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JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2013 As you get well into the New Year, CAMPUS finds out what 2012 was for you and what you hope 2013 will be like. For this issue, CAMPUS focuses on entrepreneurship and the huge contribution it can have to the country’s economy. We put the spotlight on young male and female entrepreneurs in Qatar to find out how they made it big. CAMPUS gets exclusives on British musician, Sami Yusuf, and world-renowned photojournalist, Reza DEGHATI. There’s more – we give you a glimpse of what’s behind the scenes of the Stars of Science MBC4 show and The Youth Company’s Run The World festival. Like always, we have the latest style and health tips for you to keep you stylish and warm this winter! Address all your correspondence to CAMPUS, Oryx Advertising Co WLL, P.O. Box 3272; Doha-Qatar Tel: (+974) 44672139, 44550983, 44671173, 44667584, -Fax:(+974)44550982, email: email@example.com. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. The publisher does not accept responsibility for advertising contents. Licensing/Republishing CAMPUS content: To obtain permission for text syndication in books, newsletters, magazines, newspapers and web or to use images/pictures carried in CAMPUS, please contact our syndication & licensing department on the numbers given above. Permission is also required to photocopy a CAMPUS article for classroom use, course packs, business or general use. Custom reprints: Any of the previously published article/s to be used as stand-alone pieces can be reprinted by us on special request. The reprint cost is based on the length of the article and the quantity ordered. Contact our custom publishing division on the numbers given above for more information.Previous issues (January 2004 onwards) of CAMPUS are available for sale, contact our Library department. To subscribe to CAMPUS call our subscription department on the numbers given above.
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New Year, New Hopes
A new year is upon us! CAMPUS asks you what 2012 was like and what your hopes are for 2013.
16 Scope of
Entrepreneurship in Qatar:
issue 16 JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2013
Experts talk to CAMPUS about the scope of entrepreneurship in the country
Aysha Anggraini: A Rising App Inventor Anggraini talks to CAMPUS about her app invention, Onigiri, and the importance of health-focused applications.
Stars of Science: Turning Ideas into Reality
CAMPUS talks to the winners of Stars of Science Series 4 and finds out what’s next for these young and accomplished inventors
Sami Yusuf: The Messenger of Peace British musician, Sami Yusuf, is not your typical mainstream musician. He’s a man on a mission to bridge gaps. CAMPUS talks to spiritual revivalist Yusuf to tell us how he uses music as an instrument of peace.
World renowned photojournalist, Reza, finds a balance between being a journalist and a humanitarian and still holds on to objectivity.
I AM MY OWN BOSS
CAMPUS talks to some of the newest and successful entrepreneurs in Qatar to find out how they made it on their own.
Run the World: SUCCEESS IN ITS SECOND INNING
campus talks to the men behind qatar’s biggest youth event
If you’ve been struggling to grow your chest and don’t know where to start, this workout routine will get you on the fast track to some beach-worthy pecs!
Exceptional performances at Park House
ark House students have been awarded Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards from the Cambridge International Examinations held in June 2012. The Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards recognize exceptional performance from around the world in Cambridge examinations. Six Park House students achieved awards this year for obtaining the highest mark in Qatar: Noor Alanni - IGCSE Geography, Asma Hasan - IGCSE ICT, Bayu Utomo - AS Level Applied ICT, Evi Demetriou - IGCSE Greek, Jessica Higgs - IGCSE Physical Education, Eiman Ali - IGCSE Sociology. Founded in 2004, Park House is one of the oldest schools in Qatar, delivering education in the British curriculum. “Our students performed exceptionally well in the external examinations this year and we are very proud of them all. For six of our students to achieve the ‘Top in Qatar’ is great news and reflects the hard work and dedication of these students and their teachers. I congratulate them and their families for this tremendous success,” said Dougie Smith, Headmaster of Park House English School.
Stenden University Students excel at MUN
“A major factor for my success is the early involvement in ICT skills, through school’s program, that enabled me to build a solid ICT background that helped me achieve AS Level in Applied ICT. I really appreciate the professional guidance of my teachers,” said Utomo.
ollowing an invitation from the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage in Qatar, students of Stenden University Qatar officially represented the Qatari higher education institutions at the 8th Model United Nations (MUN) Conference in Bahrain in November 2012. Stenden’s MUN team consisted of four members representing different countries in different councils. Representing Japan in the UN’s International Atomic Agency, Hamayan Al-Shereem and Mohammed Kafoode spoke about Qatar’s policy on human trafficking. Maryam Al-Nasr and Ahmed Fareed represented Togo on the topsecret UN Security Council, represented South Africa in the committee on environmental and social issues and represented Tunisia at the MUN General Assembly. Stenden’s team was one of two selected for participation in the MUN Conference. The team prepared for the conference for several months, participating in training sessions and researching their individual country assignments for the MUN Conference. “The students were prepared when we arrived in Bahrain,” said Kody Gerkin, the coordinator of Stenden’s MUN team. “They worked hard preparing and felt they had a competitive edge compared to many of the other teams who travelled to Bahrain for the conference.” The event, held at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Manama, Bahrain on November 29 and 30 was considered a success by the Stenden University Qatar delegation. “All of the students hope to practice throughout the year and come back next year even more prepared,” said Gerkin at the conclusion of the event.
‘Craft for the Digital World’
s part of the Crossing Boundaries Lecture Series, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (VCU Qatar) presented a lecture by OFFF, with artistic director, curator and founder Hector Ayuso Ros and partner and executive director Pep Salazar Garcia entitled ‘Craft for the Digital World’ on December 9, 2012 at VCU Qatar’s atrium. The lecture focused on knowing how to do or make something, which OFFF says, is as important as the idea behind the work. It looked at the union of digital tools and the knowledge of physical realities, a balancing of the virtual and the analog. “These are exciting days, where we are exploring new ways to express human feelings,” say Ros and Garcia. “Many of us have suffered an education that placed too much importance on analysis; nowadays, young artists/students are falling into the hyper tech clutches; technology makes your life easier, but also makes you lazier. The ultimate remedy is to be innovative: getting our hands dirty, not denying the importance of the brand-new app or deluxe plug-in but also convincing ourselves to do arts and crafts, motivating ourselves to enjoy all different artistic expressions, exploring new narrative territories. We have to teach everybody to use any tool available but not forget the ideas, the organic. Creating experiences that improve our everyday lives, interacting with people and spaces, that is design, that is OFFF,” they added. OFFF is an entity in continuous transformation, alive and evolutionary. More than a decade ago, it was born as a post-digital culture festival; a meeting place to host contemporary creation through an in-depth program of conferences, workshops and performances by the most relevant artists of our time.
New Year, Hopes HOLIDAYS
Yes, the holidays are over and youâ€™re back to classrooms, assignments and exams. With the New Year upon us, CAMPUS asks how the year 2012 was for you and what your hopes are for 2013. CAMPUS speaks to: Haneen Hindi
19, Palestine, Northwestern University in Qatar
22,Pakistan,College of North Atlantic-Qatar
17, Jordan, Middle East International School
14, Palestine, International School of Choueifat (ISC)
the holidays like for you and your family?
Usually everyone in my family has different schedules. It’s really hard for us to agree to one plan, but whenever that is possible we go for a movie and a family dinner. For us holidays are also the annual cleaning and filtering of our belongings. In the New Year, there has to be a pretty-looking large cake, a family gathering and a decent dine-in at any of the new restaurants. We make sure to try something new every New Year!
During holidays like Christmas and New Year, it’s not a very eventful time because we don’t really celebrate. It’s my understanding that the only holidays that are supposed to be celebrated in Islam are the two Eids, so that’s what we celebrate as a family. Eid is the time when family gathers, and everyone gets dressed up and enjoys good food and company.
The holidays for us are fun because basically, we never stay home. My family always has plans to go out and dine somewhere.
celebrate or participate in celebrations that are not of your own religion like Christmas, for example? Why or why not? And how?
Filza Mukhtar I don’t make an effort to participate nor do I avoid it, although I make sure to reply to the greetings and wish my friends like they do when it’s Eid or any other occasion for us.
Yara Batarny Yes, we do celebrate Christmas and New Years even though I’m a Muslim. We put up the Christmas tree and celebrate it with our other Christian friends. As for New Years, we go out to restaurants or hotels and party with the others.
Haneen Hindi We don’t participate in celebrations like Christmas because they’re not a part of our religion. Growing up in the US, my brothers and I always used to ask our parents why we don’t have a Christmas tree like other kids. However, we were much less enthusiastic about celebrating Eid because we were living in a place where Muslims were a minority, so we would usually celebrate it alone. My parents wanted to instill Muslim values in us and make us proud of our religion so they focused more on Eid celebrations than Christmas. Of course, this isn’t to say that my parents had any negative feelings towards Christmas or Christianity. We wish our Christian friends a Merry Christmas, just as they wish us Eid Mubarak.
Tarek Al-Khatib I don’t see great significance in it. However, I do not mind being part of it if the company is convenient.
do you like and dislike about the holidays?
Yara Batarny What I like about the holidays is that we get a vacation from school and we get to have fun every day. To be honest, what I dislike the most are the homework we get from school.
Tarek Al-Khatib Family reunions are my favorite, I also like completing abandoned projects; however, what could be a disadvantage of family reunions, in having a big family, is that it’s hard to plan any alone time and meeting all commitments with the family.
Filza Mukhtar Holidays usually mean getting back on track what we lose because of our busy routine. And that’s the part I like about holidays, all your diet plans can work and of course catching up with your good sleep. What I dislike is there’s not much to do to keep you busy every day.
Haneen Hindi I like the holiday spirit, and that family members travel from across the world to gather and spend time together. I don’t dislike anything in particular. Maybe just the extra traffic!
you explain the year 2012, personally and globally? What are your hopes and resolutions for 2013? Tarek Al-Khatib Haneen Hindi The year 2012 was a very happy year for me. I’ve been surrounded by friends and family who I love. I’ve enjoyed all the classes I’ve taken and I achieved all the goals I set for myself in the beginning of the year. I hope that 2013 will be even better. Globally, the year 2012 has had many ups and downs. Many great things have happened but there have been many tragedies as well, especially in the Middle East. This year, I hope that there will be more good than bad and I pray that God helps all those in need. I hope people become filled with the desire to help out and be kind, so that the world becomes a happier place. My hopes for 2013 is to learn to enjoy solitude, to be more confident, to be more independent, to give more and to leave my comfort zone.
I’d like to travel to new places and meet new people in 2013. Personally, my eyes really opened at the age of 13 in 2012, many different occasions have changed my way of thinking, and I hope in 2013 as a 14-year-old I can actually make a change. However, globally, there have been a few political issues in the Arab world.
Personally, 2012 was a roller coaster ride but isn’t it every year? A pile of ups anddowns, and a pile of good memories, and some farewells. These events help us to grow, evidently. Globally, well the world didn’t end! How’s that! Every year, we hope the coming year will be nice to us, but it keeps getting complicated. Since I’m graduating this year InshAllah, I’m sure some changes are on their way. And I’m excited. My New Year’s resolution is to set everything right, stop planning and get to work already.
Yara Batarny My New Year’s Resolution was to become a better person, never give up, be more productive, and to get better in school. Personally, the year 2012 wasn’t bad at all for me but globally a lot of things happened around the world that harmed a lot of people. I hope that 2013 will be a blessed year for me and everyone.
I AM MY own
BOSS Qatar is home to many young entrepreneurs, both local and expatriates, who managed to turn their passions and talents into businesses. They are their own bosses. CAMPUS talks to some of the newest and most successful entrepreneurs in Qatar to find out how they made it on their own.
teve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Jay-Z and Simon Cowell are a few of the richest and most powerful entrepreneurs in the world. How did they do it? Believe it or not, not necessarily with a degree – Jobs is a college drop-out – but with creativity, innate intelligence, determination and strong leadership skills. Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and CEO of the social networking behemoth, Facebook, is the richest young entrepreneur in the world, who’s worth approximately $6.9 billion and he’s only 26 years old. Zuckerberg is what you call an accidental billionaire because he never set on being one. When he created Facebook, originally Facemash, it started just as a university project during his sophomore year at Harvard University. In this oil-rich part of the world, where most people are born millionaires, entrepreneurship is thriving. Being a land of opportunity, Qatar has opened up many prospects for entrepreneurs in the country whether in the fields of media, construction, fashion, health and fitness, design or others.
A true optimist Twenty-two-year-old Mohammed Farid, the founder and chairman of The Youth Company (T YC), is one of Qatar’s ‘accidental’ entrepreneurs. “Being an entrepreneur was not of my interest. It was more about opening an initiative that will empower and develop the youth of the country, and create a platform for youth development and empowerment,” says Farid. “Entrepreneurship was never my goal. I actually discovered the word ‘entrepreneurship’ six months after I opened the company. Everybody was like ‘Oh, so you’re an entrepreneur?’ I just kept on nodding, thinking it was something cool and then I discovered what it actually means.” Egyptian of origin and Canadian by national-
Mohammed Farid, 22, Egyptian-Canadian, founder and chairman of The Youth Company (TYC)
“Motivation is the most important thing because being an entrepreneur is one of the most difficult things that you could ever do so you need to believe in yourself because you will always be questioned. Being an entrepreneur is getting out of your comfort zone and that of the community’s. It gives you the opportunity to understand who you are and make a difference in your own way.”
ity, Farid was born and raised in Qatar. He established T YC two years ago while he was a full-time communication student at Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q). “I have a passion to create a platform for the youth to understand the importance of empowering and developing themselves but most importantly, creating a platform for the youth to further develop themselves,” says Farid. T YC is a Youth Social Enterprise in Qatar, acting as a platform for youth development and supplies the community with youthful consultancy services. The challenges Farid faces as an entrepreneur are on-going. When he took his first steps as an entrepreneur, people questioned Farid and his vision. “One of my main challenges was the lack of the openness of the community,” he says. However, that’s no longer a main challenge as people have begun to believe in T YC and its vision. However, there are other challenges that Farid and other entrepreneurs in Qatar are facing, which are funding and the uneasy rules and regulations. “There wasn’t a market for entrepreneurs. There wasn’t support from the banks and until today, there are some laws and systems that make it very hard for us to do what we’re trying to do,” says Farid, “The biggest problems are the laws of the country in relations with office space, registrations and licenses. But nothing is impossible.” With the help of local entrepreneurship-focused organizations like INJAZ Qatar, Bedaya, Enterprise Qatar and Silatech, Farid hopes funding will become accessible, and the laws and regulations will become acquiescent for entrepreneurs in Qatar.
A Raw idea Echoing Farid’s concerns is Layla Al-Dorani, the founder and CEO of Raw ME. Founded in January 2012, Raw ME is a 100% raw and vegan fast food restaurant. “I’m spending [my savings] on trying to build this company, so there are a lot of legal fees, and general expenses that are associated with starting a business,” she says. “The Qatari government doesn’t give me any support. There is no such thing as an entrepreneurship fund.” To Al-Dorani, like the government, angel investors too didn’t provide the necessary funding. “The reason being that angel investors are very hesitative in investing into new concepts and SME [small and medium enterprises] businesses. Even though there are a lot of organisations in Qatar that say they want to promote entrepreneurship, none of these organisations have really moved to the stage where they are actually investing in something tangible,” she says. In May 2012, Al-Dorani won second place at Al Fikra Business Plan Competition with the idea of Raw ME. Al Fikra Business Plan Competition is held annually by Enterprise Qatar to give entrepreneurs in Qatar an opportunity to showcase great business ideas. Al-Dorani is affiliated with Bedaya Center, a center that focuses on youth services, activities and programs, and Silatech.
Four form a team Although there is a lack of funding and financial aid for entrepreneurs from angel investors, banks and the government in Qatar, there are
left to right:
faisal absar, 30, bangladeshi Shaheed Adams, 24, South African founders of Tip Top T’s
“Have an idea. Be original and unique. Have good contacts. Be able to speak Arabic and keep in mind Qatar’s culture and values.”
left to right: Shannon Farhoud, 23, Syrian-Canadian Rana Khalid, 22, Palestinian Melanie Fridgant, 22, French Ashlene Ramadan, 22, Lebanese-American Founders of Torath Media Production
“It’s our company and we are calling the shots. The good thing about Qatar is that it’s small and things work by word of mouth. We haven’t even officially gone out and said we are a media production company yet because word of mouth is sustaining us so far.” projects like ictQatar’s QITCOM competition that allows young men and women to pitch their project ideas, and those with winning ideas receive incubation from ictQatar for a period of time. A successful product of the competition is Torath Media Productions (T MP), a film and documentary making company founded in April 2012, by Rana Khaled, Shannon Farhoud, Ashlene Ramadan and Melanie Fridgant. The four graduates of Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) won second place at the competition with their idea of T MP. “They give you financial support, training on how to start up a company and
actual office space. They also take you to events, and you represent them,” says Lebanese-American Ramadan about ictQatar. T MP, however, doesn’t receive any financial aid . “We don’t get any financial support, per se, but a lot of people are giving us advice. They love our ideas and passion, and they thought we are really well driven and they want to support us in every way except funding,” added Palestinian Khaled. For the girls, having ictQatar as support is comforting since they have minimal knowledge on how to run a business. “We’re not that confident, we’re not business students,” says Ramadan.
“We’re journalists and that’s why we need to get help off as many people of possible and when ictQatar offered us help, it was perfect.” Other than their nominal business knowledge, the young entrepreneurs find the sponsorship system in Qatar a challenge because in order to start a business, you need to have a local as a partner, where he/she holds more than 50% of the company. However, being an all-females team has worked as an advantage for the girls. “We have to admit that being girls really gave us an edge in producing our documentary. People really listen to you when you are a woman,” says Khaled. “They get really drawn by the idea that four girls are starting up a media company. They kind of believe in us more because we are girls.”
Taking on the challenge However, for Qataris Maha Al-Essa, Aysha Fakhroo and Alanoud Al-Henzab, founders of a Qatar-based design agency, 974 Design, being an all-female team was a drawback. “We don’t believe that being women had any advantage to us. As a matter of fact it was quite a challenge for us in the beginning, when we first met clients and had to show them that young Qatari women from a small local design agency can do the same job as larger and international design agencies, whether they were in Qatar or outside,” says Al-Essa. For these young entrepreneurs, it was initially a challenge to gain the trust of clients. Established in 2010, 974 Design is a design agency in Qatar that designs ad campaigns, logos, brochures, websites, packages, presentations and much more. “The biggest challenges we face is getting people to trust in a local agency in a field that’s dominated by international agencies,” she says.
Banking on Fashion
Layla Al-Dorani, Qatari, founder and CEO of Raw ME
“If you believe in an idea, invest in it. As regards to experience, you’ll hire people with experience to help you move it forward. The person who invented the concept doesn’t need to have all the skills from A-Z; otherwise I would be a one-man company. If I get the finance and expertise, then it will move forward faster, but at the minute I have to take it a little bit step-by-step.”
In 2012, South African Shaheed Adams and Bangladeshi Faisal Absar joined Qatar’s realm of entrepreneurship with Tip Top T’s, a T-shirt business located in Al Mathar Complex, formerly known as Fashion Asia Mall. “As a young guy I felt that Doha lacked diversity in t-shirts. That’s what a lot of young guys like to wear. It’s a way to express your thoughts and personality,” says 24-years-old Adams. “I thought to bring such t-shirts in Doha and create a market for it.” So far the business has been smooth for Adams and Absar as they started Tip Top T ’s in small scale. “We didn’t require much finance. It was a pretty small investment which wasn’t difficult to pool in for the business,” says Adams. Like many entrepreneurs in Qatar, Adams and Absar received financial aid from their family members but with how the business is going, Adams and Absar have managed to give it all back. These young entrepreneurs haven’t faced challenges different from other entrepreneurs. “One of the biggest challenges was to successfully start up the business which I think every entrepreneur faces at some point of time,” says Adams. “At first it’s a bit difficult as we have very limited information, resources, contacts etc. but all that just comes with experience.” “I believe awareness on how to start up a business in Qatar would be helpful. A lot of people have ideas but don’t know how to go about it. If there was an information center to help guide such entrepreneurs, I think people of Qatar will have much more to gain from it,” says Adams.
Scope of Entrepreneurship in Qatar By za Munaz d saye
om Emerson is an American distinguished career professor at the Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q). His research includes entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial success factors, globalization and international competitiveness, and wealth creation. He received his bachelor degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and his M.A and Ph.D. from Rice University in business and entrepreneurship.
So I think the potential for long-term business success is quite large. On the negative side, there is no tradition of building globallycompetitive businesses outside of the energy sector, and the wealth and regulatory restrictions (the difficulty in starting new businesses, requirements for government approval and 51% Qatari ownership, to name but two) are impediments to entrepreneurship and new business formation. So there is much work to do to realize Qatar’s business potential.
What is the scope of entrepreneurship in Qatar?
What is the business potential of the country? Qatar has many assets that would make it globally competitive on a long-term basis. The country has a strategic location, with excellent water and air transportation. It has access to very large amounts of investment capital, easy access to large supplies of low-cost labor and the lowest energy costs on the planet. It is very
well governed, and the government is investing heavily in education and infrastructure. It has a reasonably well-educated citizenry, and the younger generation is better educated than their elders. It has very large amounts of investment capital.
Entrepreneurship in Qatar is presently quite limited – mostly to family businesses, with few, if any globally competitive enterprises outside of the energy sector. Qatar Airways is, perhaps, an exception, and there may be others, but one does not get a ‘Silicon Valley’ feel (or anything close to it) about Qatar. Further, there is no formal infrastructure for
private investment in entrepreneurial businesses. True, the government has set up Enterprise Qatar to attempt to fill this vacuum, but government agencies do not have the ‘animal spirits’ of the private sector and probably don’t do venture investing very well. (In the US, the efforts by the Obama administration to jump-start the green energy sector have been spectacularly unsuccessful, which illustrates the difficulty of state-sponsored investment. Further, the administration of large amounts of investment funds for private investment by governmental agencies is an invitation to corruption – look at sub-Saharan
Africa for examples.) So I think there is potential, but support infrastructure in the private sector will be required to realize the potential.
What are some tips you have for young men and women who want to succeed as entrepreneurs? First of all, entrepreneurship is a team sport, so get a group of talented soul-mates around you with different skill sets but a common vision and commitment. Second, follow your dreams and your instincts – don’t let naysayers deter or discourage you. Third, pursue
participate in programs which offer entrepreneurs with coaches such as Wamda’s Mix n Mentor and with mentors such as those facilitated by the Mowgli Mentor Experience.
ilatech is a dynamic social initiative that works to create jobs and expand economic opportunities for young people throughout the Arab world. Founded in 2008 by HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Al-Missned, Silatech promotes large-scale job creation, entrepreneurship, access to capital and markets, and the participation and engagement of young people in economic and social development.
How does Silatech play a role in the process?
What is the business potential of Qatar? Mega-projects such as Qatar 2022 create tremendous opportunities for companies of all sizes given the magnitude of investment ($125bn) and diversity of sectorial development (from social and economic infrastructure to tourism and other service industries).
What is the scope of entrepreneurship in Qatar? Entrepreneurship in Qatar is in its infancy with governmental agencies, NGOs and academic institutions focusing more on ground-breaking conceptual development than on commercialized business realizations. Entrepreneurship in Qatar will gradually mature via new diversified-sector incubators and accelerators launched by Enterprise Qatar, Qatar Development Bank and the Social Development Center.
What kind of business is most profitable in the country? Given Qatar’s population of less than two
some formal courses in entrepreneurship – there is much that academics have learned about starting and leading companies to success, so learning from these courses is important to avoid pitfalls. Do it while you’re young and have few, if any, family and community responsibilities. That is the time of minimal risk and maximum opportunity. When you complete your college education and have not yet started a family is the optimum time. What do you have to lose? Steve Jobs discussed this in a 1994 interview with the Silicon Valley Historical Association, which is available on Youtube.
Shareef Batata, Associate director of SME programs at Silatech million, businesses with portable products or services that are cost-effectively transported regionally or globally potentially do well such as those focused on ICT development. Organizations such as ictQatar are working hard to incubate such development in-line with Qatar’s 2030 vision of a knowledge-based economy.
What would you say to those who can set up a potentially profitable business, but are unwilling because of the risk involved? Mitigate risk by starting the business not just with soft capital from friends and family but with sweat equity contributed by other entrepreneurs as well as coaches and mentors to create critical foundational mass. Also
Silatech serves as convener of many of the programs mentioned above. Silatech is currently developing an on-line map to help entrepreneurs navigate the local entrepreneurship eco-system by hyperlinking to various stakeholders and their entrepreneurship programs. Silatech will launch a preliminary version of this virtual map at its Youth Entrepreneurship Conference scheduled for February.
Do you think people in Qatar have enough resources and opportunities to become entrepreneurs? Qatari nationals working alongside expatriate entrepreneurs have the optimal mix of liquidity and ingenuity required to drive new enterprise. Initiatives such as the SILA Angel Investment Network ensure that entrepreneurship evolves from a novel mindset to a series of local and regional success stories. There are many wonderful CSOs in Qatar extending support for young entrepreneurs post-graduation. T he Bedaya Center is a prime example as is the Roudha Center. Silatech plans to offer on-line entrepreneurship training via its ta3mal website co-developed with Microsoft, scheduled to go live shortly as well.
The Messenger of
Peace By b Ola Dia In a world where music has become based on glamour and fame, only a few musicians sing with principle and British Sami Yusuf is not your typical mainstream musician. He’s a man on a mission to bridge gaps. CAMPUS talks to the spiritual revivalist who tells us how he uses music as an instrument of peace. orn with a passion and talent for music, Sami Yusuf uses music to bridge worldwide religious and racial gaps, and some say, he bridges the gap between the West and the East. Originally Azeri, Yusuf is a cohesive jar of cultures and a product of two major civilizations-Persian culturally and British by nationality. Yusuf sings his self-coined genre, Spiritique-manifested by philosophical and spiritual lyrics, and incorporates Middle Eastern and Western harmonics – in English, Arabic, Turkish, Persian, Urdu, Azeri and Malay and on a multitude of classical and ethnic instruments such as the piano, violin, tar, tombak, santour, daf, tabla and oud. He studied
music in one of the world’s most prestigious music institutes, the Royal Academy of Music in London. Yusuf’s groundbreaking debut album, Al Mu’allim–an album independently composed, produced and performed by himsold over three million copies and his second album, My Ummah, sold over four million copies. Called ‘Islam’s biggest Rock Star’ by Time magazine, Yusuf’s music brought the attention of international news channels such as the BBC, ABC, Al Jazeera and British newspaper The Guardian. His success was soon acknowledged by the University of Roehampton in London and as a result Yusuf became the first and the youngest Muslim recipient of the honorary Doctor of Letters award in recognition of his ‘extraordinary contribution to music,’ standing alongside Mark Twain, J.K.
Rowling and Robert Frost. Yusuf is one of the only three musicians in the world to ever be honored with this award. Fame, however, isn’t Yusuf’s concern. His legitimacy and benevolence is reflected through his commitment as United Nations (UN) Celebrity Partner to reach out to those in need throughout the world. He has recently launched a campaign in partnership with the United Nations World Food Program to help end hunger in the Horn of Africa that was hit by its worst drought in the last 60 years. His Live8concert in Wembley Arena raised millions of pounds for the victims of the conflictstricken Darfur, Sudan. Yusuf also cooperated with the UN sponsored charity, Save the Children, to help uplift the morale of the victims of 2010 Pakistan floods by sending a message of hope through his charity single,
cians and composers. My father is a master musician/composer-academically trained. I learned my first instrument from him when I was six and I started producing professionally at the age of 13-14. That gave me a sense of confidence. My dad knew I was making tonnes of mistakes but he would continue to encourage me, saying, ‘mashallah,’ and that encouragement gave me a lot of confidence, not arrogance. It breaks the fear barrier, I felt I could do anything. For a while, I was working in pop music – with good lyrics – I was disoriented and not very happy in that scene. It wasn’t me so I decided at the age of 19 to become a lawyer at King’s College but al hamdulilallah! that didn’t happen – God willed otherwise, destiny had something else in plan. I released Al Mu’allim, which was a very beautiful thing that happened in my life and I’ve been doing this since.
Why did you choose to sing spiritual music?
Hear Your Call. Yusuf is the first global ambassador of Silatech, a Qatar-based initiative promoting entrepreneurial skills and open access to capital and markets for large-scale job creation in the MENA region. He launched his fourth album, Salaam last November at Virgin Megastores at Villagio Mall where he greeted hundreds of fans. In December, he performed at Katara’s Amphitheatre in front of over 3,000 people where five local talents, Abdulla Al-Mullaa, Mohammad Al-Mana, Nadir Abdul Salam, Jana Hajj-Ali, and Mohammad Mohammad Ouda got the opportunity to share the stage
with him and perform one of his songs. During his stay in Qatar, CAMPUS had the opportunity to talk to the messenger of peace and love about how his pious music has won over the hearts and minds of millions across the Middle East, North Africa, Asia, Europe and North America.
What inspired you to become a musician? The reality is I believe creative people are born creative then that talent needs to be nurtured. I didn’t choose to be a musician, I was born with music in my blood. I was very fortunate to be in an environment consisting of musi-
I’m not really a mainstream singer but I had mainstream success. I can’t share the stage with Lady Gaga, basically. I wouldn’t know what to do. I’m a spiritual person. From a very young age, I have been drawn towards the higher things. I wouldn’t mingle with kids my age who skipped ropes. I was with my father, studying and learning poetry and listening to him reciting poetry. I was with people older than me. I was always interested in things other kids weren’t interested in. I don’t know, it was like a calling, Allah Sobhana Wa Tallah blessed me with orthodoxy. I’m very glad I became quiet orthodox in my beliefs. Spirituality is there as well because it has orthodoxy – the inner and deeper meaning. The esoteric and inner meaning is very important to me, not only the outward. I’m very fortunate that we did something in 2003 [release of Al Mu’allim] that opened doors, brought spirituality into the realm of life. One of the problems in the Arab world, without making generalizations, is that people feel disconnected with what they see on T V. One of the reasons why Al Mu’allim was a success was because it reflected the inner scenes and emotions.
Tell me about your new album, Salaam! How is it different from your other albums? Salaam is my fourth studio album. We launched it first in Southeast Asia and al
hamduliallah! by the grace of god, we sold gold within 24 hours and I’m assuming double platinum now. It was a fantastic launch in Malaysia. The launch of my album in Qatar is the MENA launch. The international launch – including iTunes and digital – was in December. The theme of the Salaam album is selfexplanatory, I decided to focus on peace and the universal values that bind us together. We’re living in difficult and troubled times. There’s a lot of us, them and others partitioning. It’s a very weird and awkward time in history that we’re living in. Without going into politics and details, this us and them business is really dangerous. Dividing people is really dangerous based on ideology, faith or religion. The whole theme of Salaam has the essence of peace, bringing people closer together and also a further experimentation with my own genre, Spiritique. When I first started, people called me munsheer – Islamic rock, Islamic pop – so I coined a term Spiritique and that’s my music, which is essentially music that is aimed at bringing about social cohesion but more technically speaking is using eastern/western modes. I compose my own music so I’m not your typical mainstream artist. I make everything myself, I compose the music, arrange the music and perform many of the instruments in my music. It’s more personal, intimate, real and true and there’s less filtering so all my songs are very dear to me. In this new album, I collaborated with my father for the first time and even sung a song with him which is actually a real favorite for me. It’s called Dry a Land. Salaam is a very important song for me – it’s an anthem. It’s my own small anthem because it encapsulates everything I believe in in terms of peace. It’s all English with a little bit of Arabic.
What are some of challenges you face as a musician? Some of the challenges are being used as a mascot. Earlier in my career, I was used as the golden boy, the perfect one who represents a so and so group. And of course, this is nonsense, there’s no such thing as perfect. It’s very dangerous for one to idealize things. The challenges that I face are stuff like that – being used as a mascot. But also in Europe, in the West, in a sense, I’m a product of the modern world. If it wasn’t through modernity, I wouldn’t know about other faiths and reli-
dulilallah, I don’t have much to complain about because I keep to myself. It’s been a very smooth journey. I’m not very commercial. I don’t perform too much. I don’t make too many albums. In 10 years, I made four albums. I concentrate more on quality not quantity.
What was your most memorable show so far?
I do believe faith is important, all faiths. I’m very happy to hear someone who’s a devote Christian and says to me ‘your music made me become a better Christian’. I’m very happy to hear that.
gions, and I probably wouldn’t have grown up in the UK. Having said that, it opposes many challenges because as an artist, as a musician, as a person of faith, I do believe faith is important, all faiths. I’m very happy to hear someone who’s a devote Christian and says to me ‘your music made me become a better Christian’. I’m very happy to hear that. I believe sincere faith, based on intellectualism, has a lot of good to offer to the world. I like to talk about the sacred, the higher things in life. I always have since 2003, at least as a professional singer. You obviously face challenges, the moment you talk about god, religion, faith and Islam. I haven’t honestly, al hamdulilallah, had any problems like that. I haven’t had anybody complain to me because I’m not a preacher, I’m an artist. My music is universal so I don’t have too many issues but it is a challenge. For example, I’m not aired on radio in the UK. So there are challenges, but al ham-
The smaller the crowds, the better. When you perform at intimate shows, you get to interact with the audience, you get to see them. It’s nice to interact. One of my favorite shows/ concerts was in Barcelona, Spain. There were around 1,000 people. That was one of our smallest shows but it was really, really, really enjoyable for me because there were a lot of Spanish people there with different backgrounds. It was just a really spiritual, cool, enjoyable, wonderful and uplifting night. Everyone participated. Everyone was singing. I could talk to them. It was like a workshop. But every show we do is memorable!
Where, in what regions, do you think your music has greatest impact? Why? Visibly, I would say the Muslim Diaspora. It’s an immediately identifiable Diaspora so that means people of the Islamic faith with a nominal or sentimental, or practicing or not practicing faiths in, if I may be daring enough to say, most parts of the world, in Europe, third generation and America. In the Arab world, I have possibly the greatest impact in Egypt. I never had a machine behind me. This all happened by word of mouth, Internet, sales. I still can’t believe we’ve sold so many CDs. But I’m not really concerned about the numbers. Those things can really bug you down. They can change your attention and play with your heart. When I made Al Mu’allim, I really didn’t expect anything. I really didn’t. The picture was taking by mum in the living room. It was going to be my first and last album just to do something sacred and move on. But destiny had something else planned.
What do you think about music in the Arab world today? What is Arabic music lacking, in your opinion? There’s unbelievable talent in the Middle East and these guys need help. They just need a push, a platform and support. It’s very critical to support talent. Fundamentally speaking,
I don’t make music for the sake of music alone. For me, music should be contacted to the higher things. there’s an identity crisis. Much of the music you hear, the architecture and everything, is always coming from a Western perspective. And it’s always, unfortunately, with inferiority. This inferiority should be put into context, we have to understand and be easy on each other but we hope inshallah by investing in our local talent and by investing in reigniting and reviving our traditions and roots, we can create a mixture where there’s modernity that respects tradition. Modernity on its own is disastrous because it’s not from our own world view, culture and civilization. It’s an alien. Arabic music today is heavily influenced by alien forms of technology, especially pop music. In the Arab world, you have young people who speak English better than Arabic, which is a bit of a shame. And because of the inferiority that exists in some quarters of the Arab music industry, they actually prefer listening to western music because, for them, the Arabic stuff is the inferior version to the western stuff. It’s sad. Western music itself is decadent, without sounding too harsh. I think they’re suffering, they’re looking for inspiration. They don’t have it so they come to the Arab world, they go to
India and now, you’ve got Arabic percussion and beats in pop and western music. They kind of reached a dead end. Pop music can only go on for so much time. That’s why it becomes so cheap. Music is a dead industry in the West. Rihanna sold 8,000 CDs to go no. 1 in the UK. That’s really bad. To sell gold now, you have to sell 5,000 CDs. The benchmark and standard has gone down. That’s why people rely on live shows. They go and put these circus-style live shows where you’re not really going to a concert, you’re going to a pre-arranged pre-programmed circus. And the newer artists are miming, 80% of the time, in their concerts. So what you’re really buying is not really music, you’re buying a culture, an identity – the R ‘n’ B, rock, gothic culture. It’s not only music, it’s a subculture.
Spiritual music is rare today in the Arab world. Why do you think that is so? And do you think spiritual music is necessary to spread peace? Spiritual artists, who sing about the sacred, have a big responsibility to play, in that they can either leave people close minded, feed into a close-minded understanding of religion and
basically without knowing it, create more fundamentalism, or they have an opportunity to bring people together and spread peace and love, not in an exclusivist way but in an inclusivist way. So one of my criticisms in some quarters of Islamic music industry that’s been created post-2003 is that it’s too exclusivist and there is perhaps some kind of self-righteousness: ‘you got to look like me, you got to sound like me.’ I think that there’s a big role to play and there are a lot of good artists out there in different parts of the Arab world. Their role is to bring people together. Don’t divide, unite! Don’t destroy, build! Be part of the solution, not the problem!
Tips for young men and women who want to follow in your footsteps? In the post-modern world we live in, if there’s any advice I have, it’s to know your roots. Ibdaa (innovation) needs to occur within tradition. Ibdaa (innovation) without tradition is abstract. We have a very rich civilization and culture, we need to convey and expose it to people. Tradition is very important. It’s very important to know that. Know your roots and then innovate!
PHOTOGRAPHY: THE LANGUAGE OF HUMANITY
World renowned photojournalist, Reza, finds a balance between being a journalist and a humanitarian and still holds on to objectivity.
eza Deghati, popularly known just as Reza, is one of the bestknown photo-journalists in the world. Born in Iran in 1952, Franco-Iranian Reza currently lives in Paris but has been traveling the world for 30 years, criss-crossing more than 100 countries, photographing conflicts, revolutions and human catastrophes. T hough he mainly photographed for National Geographic since 1991, his photographs have been distributed through international media such as Time, Stern, Newsweek, El Pais, Paris-Match, Gio, and in books, exhibitions and documentaries by his own agency, Webistan. Created in 1992, Webistan is a photo agency managing and distributing photo and video archives of Reza and several other photojournalists, with works covering Asia, Africa, Europe and America.
By b Ola Dia T hroughout the 1970s and â€˜80s, Reza worked for Agence France Presse, served as Tehran correspondent for Newsweek, and was the Middle East correspondent for Time. In 1989-1990, Reza served as a consultant to the United Nations in Afghanistan, helping to distribute food to populations in war-torn parts of the country. At that time, he began photographing for UNICEF and going on assignment for National Geographic magazine, for which he has shot such articles as Abraham: Journey of Faith and Tracking the Ghost of bin Laden in the Land of the Pashtun. In the years since, he has also photographed for Figaro, Vanity Fair, and the New York Times Magazine.
Reza made his way to Qatar in December as part of the 2012 World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) to present an exhibition of 80 selected photographs that portray the hurts and the joys of those whom Reza had encountered in Asia, Africa, Middle East and Europe during his 30-year career. The exhibition, entitled HOPE, stood at the Sheraton Park on the Corniche of Doha from November 7 to December 15, 2012, attracting more than 25,000 people. Reza also held an exclusive workshop and a reading of portfolios with the Qatar Photographic Society. Three of the 80 photographs, presented in the HOPE exhibition, are included in the latest WISE Book, Learning a Living: Radical Innovation in Education for Work, which examines the relationship between education and the world of work. Reza uses photography as a tool to educate, telling stories of the victims of conflict to in-
ternational audiences in the eyes of the victims themselves. A promoter of citizen journalism, in 1983, Reza initiated photographic training programs in Pakistani refugee camps. This was the beginning of his personal voluntary involvement, leading him to establish the NGO, Aina in 2001. “I started a foundation in Kabul but it extend to Sri Lanka, Uganda and many other countries, training mainly women to become media persons; training women in photography, video, radio and everything to help them become the peace bringer in their countries,” says Reza. Aina, Persian for ‘the mirror’, is an international non-profit organization dedicated to educating and empowering Afghan women and children by providing educational opportunities in the field of communications and multimedia. Also in 2001, along with Aina, Reza founded Aghan Media and Culture Center to bring free press in a Talibanoppressed country. “Children’s education is also important,” says Reza. “Much of my work goes into creating magazines and books for kids in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.” By offering educational opportunities in the field of communications and multimedia, Aina, Afghan Media and Culture Center have provided not only women
but also children story-telling skills. “We trained refugee children to tell the story of refugee camps. You always read about refugee camps but we always have the same white male or female photographers, taking pictures and showing them to the world. But who can tell their stories better than the children in the refugee camps themselves,” says Reza. Reza shares a story of a 16-year-old African refugee girl who was raped and later became pregnant with a baby of rape. As a result, she was shunned from society. When she heard of Reza’s Aina program, she tried to join but her classmates didn’t want her in the class. However, Reza threatened to cancel the program if they didn’t accept her, so they did. Soon after, “she became the best photographer between all of them,” he says. “She has now become very popular because she’s a good photographer, and she’s making a living out of it. She’s photographing people, weddings and other ceremonies. Now, she has a job and everybody accepts her.” Through Aina, Reza empowers women who are victims of rape, war and poverty to tell their own stories instead of having parachute journalists – who are mainly men – tell the stories. “For many years, every journalist that
comes [to Afghanistan] is a man and what they do is interview and photograph men,” says Reza. “So the whole world sees just 50% of the reality of the crisis. What happened to the other 50%? What happened to the Afghani women? They are the ones left behind in wars. Who tells their stories?” Reza asks rhetorically. “Themselves,” he answers. Discussing Aina, Reza says, “We need a new type of humanitarian organization. We need an organization that could help people to become storytellers themselves. A lot of things come from what I believe in, that we really need to educate children for a peaceful world. We should start from now. Peace education is something we should start doing from the very early ages,” he says. To Reza, education is not building schools because, in the case of Afghanistan, schools will be targeted by insurgents, resulting in the killing of teachers and students. “Let’s bring education to the home,” he says. Reza discovered his talent and passion for photography in 1968, at the age of 14. Three years later, the self-taught photographer joined the University of Tehran where he received a degree in architecture. “I was working as an architect and putting the money aside buying cameras and films but I had no time to
Sarajevo, 1993 The air was chilly. Sarajevo, under siege, had only occasional respites from the bombing. At these moments the city could, briefly, breathe again. Every once in a while, the deserted streets would come alive as somebody would run wildly down the street, risking his or her life for a little water or a loaf of bread to feed a grandmother, racing to avoid snipers. A touch of color amid the cold dreariness of war, she stood without moving or speaking. She was selling her toys; the testimony of a ruined life. I felt quite helpless in the face of such human injustice, which had forced a little girl to sell her dearest possessions, the companions of her childhood.
go and take pictures so it was quite schizophrenic-like for me,” he says. “I had love and passion for photography but I could not do it.” In 1979, however, Reza was in Iran meeting with an architect when the protests against Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi broke out. Witnessing a major historic moment that caused Pahlevi to flee Iran – in a moment of epiphany – Reza dropped his career in architecture to follow one in photography. Reza is also the author of seventeen books such as War and Peace, which shows some of Reza’s most dramatic photography conveying torment, upheaval, art, culture and tradition in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and other Middle Eastern and Asian countries. Sindbad is Reza’s most recent photography book, which is an adaptation of the seven journeys of the sailor, Sindbad, from the classic tale, A Thousand and One Nights. In the book, Childhood Promise, Reza and his 15-year-old son, Delazad Deghati, travel the Silk Road by train from Beijing to Paris. Along the way, they document their experiences in photos and Delazad’s posts. Using photography as a tool to tell stories, Reza’s photography is both for educational and humanitarian purposes. “Visual photography is the best solution for a lot of the world’s conflict,” says Reza. When he was in Rwanda, Reza, with the aid of UNICEF and Red Cross, created a photo stand-like project, which consisted of portrait pictures of the 12,000 Rwandan children who lost their parents as a result of Rwanda’s civil war. By posting pictures of each lost Rwandan child, at least 3,500 children were reunited with their parents and other family members. This project, entitled as Lost Children’s Portrait, earned Reza a Hope Prize in 1996. In 2005, he was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mirite, France’s highest civilian honor, for his philanthropic work in the areas of children’s education and the empowerment of women in the media. For his humanitarian activism and his work with Aina in Afghanistan, National Geographic awarded him the title of National Geographic Fellow in 2006. In same year, Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe presented him with the Prince of Asturias Humanitarian Medal on behalf of National Geographic. Also in 2006, Reza received the Honor Medal from the University of Missouri - Co-
Afghanistan. 1990: I remember one day in 1990 when I was working for the United Nations in the provinces of Badakhshan, Takhar, Baglan and Kunduz, I was handing out wheat to people who were building roads, irrigation channels and clinics, when I heard children laughing. I turned round and saw a young boy coming out of school with a little plant in his hand. He had learnt at school to look after it. He had watered the clod of earth carefully and out of it a shoot had grown. So the teacher had let him take it home. He was so proud that his eyes shone. When I took this photo, I asked him, “What are you going to do with your plant?” His answer is perhaps one of the major lessons I received in my life. He said, “I’m going to grow a tree.”
lumbia School of Journalism. He also received an award recognizing his humanitarian work from the University of Chicago. Through photography, Reza has found a way to tell stories without the use of words. He empowered the less fortunate to tell their own stories to the world so that the international
audience gets a more accurate picture of the world they’re living in. Through citizen journalism, “everybody has the possibility to be part of media,” says Reza. “Photography is a new language. It’s going to become more and more the language of humanity.”
Run the World
SUCCEESS IN ITS SECOND INNING CAMPUS talks to the men behind Qatar’s biggest youth event.
By b Ola Dia
un The World (RT W) festival 2012 was held from on December 12, 2012 with ‘Inspiring Qatar’ Sports Fashion Show at The Gate Mall. An initiative of The Youth Company (T YC), organized in partnership with the Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum, a department under the Qatar Museums Authority, RT W festival aims to engage youth in sports through a series of events. Held for the second year, RT W is a 10-day festival designed to encourage the youth of Qatar to lead an active, athletic and healthy lifestyle. Under the theme of Youth and Sports, this year’s RT W festival featured a fashion show, RT W Talk, Heart Qatar, Young Corporate Cup, RT W Comedy Show, a Medical Camp, a Gala Dinner and a three-day RT W Outdoor Festival, which concluded the RT W festival on December 22, 2012. The Youth Company (T YC) is a youth-targeted organization established in Qatar in 2010. T YC operates as a social enterprise, aiming to create social value through empowering the youth in an efficient, effective and sustainable manner. RT W is T YC’s most successful and popular project, attracting thousands of young men and women in Qatar to take part in various singing, dancing, sports and fashion activities, competitions and conferences. RT W’s second event, RT W Talk, was held on December 13, 2012 in the Aspire Dome. The talk comprised a panel of sports celebrities in Qatar who, through a series of motivational speeches and a Q&A ses-
sion, highlighted the importance of sports in our daily life. The panel included sports celebrities such as Shaden Wahdan, gold medalist in the gymnastics at the Arab Games Doha 2011, and Andrew Palmer, football development consultant, coach, scout, mentor and participant of the London 2012 Olympic Run. The Young Corporate Cup was held on December 14 and 15, 2012. Sixteen teams represented different companies and organizations and battled it out on the football field. RT W Medical Camp followed on the December 16, 2012, providing a free health check for the public at the Queen Medical Center at Villagio Mall. The RT W Comedy Show took place on the December 17, 2012 at The Torch Hotel, featuring young comedians performing live to entertain the public. On December 18, 2012, T YC held a Gala Dinner at the Museum of Islamic Arts to appreciate its employees, partners and sponsors. On December 19, 2012, Heart Qatar gathered children with special needs and engaged them in different sports activities, led by sports athletes. On December 20, 2012, RT W’s biggest event, the three-day RT W Outdoor Festival, commenced at Katara Beach. Young men and women took part in various sports activities, including soccer, volleyball, human foosball and skateboarding. Embassies and cultural groups in Qatar put together a cultural program for the festival. During the RT W Outdoor Festival, a singing and dancing contest was held. The Youth Got Talent featured selected young participants to perform live on stage in front of at least 100 people as they were judged by a panel of young music and dance experts. Moreover, throughout all the RT W events, the public saw an exhibition of the best submissions for the RT W Photography Competition on the topic of Youth and Sports.
Mohammed Farid 22, Egyptian-Canadian Farid is the founder and chairman of TYC. He established TYC in his junior year in Northwestern University in Qatar. Before The Youth Company, Farid founded the Human Rights Student Organization under Qatar Foundation Campus Life, and his particular interest is Human Rights and Youth Empowerment. Farid has also been involved in national projects such as the United Nation Youth Conference for Anti-Corruption, 2010 Human Rights Youth Conference, and Al Fakhoora International Youth Conference. What inspired you to establish TYC? I have a passion to create a platform to give a chance to the youth and to give them a platform to understand the importance to empowering and developing themselves.
What kind of challenges have you faced when establishing TYC? The challenges I faced are so many, I can talk about them from now until tomorrow. But my main challenge at the beginning was the lack of the openness of the community. The biggest problem was that the community didn’t believe in what I wanted to do. Funding was also a problem as there wasn’t a market for entrepreneurs. There wasn’t support from banks. Most importantly, there’s a huge monopoly in the country. I guess it’s because Qatar is such a small country. Monopoly makes things very hard. So if you don’t launch something with a huge budget, it will never succeed.
Tell us more about RTW. It’s in its second year so how has the festival progressed?
RT W Festival, according to the media, in Qatar is the largest youth festival/event the region has ever seen and the largest sports event for youth of its kind in the Middle East. It’s the most expensive youth event for 10 days and it’s the most diverse event of its kind. As the chairman of T YC, I’m very proud of the effort that my team has put in. I’m very happy with our new partners, Qatar Museum Authority and the Qatar sports and Olympic museum as a proud partner of the RT W festival as well as Salam International and The Gate as sponsors. I think inspiring the youth is important and that’s what I’m doing with the T YC.
What kind of projects does TYC have to promote and encourage entrepreneurs in Qatar? There’s a huge push to entrepreneurship. We’re glad that T YC has its own entrepreneurship program, which we launched only four months ago. You-start is our flagship for entrepreneurship. We don’t use big words like angel investors and
entrepreneurship because we’re dealing with young people between the ages of 14-18. Such words are just another label that you can overwhelm the youth with and hinder their imagination. I’m proud to say that RT W festival has more than seven SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) or entrepreneurs. We have them showcasing, testing and selling their brands. For example, we gave Layla AlDorani, founder of Raw ME, a booth free of charge to encourage these kinds of activities.
Where do you see TYC heading in the coming years? We recently announced on December 19 the opening of our new full operational offices for youth empowerment and development in Algeria and Morocco and thus we’re becoming international. T YC is no longer national but international. T YC will become the flagship of youth empowerment and development in the Arab world. We’re Arab. We’re proud of being Arab and we will maintain our identity and make sure that we move forward in promoting the Arab world.
Diego Pinzon 25, Mexican Pinzon is the Acting Executive Director of The Youth Company, a grass rooted organization which aims to empower and develop the youth. He graduated with a B.A. in International Business from Anahuac University in Mexico and has experience in four countries in companies such as Walt Disney World. Pinzon is the co-founder of Rock and Love, a non-profit organization, which raises funds through music and fashion. Through his initiatives, he has been working on several projects which promote the creation of a bridge between cultures. Why did you choose to move all the way from Mexico to Qatar to join TYC?
TYC has come a long way, what were or are some of it’s biggest challenges?
show their talents is definitely a big success.
I decided to move to Qatar because I’ve been always interested in learning more about other cultures and religions. I received a great opportunity to work in a field, which I love that develops young people and provide them with opportunities. It wasn’t an easy decision because it’s always complicated to go out of your comfort zone. But I am glad I did it because I found an amazing country with an evolving economy and guided by one vision - Qatar’s National Vision 2030.
Indeed T YC has grown a lot, and I would like to highlight that all this work has been done in just two years. The challenges for T YC in the near future will be to be able to cover all the demand of services that the company offers to the youth and the private sector. As more people now know about us, we will have to increase our capacity. As we are aware of this issue, TYC will expand to several countries in the following years starting with Algeria and Morocco.
What are your challenges as the acting executive director of TYC?
What drove you into joining TYC?
And what are some of TYC’s biggest successes so far?
I have experience in four different countries, and I’ve worked in companies such as Walt Disney. Due to my experience in the private sector mainly in marketing and in non-profit organizations that use nonconventional tools for fundraising, I saw in T YC what I was looking for. T YC is self-sustainable company able to empower the youth and create a positive social impact but at the same time generate profit.
I would like to say Run the World 2012 as it was the largest youth event in the region. We were able to do events for ten consecutive days from a Fashion Show, Sports Talk, Corporate Tournament, Medical Camp, Comedy Show, Heart of Qatar, Gala Dinner and finish with a Beach Festival. A multimillion festival that had more than 25,000 people in our events and give a platform to many youngsters to
The biggest challenge, when you are managing a company such as T YC, is the external perception. It is difficult for some individuals to believe that young people can deliver projects with excellent quality. But when they see the projects that we have managed and their results, the perception changes.
What resources and opportunities do you think the youth in Qatar need for development? Just like in any other part of the world, I think what the youth in Qatar need is opportunities. Our commitment, as T YC, is to provide the tools to the youth in Qatar and give them skills that will be used in their professional life. But the next steps is the most important one - give youth career opportunities, trust and support those who want to increase their knowledge in the academia. Qatar should invite the people who are knocking on their doors.
The RTW Volunteer
Experience Kushal Patric
17, Egyptian, Ahmed Bin Hanbal Independent School
“I’m having fun. This is actually my first volunteering service which is a good thing for my certificates, which is mainly the reason I’m doing this as something to move on to my university with. On top of that, I’ve gained communication skills because I’m kind of a shy person but after talking to people, you start to learn to understand people, the different cultures and how you’re supposed to talk to them.”
“RT W festival has been an excellent experience, honestly. This is my second time volunteering for RT W festival. A person learns a lot here. I’m mostly focusing on improving my English here. But you gain new skills too when you communicate with people especially those of different nationalities. There’s a lot of contribution here, in any form, and people participate together, helping each other out. They all stand up for each other.”
17, Malaysian, English Modern School (EMS)
Jitto Jose Jacob
17, Nigerian, Bright Future Pakistani International School (BFPIS)
17, Indian, Shantiniketan Indian School
16, Nigerian, Bright Future Pakistani International School (BFPIS)
“RT W festival is interesting because I get to meet new people. I haven’t experienced that before so this the opportunity for me to do that, and I get work experience at the same time.”
“It’s the first time that I am doing something like this. It’s so good. I made new friends. I came to know about the life here. I was weak in speaking English and I have improved now.
“At RT W, you have to talk to people. You walk up random strangers and get to know them so RT W festival improves your social skills. You’re not shy anymore because RT W festival opens you up.”
Turning ideas into reality CAMPUS talks to the winners of Stars of Science Series 4 and finds out whatâ€™s next for these young and accomplished inventors By b Ola Dia
Four winners of Stars of Science. Left to right: Jaber Henzab, Khalid Aboujassoum, Mohamed Watfa and Khaled Eid
fter nine weeks of diligent work, the winner of Stars of Science Series 4 was announced in a live finale in Qatar. With a combined jury and public score of 30.9%, Khalid Aboujassoum from Qatar claimed this year’s title as Stars of Science Series 4 winner, walking away with a prize money of QR1,092,000 ($300,000) to help develop his invention, Tahi.
Twenty-eight-year-old Aboujassoum’s idea of Tahi, an Automated Cooking Pot, comes from his yearning for traditional homemade quality food in lands other than his own. Having left Qatar around the age of 20 to pursue his bachelor degree of Applied Science from the University of Ottawa in Canada in Computer Engineering, Engineering Management and Entrepreneurship, Aboujassoum had to be independent. “In Ottawa, my kitchen ap-
pliances were a frying pan to fry some eggs and a blender without a microwave. Cooking was a challenge to some extent,” he says. However Aboujassou got married at a young age and his wife joined him in Canada but later, they had a child and were both pursuing an education. “We didn’t want to compromise on the quality of our food because of the hectic lifestyle. So, we went to the market trying to find convenient devices to help us cook with-
“We are in the information age where the local is global and the global is local so think globalization and don’t think localization!” Khalid Aboujassoum, 28, Qatar, first place winner, Stars of Science
“Believe in yourself and don’t be afraid to follow the road not too many before you have followed. Be confident in your potentials and look where no one else is looking!” Mohamed Watfa, 31, Lebanon, second place winner, the Stars of Science
out compromising the quality of the food we eat. We found rice cookers, slow cookers, and grillers, however there was nothing that you would make what we wanted, like homemade chicken soup,” he says. “So, I thought, maybe this is something I should invent. Necessity was the mother of Tahi.” Tahi serves as a cooking tool, designed to automatically mix the ingredients placed in its containers and store recipes. In addition, the pot holds a retrievable history of previously cooked meals. Launched in 2009 by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), Stars of Science is the region’s first panArab docu-reality T V program dedicated to innovation. The show holds a recruitment campaign and a Pan Arab casting tour in eight countries – Egypt, KSA, Jordan, Lebanon, UAE, Qatar, Tunisia and Kuwait. Sixteen young men and women of Arab origin are selected by a jury to develop their innovation project in specially-designed televised workshop in the Qatar Science and Technology Park. The evaluation of the projects is performed by juries specific to each stage of the competition, and candidates are able to pick a project partner to support them in one phase of the innovation process. However, only four winners walk away with the big prize. Facing the jury at the end of each phase was the greatest challenge on the show for Aboujassoum. “They wanted to get the best out of us and ensure the authenticity of the program. They showered us with questions asking about
the details to ensure the best of the 16 candidates passes through,” he says. Mohamad Watfa won second place for his invention, Shared, walking away with QR546,000 ($150,000). Khaled Eid came in third for inventing, Holific, receiving QR364,000 as prize money ($100,000). And in fourth place with QR182, 000 ($50,000) is Jaber Henzab for his invention, Wasfa. Thirty-year-old Lebanese Watfa came up with the idea of Shared two years ago as he was thinking about ways to provide quality education for both, the rich and poor. “To do so, we confirmed that computers are a bare necessity in every classroom, however the cost associated with providing computers with every student is a major barrier,” he says. “And then it hit us, let’s find a way to subdivide a normal PC and project each subdivision on a tabletop giving many students access to the same computer running different applications at the same time.” Holder of PHD in Computer Science from the University of Oklahoma, USA and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Wollongong in Dubai, Watfa developed Shared with a team. “It was a team effort and given that the technology was very unique, proper support was sometimes difficult to get. But given the time frame, Shared did evolve from a basic idea on paper to a working prototype in about five months,” he says. To Watfa, time was his greatest challenge on the show, having to develop Shared
in a matter of months. “In real life, time is important but still flexible. In Stars of Science, time is your major enemy,” he says. Inspired by sci-fi movies, 29-year-old Eid from Kuwait came up with the idea of Holific. “I asked myself why we can’t have these technologies for real.” he says. “Then I thought I can do it and make it easy for personal as well as business, for many different areas as medical,educational and for fun.” Khaled’s invention entitled 3D Holographic Screen is a portable device which enables users to use 3D holographics in their own homes or in a professional environment. Holding masters in Management of Information Systems at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, Eid transformed Holific into reality. “I faced a lot of problems in hardware and software. One of the problems I faced is how to make the software to be auto run,” he says. “I faced the problem with projections. I could not find the projector to use so I had to invent one especially for Holific.”
A new era for invention According to Lebanese Fouad Mrad, the science adviser and permanent jury member on the show, Stars of Science is renewing confidence in the Arab world’s creative abilities. ‘’The biggest obstacle facing development and economic growth in our region is the culture,’’ says Mrad. ‘’The culture used to say: We can produce research and publish papers, but we are no longer an inventive nation. The show
is changing how people think about science and innovation. It is showing young people that they don’t have to leave the region to succeed or take a job in an inflated public sector. They can become entrepreneurs and create jobs for others.’’ Dutch Joost Alferink, an award-winning product designer and industrial engineer who ran his own studio in the Netherlands for 15 years before reclaiming his independent status, is a design mentor on Stars of Science. Alferink and his design team engage with the participants as early as possible in the competition. ‘’I try to be there during the proof-ofconcept stage,’’ he says. ‘’Then, at the engineering stage, I start working with the candidates. They usually have a limited, technically driven vision of what their invention is. My role is to make the world they see for their invention a bit larger.’’ Alferink has been with Stars of Science since its conception in 2009 so has seen how the show, the candidates and their ideas have changed in the recent years. ‘’Candidates are now more realistic about what can be achieved in the time given,” he says. ‘’The candidates are from different backgrounds and they share this intense time together,’’ says Alferink. ‘’They arrive with no camera training, and [when] you see them pitching their projects in front of the judges. I’m almost moved to tears when I see how they handle it, how they deal with stress. If you followed them over the next 30 years, you would get really moving stories about how
their time on the show has changed their view of the world.’’
From a thinker to an inventor The Stars of Science created a platform for young men and women in the Arab region to develop their ideas into real inventions through four key stages: proof concept, product engineering, design, and business and marketing. “I learned to convert my brain from a thinker to an inventor and there is a big difference between them,” says Eid. “I learned if there is a will, there is a way [solution] for any problem you face.” Watfa describes the knowledge he has gained on the show as humongous. “I learned how to be patient and determined about our passion,” he says. “I learned how to wear different career hats over a short period of time and got transformed from innovators to engineers to designers and finally businessmen.” In addition, Watfa believes the most important thing he has learned on the show is to believe in himself and in the phrase, “If someone can do it, we can do it better.” Many of the show’s innovator’s have expertise in one field but on the show, they had to adapt to other forms of science. Aboujassoum, for example, comes from a computer engineering background but had to deal with mechanical engineers, electrical engineer, electronics engineer, chief, nutrition specialist, and material scientist. “I truly learned the practical essence of today’s interdisciplinary world,” he says. “I had an amazing
“Have a will, work on your idea and never give up!” Khaled Eid, 29, Kuwait, third place winner, the Stars of Science
experience knowing the candidates and building social relationship that went beyond the period of the program. Also, standing before the jury panel and building the confidence to communicate your ideas to such highly recognized people was a great experience. Facing your challenges and conquering them was yet another unforgettable experience.”
Arab contribution to scientific Invention The Arab region was once the center of scientific innovation like many other parts of the world, the Arab world once had a Golden Age, covering 1,000 years period between the 7th and 17th century. It was period of significant Middle Eastern technology, science, and medical inventions that paved the way for contemporary society around the world. Muslim polymath Al-Jazari is one of the greatest contributors to the inventions in the Arab world. He invented an early crankshaft in 1206, which was transforming rotary motion into a linear, which is used today in machinery such as engines, pumps and automatic controls. This crankshaft consisted of a wheel, moving circular, which was setting crank pins into back-and-forth motion in a straight line. Al-Jazari also created a musical automaton, which was a boat with four automatic musicians that floated on a lake to entertain guests at royal drinking parties. In addition, he constructed a variety of water and candle clocks, including a portable meter high and half a meter wide water-powered scribe clock, which
“Research carefully what is already out there to avoid spending efforts and resources on reinventing the wheel. And then, apply yourself and push the envelope.’’ Fouad Mrad, science advisor and permanent jury member at the Stars of Science
has been successfully reconstructed in 1976 at the Science Museum in London. Al-Jazari also invented monumental water-powered astronomical clocks which displayed moving models of the sun, moon, and stars. “Looking back in history, we, Arabs, have contributed quite a lot in understanding science. We started something great but fail to follow it all the way to the end,” says Watfa. “We do not utilize our resources and shed light on our potentials. I think we Arabs have great potentials that needs be harvested. We need to focus on inventions that would make a difference – inventions that will lead other countries to fight for.” Watfa encourages Arab inventors to delve into the fields of bio engineering, nano technology, sustainable energy, wind and solar energy and education to build a well trained army of next generation innovators. In the Middle East, explains Mrad, science is often associated mainly with research. ‘’We have many pieces of the puzzle in the region. But what we lack is the right process, from proof of concept to engineering, design, branding. The program has shown everyone that if you apply yourself over and over, if you’re not afraid of failure, if you try and experiment, you can succeed,” he says. Another great contributor to the Golden Age is Al Ijliya Al-Astrulabi, who made astrolabes for the ruler of Aleppo in northern Syria in the 10th century. An astrolabe is an elaborate instrument, which astronomers and navigators use for determining the location and time. Throughout the Muslim world,
it was widely used as an aid to navigation and as finding the direction to Mecca. Lagari Hasan Celebi lived in Istanbul in the 17th century. He made the first successful manned rocket flight. In 1633, he launched himself in the air, using rocket with two wings (that had seven fins), fuelled with gunpowder. He attempted his flight on the occasion of the birth of the Sultan’s daughter. He flew high in the air landing safely in the sea.
Breaking Stereotypes The program is also challenging some traditional perceptions. ‘’We were surprised during the casting for season four to see that the majority of applicants in Saudi Arabia were female,” says Mrad. “As judges, we had some of the toughest debates with these sophisticated and confident ladies, who were determined to make a difference. It is very inspiring for others. We want to encourage that and we believe that the information-technology era has opened an important window for women of the region.’’ The Stars of Science also awarded four prizes to unsuspecting candidates, with Qatar Science and Technology Park (QST P), offering Hekmat Alrouh from Syria the chance to join the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program, a nine-month, executive education program. Moreover, the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) awarded prestigious fellowships to three candidates Wael Hassan from Egypt, at Princess Sumara University of Technology in Amman, Aynour
Tatinaki from Libya, at the Industrial Technology and Research Institute in Taiwan and Mohamad Olayan from Jordan, at Weil Cornell’s Medical Center in Qatar to pursue their work beyond the knowledge they have acquired via their experience in Stars of Science. The journey of invention doesn’t end with the show. For many of the Stars of Science candidates especially these four winners have bigger goals to accomplish. “Shared is only the beginning and I hope, with proper testing, it will be in every school in the Arab world,” says Watfa. “I am working on establishing a company to further develop the prototype and pilot test it to make it ready for deployment by mid 2013.” Aboujassoum is taking on a different route but inspired by the one he took with Tahi. “If there is anything that I am good at, it would be turning ideas into tangibles. I am investing in this by focusing on becoming an entrepreneur turning my ideas into tangibles such as Tahi into a viable product that people could buy and use,” he says. Eid holds great ambition, he’s not only working on developing Holific but also working on a finger mouse and now, he’s working on its production. This rising inventor also plans to break the Guinness World Records by creating the smallest holographic system in the world. Eid leaves us on the edge and says, “In the summer of 2013, I will reveal a new invention that will shock the world because a lot of people tried to create it but could not, but I found a way to do it.”
A Rising App Inventor By b Ola Dia
is the brains behind Onigiri, a game where you care for a virtual pet with diabetes. Aimed at children to educate them about healthy living, you play the role of caretaker for Onigiri and track its sugar levels and weight. The app teaches children about the importance of a good diet and regular exercise. With Onigiri, Anggraini, along with her team, Rana Khalil and Fahad Islam (students of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, CMU-Q), entered the Indie Fikra: Appathon 2012 to code and create a working demo for a new mobile app in one of the following categories: Apps in Arabic, Apps for Women, Apps for Mobile Games, Apps for Al Sadd Fan Club. ‘Stalkers’ - the name of the team - won first place in the ‘Apps in Arabic’ category, walking away with a cash prize of QR 40,000 from QITCOM and entry into ictQATAR’s Dajtala incubation program for two years. Twenty-two-year-old Malaysian Anggraini is a rising inventor at work. She’s already working on another application – a weight loss application with a group of students, under the guidance of Selma Limam Mansar, an associate teaching professor in information systems at CMU-Q. Anggraini talks to CAMPUS about Onigiri and the importance of health-focused applications.
Tell us about Onigiri. When and how did you come up with the idea for the project? I came up with Onigiri in my freshman year. We had this mini competition about coming up a technical solution to create awareness about diabetes. I decided to come up with a tamagotchi [a handheld digital pet] style game and targeted kids. I grew up playing games so I had an idea about how I wanted the game to be like. As for Onigiri, it means ‘rice-ball’ in Japanese. When I was in high school, my mom always made Onigiri for my sister and me. So, I thought that a new tamagotchi game with a whole new concept would be a really nice way to teach kids about diabetes.
How important is the topic of health and the health-targeted applications like Onigiri in Qatar? I think it is very important here. I recently read that Qatar is one of the countries that have high obesity rates. Obesity can definitely lead to heart diseases, diabetes, etc.
Why are you specifically interested in mobile applications? The reason is because it is more portable. And if you look around you, kids LOVE mobile games. Games such as Angry Birds, Cut the rope, etc tend to strike a chord with children. This is why we had decided to developed Onigiri as a mobile application. Developing Onigiri made me realize that I love developing mobile
apps. Smart phones are everywhere and people interact with mobile apps all the time. I really adore mobile apps like Flipboard; it’s very nicely designed.
Why did you target children as the audience for your program? When I was talking to three of my friends, they told me that some of their little siblings and cousins are under insulin shots. That is pretty terrifying to know that it’s possible for kids as young as six to deal with diabetes. So, I think, a game can be both educational and entertaining when it comes to educating children about diabetes.
Are your apps for everyone or just specific to the people in Qatar? They are mostly designed specifically to the people in Qatar. But this is something that I am planning to change. I don’t want my project to just focus on Qatar or the local community. Because, when you talk about obesity or diabetes, it’s not just a problem specific to Qatar. It can be said that it is relevant worldwide. I wouldn’t mind piloting the application in my own country, Malaysia.
What were your challenges making Onigiri? Having an experience in developing mobile apps is one of the main challenges that me and my team, Fahad Islam and Rana Khalil, faced when it comes to developing the app. Most of us do not have the experience in developing mobile apps. We need to learn really fast. Time is also another challenge. Since we are all students, we tend to focus more on our studies and not on the app.
How has your time as a student at CMU-Q help you with this project? I think CMU-Q taught us on how to be independent when it comes to learning new things. That definitely helped. We can always go to one of the professors for professional advice.
How did ‘stalkers’ divide work amongst each other? You get to learn new things together and support each other. Working on Onigiri was fun. Myself and one of my team members, Fahad Islam, did the programming. Rana Khalil designed the whole application. When it comes to personal projects, I think it is important for you to choose your team members well. When you have enthusiastic team members and they are as enthusiastic as you, there will be some creative clashes. Even with both Islam and Khalil, we had some creative differences. It was tough sorting it out at first but we finally did it. I don’t see Onigiri as just my main idea any longer since Islam and Khalil have contributed a lot on the project. Their opinions definitely matter.
10 CAREER FACTS
YOU NEED TO
know in your 20s Your 20s will probably be the most interesting time of your life. Not only will you step out into the ‘real world’, get a job and take the first steps to becoming independent, but you will also grow, both at a personal and professional level. This stage of your life can be as confusing as a maze without a map so to help you navigate Bayt.com has these points.
Your degree will only take you so far
It’s never too early to start a career
Your degree matters a lot, especially in differentiating you from other contenders for that first job. However, how you play and interact with other people matters too. Your interpersonal skills, team skills, leadership skills and competitiveness will serve you just as much in life as the lessons you learned in the classroom. 28.8% of employers in the Middle East look for ‘hunger, drive and ambition’ as the most important factors when making a hiring decision, as per Bayt.com’s Hiring Practices in the MENA Poll February 2012.
Even if you can’t get a proper paid internship while in college you can try to dabble with projects you can source yourself. Identifying such opportunities to learn and grow can be as challenging as the actual work you do! Whether it’s a cool corporate vending machine concept or a franchise of new age vans that sell ice-cream and icy drinks that you turn into a reality, there is a lot to be learned from both, success and failure.
It’s never too late to change careers
Learning is a lifelong endeavor
In today’s workplace people frequently change careers and that involves completely reinventing oneself. Some people change careers because of changes in their life circumstances, others change to purse a dream they have always had; yet others due to an opportunity that presents itself that is too tempting to refuse. Paradigm career shifts are becoming more and more commonplace and professionals are learning every day to adapt to new work realities. According to Bayt.com’s Top Industries Survey (December 2011) 34% of MENA professionals are considering an industry shift.
Seek to be known as an expert in your field If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Accept nothing less than a commitment to becoming an expert in your chosen field and lend generously your expertise, so that you are recognized as such.
Leave your insecurities and defensiveness at home Nothing is more frustrating to a manager than a team member who does not accept constructive feedback. When you are given advice at work from managers and peers take it for what it is and leave the personal out of it. Excessive stubbornness and pride are recipes for career disaster.
Reading as a habit will serve you well in life, so start early. Lifelong learning is essential to retaining your competitive edge and staying relevant in the workplace. 30.5% of polled professionals claim that the willingness to learn is the most important quality required to succeed in one’s career as per Bayt.com’s Career Advancement in the MENA poll (July 2011), and 28.6% believe that not updating existing skills is the biggest mistake regional professionals can make in their career.
Be passionate about what you are doing Passion pays in your career and the more passionate you are about what you do the more others will be too. Don’t lie low and plod casually through your daily tasks; lukewarm nonchalance is very transparent and is not a career strategy that readily translates into professional excellence.
Perfect your points of contact with other people A colleague or subordinate today may be a boss or client tomorrow. Keep your contact points positive, sincere and constructive at all times and never burn your bridges. You never know who you will need a lead, reference, vote or helping hand from in the future. Be helpful just for the sake of being helpful too; good energy and a sincere, pleasant disposition will only benefit you in the long run.
Good enough isn’t good enough
Your attitude is your altitude
If you want to stay competitive you need to aim for nothing less than the very best you can do. When you finish a project or a task, ask yourself if you are proud of it, do you feel that you have given it your best shot? Seek perfection in what you do. You may not think of yourself as the most ambitious person in the world but that doesn’t mean you need to aim or settle for mediocrity.
Remember it’s not just about the destination; it’s also about the quality of the journey; nothing will serve you more in optimizing both than a great attitude! Seek to stay positive and to spread good vibes and energy. Look at roadblocks as opportunities for growth and learning.
Bayt.com is the #1 job site in the Middle East with more than 40,000 employers and over 9,200,000 registered job seekers from across the Middle East, North Africa and the globe, representing all industries, nationalities and career levels. Post a job or find jobs on www.bayt.com today and access the leading resource for job seekers and employers in the region.
health & Fitness
Powering your entrepreneurial
machine You have passion, motivation, skills, a great idea and lots of support BUT there is one thing that will make or break you in the long run.
The world belongs to those with the most energy - Alexis de Toqueville
chieving success is one big deal. Sustaining your success is an entirely different matter. If you are living off caffeine, sugar and fast foods, you may achieve your goals but how long will you be able to enjoy them? We make choices three or more times a day about the foods we will or won’t put into our bodies, and constantly make decisions about the lifestyle we live. Make the right choices and you will fuel your success for the long term. Make poor choices more often than not and you risk not being around to see the results of all your hard work.
Here are my top tips for powering your success: EAT - Yes, you’ve got to eat. As a busy entrepreneur working hard to realize your dream, you might reach for quick easy food that more often than not is a processed, packaged option. Get real with food. Learn how to cook. You don’t have time I hear you say? Then learn how to read food package labels and you’ll make better choices at the supermarket. Be wise when dining out – except for a small number of fast food chains, most restaurants and canteens have something that is on the better health side of fast food. Get educated
on the best choices, check out resources on the internet and don’t be convinced that something is healthy just because the marketing says so.
MOVE - Yes, it’s a four letter word!
No more excuses! If you want to take over the world with your new business venture, then you have to be fit enough for the journey. I’m not talking about hitting the gym for hours every day, just 20 minutes a day is all you need to be fit and fabulous! Check out these handy 20 minutes movement ideas: http://artofabundantliving.com/move-it/
SLEEP - You might think that studying or working every hour of the day will get you to your goals faster. Well yes you might be right but it definitely won’t keep you there. Sleep is not an inconvenience. Sleep is essential to human function. If you want your brain to function at optimal levels so you can learn, be creative and make those all important decisions – you must rest! Eight hours is the average that is recommended and that doesn’t mean you can go to bed at 1am and wake up at 9am. Certain glands and organs in your body were designed to do their magic healing, cleansing and hormone producing after only a few hours after the sun goes down. Turning yourself in a serial night owl is against nature. Go to bed
early and rise early. You’ll be more effective at school and work and play.
BREATHE - Seems obvious doesn’t it but how well do you do it? It’s a basic human function that’s more important than every other function. You can go days without eating, a couple of days without drinking but only minutes without breathing. What happens to your energy levels when you breathe deeply, fully? Your stress levels drop, your heart rate slows, your brain gets much needed oxygen, you eliminate toxins and you flood your system with life giving energy. Take a moment while you’re reading this article to stop and notice how you’re breathing. Put your hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Which one is rising? One, the other or both? Which one is greater? Notice the breath moving in and out of your nose and lungs. Take just five minutes, several times a day to focus on your breath and watch your success rise. I could give you many more tips but will you remember them and practice them constantly? Focus on these four tips. Do them until they become a part of how you live and function. Do this and you will already be more successful than the majority of people around you. Imagine what this could do to your success -your studies and career?
Nicole van Hattem is board certified Holistic Health Coach, Master NLP Practitioner, Founder and Director of Art of Abundant Living and CEO of Go Kidz Go. She is also a passionate enthusiast of raw food and regular detoxing. Follow Nicole on Twitter: NicoleHHC or Facebook: More Raw & Detox
health & Fitness
Chest Workout If youâ€™ve been struggling to grow your chest and donâ€™t know where to start, this workout routine will get you on the fast track to some beach
Flat Dumbbell Chest Press Muscles worked: Chest, Triceps
4 sets of 6-10 rep
Photography: Rob Altamirano
Lie down on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand resting on top of your thighs. The palms of your hands will be facing each other. Then, using your thighs to help raise the dumbbells, lift them one at a time so you can hold them in front of you at shoulder width. Once at shoulder width, rotate your wrists forward so that the palms of your hands are facing away from you. The dumbbells should be just to the sides of your chest, with your upper arm and forearm creating a 90 degree angle. Be sure to maintain full control of the dumbbells at all times. This will be your starting position. Then, as you breathe out, use your chest to push the dumbbells up. Lock your arms at the top of the lift and squeeze your chest, hold for a second and then begin coming down slowly.
Decline Bench Chest Press: Muscles worked: Lower Chest, Triceps Dane Kent is a professional fitness trainer and a body transformation expert specializing in fat loss and muscle gain, and sports conditioning. He trains a variety of clients from beginners through to advanced athletes. Check out his website http://www. danekentfitness.com to get your free 30Day Body Transformation Trial and sign up for his free weekly fitness newsletter. You can also contact Dane at email@example.com or at +974-6695-9361. Location: fitness center, Ritz Carlton - Doha
4 sets of 6-10 rep
Secure your legs at the end of the decline bench and lie down with a dumbbell on each hand on top of your thighs. The palms of your hand will be facing each other. Once you are laying down, move the dumbbells in front of you at shoulder width. Once at shoulder width, rotate your wrists forward so that the palms of your hands are facing away from you. This will be your starting position. Bring down the weights slowly to your side as you breathe out. Keep full control of the dumbbells at all times. Tip: Throughout the motion, the forearms should always be perpendicular to the floor. As you breathe out, push the dumbbells up using your pectoral muscles. Lock your arms in the contracted position, squeeze your chest, hold for a second and then start coming down slowly.
Close-Grip Barbell Chest Press Muscles worked: Inner Chest, Triceps 4 sets of 6-10 rep
Lie back on a flat bench. Using a close grip (around shoulder width), lift the bar from the rack and hold it straight over you with your arms locked. This will be your starting position. As you breathe in, come down slowly until you feel the bar on your middle chest. Tip: As opposed to a regular bench press, make sure that you keep the elbows close to the torso at all times in order to maximize triceps involvement. After a second pause, bring the bar back to the starting position as you breathe out and push the bar using your triceps muscles. Lock your arms in the contracted position, hold for a second and then start coming down slowly again. Tip: It should take at least twice as long to go down than to come up. Aim to do six to ten reps, four sets, with one-minute recovery between sets. When you are done, place the bar back in the rack.
Standard Pushup Muscles worked: Chest, Triceps Lie on the floor face down and body straight with your toes on the floor and the hands at shoulder width. Make sure you are holding your torso up at arms length. Lower yourself until your chest almost touches the floor as you inhale. Using your pectoral muscles, press your upper body back up to the starting position and squeeze your chest. Breathe out as you perform this step. After a second pause at the contracted position. Repeat as many reps as possible. Rest one minute and complete a total of four sets.
Narrow Pushup Muscles worked: Inner Chest, Triceps Lie on the floor face down and body straight with your toes on the floor and your hands closer than shoulder width for a close hand position. Make sure you are holding your torso up at arms length. Lower yourself until your chest almost touches the floor as you inhale. Using your pectoral muscles, press your upper body back up to the starting position and squeeze your chest. Breathe out as you perform this step. After a second pause at the contracted position. Repeat as many reps as possible. Rest one minute and complete a total of four sets.
Decline Pushup Muscles worked: Lower Chest, Triceps Lie on the floor face down and place your hands shoulder width apart. Place your toes on top of a chair or flat bench. This will allow your body to be elevated. Note: The higher the elevation of your feet, the higher the resistance of the exercise is. Lower yourself until your chest almost touches the floor as you inhale. Using your pectoral muscles, press your upper body back up to the starting position and squeeze your chest. Breathe out as you perform this step. After a second pause at the contracted position. Repeat as many reps as possible. Rest one minute and complete a total of four sets.
Campus Cool Quotient WHAT’S COOL
Winter is here, and so are the latest winter collections! With this list, you’ll find everything from the warmest body products to the coolest fashion styles to have you looking your finest this winter season.
Make your lips shimmer with this Bobbi Brown lip gloss from her soft and playful Desert Twilight Collection.
Grab this Fleurs Merveilleuses from L’Occitane’s magicthemed holiday Christmas collection 2012.
Dripping in a sensual fusion of honey, saffron and apricot nectar, Lady Gaga’s first fragrance, FAME, is the first ever black Eau de Parfum that sprays clear and becomes invisible once airborne. You’ve got to have this rare innovation!
Comprised of structured dresses and separates, the Adidas by Stella McCartney barricade range comes in a palette of yellow, blue and white, with accents of silver and grey. Flatter and enhance your female form on court with this feminine barricade! Think bright and bold colors as Technicolor made its way on the runways and MAKE UP FOR EVER releases its limited edition Technicolor Palette just in time to offer women the must-have shades of the season which adapt to every mood, occasion and outfit.
Get a touch of tribal beauty with Bourjoisâ€™ Parsian Lodge collection! Work your nails with their new mustard and burgundy python dicor.
Feel sophisticated in this Lacoste Sportswear collection, bringing the city to life and transforms the great outdoors into a world of style possibilities.
Looking for value fashion? Head out to the new fashion store in town, REDTAG, and pick up the latest winter fashion outfits.
Westinghouse reveal affordable TV
estinghouse Digital plans to launch its gargantuan 9-foot (2.8-meter) ultra-high definition T V set at CES this month alongside a number of comparatively tiny 50-, 55- and 65-inch models. The US television manufacturer claims the new models will combine the best of what is still an emerging technology with value for money in a bid to make next-generation T V more affordable to the average consumer. Although the company is yet to indicate how much the T Vs will retail for, it has revealed that each model will feature 3840 x 2160 pixels of resolution plus a 120Hz refresh rate and will be available to buy in Q1 of 2013. The giant 110-inch set will initially be available as a custom order. Ultra-high definition or 4K T Vs (so called because they boast four times as many pixels as a standard HD T V) were one of the main attractions at 2012’s CES, with both Samsung and LG demonstrating 84-inch models that have already gone into production despite the current paucity of suitably high-definition content (there are no plans for T V broadcasters to start supporting the format until 2014) and currently retail for $20,000. At 110 inches, Westinghouse Digital’s T V would become the largest
UHD T V available to consumers and even though the company is renowned for building value-for-money T Vs, considering the investment in technology and manufacturing costs associated with new products, it is difficult to imagine Westinghouse Digital being able to significantly undercut either Samsung or LG, which happen to be the world’s number-one and number-two LCD display panel makers and can therefore draw upon economies of scale that no other manufacturer can.
Instagram Sued Over Contract Changes
lawsuit is seeking to stop Instagram from changing its terms of service, saying the Facebook-owned smartphone photo-sharing service is breaching its contract with users. The class action lawsuit filed Friday by the Southern California-based Finkelstein and Krinsk law firm called on the federal court to bar Instagram from changing its rules. “Instagram is taking its customers property rights while insulating itself from all liability,” the law firm said in the filing, which also demanded that the service pay its legal fees. “In short, Instagram declares that ‘possession is nine tenths of the law and if you don’t like it, you can’t stop us.’” Facebook said the complaint was “without merit. We will fight it vigorously,” the social
Celebrities following their noses
T 2013 Trend: Dual-identity Smartphones
n 2013, manufacturers will be incorporating processors that allow users to separate their business life from their personal life, or their personal life from their very personal life. At September’s BlackBerry Jam event in the US, struggling mobile maker RIM unveiled a raft of new features for the handset that it hopes will re-establish the BlackBerry alongside Apple and Samsung, chief among which was ‘BlackBerry Balance’ – a feature that allows users to keep their work emails, contacts and apps separate from their personal lives, essentially combining two handsets in one device. Aimed at the growing trend of BYOD (bring your own device), it was one of the stars of the show and a clear differentiator between it and its iOS and Android peers. When the long-awaited new BlackBerry 10 is unveiled in January 2013 it will be the first to offer this feature, but a number of software and chip developers have been contracted to develop the same technology for Android phones, and the same dual-handset feature is expected to start rolling out on LG, Samsung and Motorola phones before the second half of next year. And while the intention is to help businesses keep their data secure when letting employees use their own smartphones for work, if the latest smartphone user surveys are to be believed, it could have another more widespread use - for keeping secrets from partners.
he boys from the band One Direction are planning a new perfume set for a fall 2013 release, following the celebrity scent trend set by stars including Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Justin Bieber. According to Vogue UK, the pop megastars have reportedly inked a licensing deal with Olivann Beauty, the luxury fragrance division of Fusion Beauty. Details on the name of the perfume will be released soon. The scent is set to hit the department stores in the fall. The Bahamian pop princess, Rihanna, launched her third fragrance, Nude, in the USA in November 2012. Fans will also expect to indulge in the Nude bath and shower gel and scented body lotion. Rapper, singer, songwriter and American Idol judge, Nicki Minaj, launched her fragrance Pink Friday fragrance Queens, New York City in November 2012. The 3.4 oz gold and pink bottled fragrance is distributed by Elizabeth Arden, featuring florals, warm vanilla, musks and woods. The fruity concoction will appear in stores in Europe in March 2013.
New iPad and iPad Mini coming soon
ccording to numerous South East Asian supply chain partners, the next Apple iPad will be unveiled in March and will be slimmer and lighter, but just as powerful as the current full-sized iPad. The iPad Mini will get a resolution upgrade so that it boasts a HD screen like its big brother and several of its 7-inch competitors. According to Taiwanese sources quoted in Digitimes, the iPad Mini was going to have a high-resolution display from launch but the extra cost would have made the devices too expensive. However, the price of panels has fallen sufficiently for the displays to be integrated into future models without increasing the retail price. Meanwhile, sources from China, reported in the
usually reliable Japanese Apple technology site Macotakaea, claim that the fifth generation iPad will only use one, rather than two, LED backlights to illuminate its screen in order to reduce weight, while the bezel around the display will be reduced, as with the iPad Mini, so that the device will be 4mm shorter, 17mm narrower and 2mm thinner, while retaining its 9.7-inch display. As to the speculation that both devices will debut in March, this is traditionally the month that Apple releases new tablets - the only exception being in October 2012, when an updated iPad and new iPad Mini were launched to capitalize on the roll-out of 4G LT E mobile connectivity and to cash in on the growing market for smaller tablets respectively.
First African-designed Smartphone
Congolese inventor has unveiled what he says is the first African-designed smartphone. Verone Mankou, 27, told AFP that the so-called Elikia, which means “hope” in the local language, went on sale the day before in the Republic of Congo. Mankou, head of the company VMK, said the Android-powered device was on sale only in Congo for now, but he planned to launch it in other countries. The phone was initially due to go on sale in October but its launch was delayed “because of an explosion in demand,” he said. Though the phone is Congolese by design, it is manufactured in China. It costs about QR620 ($170) – a considerable sum in this central African nation. The phone has a 3.5-inch touchscreen, 512 megabytes of RAM and a 650-Mhz processor. Its camera is five megapixels, and it also comes with GPS and Bluetooth.
Mobile Online Shopping Affects
martphone and tablet owners distracted by the festive season could be more vulnerable to cyber fraud and malware. Tablets are not only set to be the most popular tech gift this holiday season on both sides of the Atlantic, the latest internet use statistics show that they are increasingly being used for mobile online shopping. According to Callcredit, tablet click volume rose by 400% year-on-year in Q3 2012 and smartphones are expected to account for over 15% of retailersâ€™ online revenue during November and December in the UK. This growing trend has led Callcredit to issue a warning to tablet and smartphone owners to remain vigilant as the festive period is typically a time of the year when people are distracted, therefore increasing their risk of succumbing to online fraud or data theft. The latest Kaspersky Lab research shows that 65% of smartphone owners, 16% of laptop owners and 50%
of Macbook owners across Europe and the US do not bother to protect their device - whether through antivirus software or increased security settings, leaving a wealth of personal information easily accessible to cybercriminals. To help combat such threats, Callcredit suggests you create a password for your smartphone or tablet, make sure you buy from a secure website that uses encryption, ensure your mobile device has the latest antivirus and firewall software, beware of spurious apps and check your credit report for suspicious activity.
Thirteen Video Games for Early 2013
ook forward to games due January, February and March, from reboots for Tomb Raider and Devil May Cry to long-awaited sequels in SimCity, Fire Emblem: Awakening, and original material in the form of Spirited Away-style anime adventure Ni no Kuni and boisterous brawler Anarchy Reigns. Source: AFP Relax News
Redtag launches second outlet in Qatar Redtag, one of the region’s leading ‘value’ fashion and home outlets announced the launch of its second store in Qatar at PARCO Mall, Al Mamoura last month, bringing the total number of regional outlets to 101. Ernest John Hosking, CEO of the Redtag Group, and Hassan Al Baker, Redtag’s Qatar sponsor, attended a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of the store. Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, a host of family centred activities, such as children’s entertainment and customer photo-shoots were held at Redtag for four days. The new Qatar outlet will provide customers with affordability, quality, variety, fashion range, and regular new fashion lines. The new store caters to families by providing a broad selection of fashion for men, women and children, in addition to a variety of home ware. The first Redtag outlet opened in Qatar in 2011 and has since built an extensive loyal customer base from within both the Qatari and expatriate communities alike. Redtag was officially founded in 2006 and has now become a leading player in the GCC ‘value’ fashion and home retail market. There are currently 101 Redtag outlets in the GCC and plans are well-underway for further expansion. “Our mission
is to make Redtag the preferred fashion and home-ware brand by providing our customers with an exceptional and affordable shopping experience that fulfils our brand promise to be always fashionable, always affordable,” says Ernest John Hosking.
COP18 drives students to action Climate change is one of the greatest challenges young people face and one that every country in the world has a stake in addressing. The UN Climate Change Conference, COP 18, which took place in Doha, Qatar from November to December, speaks to the fact that education is a critical component in sustaining Qatar’s yearlong leadership of the COP process. To this effect, Qatar Foundation International (QFI) and Global Nomads Group (GNG) launched a year-long collaborative science-based program, Connecting Cultures, Exploring Science: The Road to Doha 2012 this September. This program engages students in Qatar, U.S., and Brazil around the climate change debate through exploring critical environmental issues via project-based learning that includes standards-based curriculum, hands-on collaboration, and virtual exchanges. Young people from these countries will explore the science and policy behind climate change and learn about each other’s cultures in the process.As part of this initiative, QFI’s Youth Ambassadors for Science and the Environment from Brazil, the U.S. and Qatar, in collaboration with GNG, held the first ever student-led webcast program focusing on the climate change debate at the Qatar Leadership Academy. “GNG is proud to engage youth to foster dialogue and understanding through this first ever student-led webcast being
broadcast live from Doha, Qatar during the UN Climate Change Conference COP 18,” said GNG’s Executive Director, Chris Plutte. “The students have been working diligently and proudly showcased their work to the international audience.” Participants learned about important global climate change topics, from the potential of wind energy to the changing lifestyles of the native population in Canada. At the conclusion of the webcast, Maryam Al-Nesf, QFI Youth Ambassador and co-host of the webcast, asked the live and online audience, “Now that we know about climate change, what can we do to become more responsible global citizens”.
First Shake Shack in Qatar New York’s iconic burger restaurant Shake Shack debuted in November at The Villaggio Mall, Doha. Shake Shack is known for its allnatural burgers, flat-top hot dogs and frozen custard ice cream varieties. The first in Qatar, Shake Shack also recently opened in Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates and Kuwait’s The Avenues. The Doha menu includes all the Shake Shack classics, including their signature burger, the ShackBurger, made from 100% all natural American Black Angus Halal beef which contains no hormones or antibiotics. The ShackBurger is served with American cheese, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, ShackSauce and finished with a toasted and buttered soft potato roll. In addition to its unrivaled selection of burgers and hot dogs, the Shake Shack menu also includes a variety of delicious shakes, crispy Yukon crinkle cut fries and creamy frozen custard ice cream. Born in New York City’s Madison Square Park in 2004, Shake Shack is an integral part of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) which owns and operated some of New York’s most celebrated restaurants such as Union Square Cafi, Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, Maialino, North End Grill, Blue Smoke, Jazz Standard, and Untitled at the Whitney.
Each Shake Shack is built uniquely for its location, and this newest addition to the Shack family is constructed with a variety of recycled and sustainable materials, as well as LED lighting throughout. Its interior walls feature wood salvaged from snow fences inn Wyoming, USA and its chairs and booths made from lumber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Student Leaders to Foster Career Planning Over 180 students from 38 independent secondary schools in Qatar attended a career planning workshop on December 10-11. The workshop was organized and carried out by the Bedaya Center for Entrepreneurship and Career Development, Silatech and Higher Education Institute at the Supreme Educational Council at the Katara Cultural Village. The two-day workshop included sessions focusing on effective career planning, the importance of early thinking about career decisions, as well as on developing personal skills such as leadership and communications. Students participating in the workshop were selected from within the student councils of their respective independent secondary schools, with the purpose of them spreading awareness about early career decision making among their fellow students in secondary schools around Qatar. Commenting on the choice of selecting student representatives to influence their peers, Silatech Senior Career Advising Manager, Salwa Atiyyah said, “It is important to mobilize this particular segment of the student population and empower them with the right knowledge to help them spread awareness of the importance of proper career planning among their fellow secondary school students.” She added that “The workshop emphasizes the importance of early thinking about career
decision making, as good planning leads to an educated career choice, as opposed to a spontaneous or peer-influenced one.” The Bedaya Center is a joint-initiative between Qatar Development Bank and Silatech. The center provides young people in Qatar access to a range of services covering both career development and entrepreneurship. “Through this campaign, we try to solve a very important issue among Qatari students, career planning has never been recognized. Now students are made aware of the many different career options that are available to them, and how important it is to choose based on their particular preferences, strengths and weaknesses in order to find the career path that suits them best,” said Bedaya Center Manager, Saleh Al Khulaifi.
Mission’s Trophy 2012 organized by Mission20, a youth group affiliated to Kainat Foundation which ran for more than a month, in the final match Black Day (winner) defeated the Ghanim Team (runners-up) by 2-1 goals which was considered as the toughest match in the history of Mission’s Trophy. The highest scorer and best player of the tournament trophies were awarded to Ahmed Issa (6 goals) and Nadeem Hafees respectively. This year 16 teams with 256 young players participated, Mission’s Trophy being organized since 2009 to raise funds to educate poor children under Kainat Foundation.
Efforts to boost online Arabic content According to experts at Google, Arabic is one of the fastest growing languages on the Internet. Over the past two years, social networking sites including Twitter, YouTube and Facebook have experienced a massive increase in Arabic language usage. Yet, although there are close to 350 million Arabic language speakers in the Arab world alone, the amount of online content in Arabic hovers at only 3% of the total. Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, and Taghreedat, a regional Arabic e-content community building initiative based in Qatar, organized an Arabic YouTube Tweetup in December to introduce new programmes and tools that will help to close this gap in content. The event featured social networking and digital content giants YouTube, Google and Twitter, who talked about their initiatives in promoting and supporting Arabic language online. The tweetup, scheduled as part of Google’s month-long Arabic Web Days project, gathered over 400 content creators from around the region looking to contribute to the acceleration of digital content in Arabic, with a focus on developing video content for YouTube. Representatives from YouTube and video content entrepreneurs from across the region shared their insight and experiences of how to create viral Arabic videos on the YouTube platform. Ensuring the ease of use as an instantaneous communication platform, and that the content is meaningful and interesting to the rest of the world, is also what drives the efforts at Twitter Inc.
With 17 million tweets in Arabic every day, Kaveh Gharib, Localization Project Manager at Twitter Inc., stated that alongside the opportunities for content growth come challenges, such as how to separate the signal from the noise. “In the Middle East, we need to tap into our creativity and take control of our own content, not let others tell it for us,” he said. “We each have the power to create stories. This should be done by developing high quality, localized content.” Twitter is committed to providing a platform that supports right-to-left languages, which would offer a tremendous boost to Arabic digital content creation. Dr Fayeq Oweis, Arabic Localization Manager at Google Inc., talked about numerous initiatives underway at Google in support of creating Arabic digital content, including local Arabic dialect voice recognition on Android phones, and tools that are available to write in Arabic without falling back on Arabizi. Arabizi is an alphabet based on Latin script commonly used to communicate short digital messages in Arabic when the Arabic alphabet is not available due to technical reasons. The YouTube platform is also fully Arabicized. There are eight localized YouTube domains in the Middle East and more than 260 million videos viewed a day in the MENA region. Maha Abouelenein, Head of Communications for Google MENA, talked about the initiatives at YouTube for the region including the Google Media Academy that teaches journalists how to find the news and broadcast the news using YouTube, and includes tips on how to tag videos, how to embed videos and how to share videos in their reporting.
NU-Q alumni make mark on local film scene The short film, Bader, produced by Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) alumni Sara Al-Saadi, Maaria Assami and student Latifa Al Darwish won the Made in Qatar Award at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DT FF) in December. The ten-minute film portrayed the struggles of identity and tribalism in Qatari schools through the eyes of a ten-year-old boy named Bader. “What stands out in the film is the feeling that many teachers in Qatar have a difficult time keeping order in their classes and motivating students. But in the end, the connections that Bader and his friends have to their own linguistic heritage, through their folk poetry, helps to give them purpose and a focus,” said Tim Wilkerson, an Assistant Professor at NU-Q, who supervised the girls during the making of Bader. “We were very surprised to win the award, especially since we were competing against feature length films,” said Sara Al-Saadi, who’s a recipient of the prestigious Hamad Bin Khalifa University President’s Award. “We are delighted that people enjoyed the film, and this experience has really motivated us to continue working on more documentaries.” In addition to co-hosting the opening night of the series, NU-Q joined hands with Doha Film Institute to support the continued development of Qatar’s media industry through a number of joint activities, including a community outreach initiative on DT FF Family Days that allowed families to take a hand at broadcasting news from a real broadcast set at Katara. “Made in Qatar” also gave special mention to Lyrics Revolt, another documentary produced by NU-Q alumni, Shannon Farhoud, Ashlene Ramadan, Melanie Fridgant and Rana Al-Khatib. A total of four films produced by NU-Q students were selected for the “Made in Qatar” showcase, out of the 70 total submissions received.NU-Q’s faculty were also featured in this year’s DT FF through a series of panels including the “Emerging Cinema of Change”, where filmmakers from across the Arab world discussed their role not only as directors but as ‘products of and tools for change’ in a discussion led by NU-Q’s associate Professor in Residence, Joe Khalil, and Saudi Arabia’s first female filmmaker, Haifaa Al-Mansour.
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