be working this fall as a teaching assistant for three courses: Macroeconomics, Marketing and Introduction to Business.

Alan L. Montgomery, Ph.D. Dr. Alan L. Montgomery joins Carnegie Mellon Qatar the fall 2006 semester. Since 1999 he has been an associate professor of marketing at the Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business. He has taught courses in Internet Marketing, Pricing, Marketing Research, Analysis of Consumer Behavior in Online Environments and Data Mining. In Qatar he will be teaching Probability and Statistics for Business Applications and Marketing.

Douglas Perkins Douglas Perkins will be teaching the Logic & Proofs course at the Qatar campus this fall while continuing work on an M.S. in Logic & Computation from Carnegie Mellon’s Philosophy Department.

Silvia Pessoa, Visiting Lecturer Sham Kekre, Ph.D.


Silvia Pessoa is a doctoral student in the Department of Modern Languages at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. She will be teaching Spanish at the Qatar campus for the next year.

Paul Zagieboylo Paul Zagieboylo graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, along with concentrations in mathematics and music theory. This fall he is teaching Principles of Programming in Qatar.

John Robertson has been named Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs of the Qatar campus. Robertson has been serving as the Director for Undergraduate Education since the campus opened in 2004.

STUDENT SERVICES David Stanfield David joins the student affairs team as director of student activities. Originally from Plano, Texas, Dave received his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Texas A&M University and his master’s degree in College Student Personnel from Miami University (Ohio). Before coming to Qatar, Dave had a variety of student affairs experiences in orientation, judicial affairs, student activities, and organizational leadership.

Caryl Tuma Caryl is our first Qatar campus community advisor. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in May 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and international relations. She was primarily involved in student affairs through her extracurricular activities as an orientation counselor and campus tour guide.

Robert P. Kail, senior associate dean of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, has retired after more than 37 years of service with the university. At Carnegie Mellon, Kail played a critical role in formulating and implementing strategic plans for the College of Engineering and was responsible for the undergraduate engineering academic program and students. In Qatar, he oversaw admissions and student affairs and was one of the key staff involved in developing the Qatar campus initiative. “Bob could always be counted on to provide thoughtful insight that reflected perfectly the ethos of Carnegie Mellon,” said Chuck Thorpe, dean of Carnegie Mellon Qatar. “His empathy for others, his ability to listen, his good nature and sense of humor will be sorely missed.” Bob’s absence also will be felt by all the residents of the West Bay apartment complex. A Friday morning would not be complete without spotting Bob relaxing on a chaise lounge, gazing out over the Arabian Sea and working on his tan. Best wishes Bob, you will be missed.


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PROFESSORS UNESCO brings three Iraqi professors to Carnegie Mellon

Even as the devastation in Iraq continues, students and teachers there are as dedicated as ever to education. Should school be canceled for an entire week, students will send e-mails to their professors so they can keep on top of their work. “Iraqis are very serious when it comes to work and education,” says Qais Abed Alnafia Ridha Abdul-Mawjood, professor at Baghdad University. “Despite the war, curfew, killings and destruction, kids are still eager to learn. Their goal is to go to school every day, graduate and be ready for the (future).”

Qais is one of three Iraqi professors who spent part of the spring 2006 term at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar through a program offered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations system. Established in 1945, UNESCO’s main mission is to contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among the nations through education, science and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms. Nearly 200 nations belong to UNESCO, including both Iraq and Qatar. This membership laid the groundwork for the three professors to spend time in Doha and at Carnegie Mellon. Joining Qais were Dr. Raghad M. Ahmed (bottom right) from Baghdad University and Amera Ismail Melhum from Duhok University. Qais was born and raised in Baghdad and has taught at the college level for many years. Before working for Baghdad University, where he teaches computer architecture, he taught at Mustansriyah University, which is also located in Baghdad. Raghad was also born in Baghdad and was a student at Baghdad University before she began teaching there. Her area of expertise is environmental management systems. Amera was born in Mosul, which is in northern Iraq, but now lives in Duhok. She teaches systems software and computer programming. All three signed up with UNESCO in hopes of learning new teaching and research methods to bring home to their fervent students. After spending eight weeks at Education City, there is no doubt they will take a piece of Carnegie Mellon home with them to Iraq.

REMEMBERING A FRIEND FAHAD AL-JEFAIRI The loss of one member in a community as small as Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar is one that is felt by everyone. Such news is especially difficult to deal with when the life lost is one that was just beginning. On Saturday, July 1, junior business administration student Fahad Al-Jefairi died from injuries sustained in a car accident. As news of Fahad’s death quickly blanketed the Carnegie Mellon community, it became evident that his absence would leave an everlasting hole in the class of 2008. A much loved member of our community, Fahad was the first-ever President of the Student Majlis. Elected in 2004, fellow student Miriam Chandra called him the pride of Carnegie Mellon Qatar. He also was the featured student speaker at the campus’ inaugural event later that year. In his sophomore year he was elected Student Ambassador and made the Dean’s List. Beyond these achievements, he was involved in many campus activities including being a founding member of the Al Kawthar Charity, the CMBA (business students club) and the Qatari Student Society. He enjoyed drama and comedy skits and proudly donned traditional Qatari formalwear at this year’s Cultural Day. He was also among the first group of students from the Qatar campus to visit Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. He was a leader among his fellow students, by his own charisma as well as by example, always kind and considerate of others. He has been described by his peers as fun-loving and yet responsible. Student Basit Iqbal says Fahad was not only his friend but also his guide, helping him adjust to life in Qatar after moving here from Pakistan. The loss of Fahad will be felt deeply by his family, friends and the university community alike. May he rest in peace.

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PURL DIVING Carnegie Mellon women learn to knit Students in Qatar made an unusual move during the last few weeks of the Spring 2006 semester by casting off their books and casting on a few stitches in the newly-formed knitting circle. The idea for the knitting group came about when students began spotting Teaching Assistant Jessica Mink clicking away with her needles between classes. A longtime knitter, Mink joined up with Andy Zrimsek, Marketing and PR assistant and avid knitter, and the two offered to teach the craft to anyone who wanted to learn. Seeing there are no yarn shops in Doha and the knitting craze that has been sweeping Europe and the U.S. for the past few years has yet to hit the Gulf region, turnout was expected to be low. Much to everyone’s surprise, some 15 students and several university employees expressed interest in joining the class. Since temperatures in Qatar don’t exactly call to mind sweaters and chunky hats, the group set out on a mission to make fun scarves out of a yarn that looked and felt like suede. Once the giant box of fiber arrived from New York, the group began meeting once or twice each week in the yellow lounge. Slowly the colorful balls of yarn that were bouncing all around on the floor were transformed into fun scarves. Some of the new fashion accessories were wide, others were

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narrow and some would not exactly earn an A if the class were graded. But everyone had fun, and who knows, maybe this is the first step in turning Doha into the knitting capital of the Middle East. The Qatar Knitters will resume in January with the start of the Spring 2007 term.

Q-CERT expands to cover entire Gulf region Computer security is a concern for everyone.

resources for the development of the GCC-CERT as it

Whether it’s your home computer, the company server or the

establishes its organizational structure and management.

entire database of a country’s government, all computers are

The goal of Q-CERT is to create awareness of cybersecurity in

at risk.

private and public institutions, provide proactive approaches Tackling the problem head on, Carnegie Mellon

to managing security, assist in managing risks, ensure

Software Engineering Institute CERT Coordination Center

confidentiality of data, introduce cyber laws and educate the

teamed up with Qatar Supreme Council of Information and

residents of Qatar on their rights.

Communications Technology to form Qatar CERT, or Q-CERT, last year. Q-CERT is Qatar’s national computer security incident response team. Formed in late 2005, Q-CERT serves as the national organization to conduct and coordinate the comprehensive set of cybersecurity activities that will be needed to protect Qatar’s critical infrastructure. Now Q-CERT is expanding its reach to encompass

When Q-CERT was formed last year, it joined an international community of more than 170 CERTs and Computer Security Incident Response Teams dedicated to computer security. However, it was the first CERT in the Gulf region. CERT, a federally funded research and development center founded in 1988, has worked with countries

the entire Gulf region with the creation of GCC-CERT. Located

and organizations worldwide to increase research and

in Doha, GCC-CERT will serve as a focal point for all of the

development activities and increase the protection of critical

national CERTs formed by the Gulf Cooperation Council

information. Today, CERT engages in cutting-edge research

member states, which include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar,

and development and provides robust training and education

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.


Q-CERT will assist member nations in setting up infrastructure, conducting training and identifying initial

For more information on Q-CERT, visit www.qcert.org.

Now Q-CERT is expanding its reach to encompass the entire Gulf region with the creation of GCC-CERT. Located in Doha, GCC-CERT will serve as a focal point for all of the national CERTs formed by the Gulf Cooperation Council member states, which include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. AUGUST 2006

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Profile for Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar

Akhbar, Fall 2006  

Akhbar, Fall 2006  


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