Students from across Qatar Foundation schools are coming together to express their solidarity with Palestine, organizing events across the various campuses to show their support.
One of these events included a non-uniform day at Qatar Academy Msheireb (QAM) – part of Qatar Foundation’s (QF) Pre-University Education (PUE) – where students and staff were encouraged to wear the colors of the Palestinian flag or traditional Palestinian attire. The school also hosted a variety of engaging activities, such as prayers and awareness sessions.
Lama Kalash, Assistant Principal at QAM, emphasized the event's significance, describing it as a unique opportunity for students to raise awareness while supporting Palestine.
“The event's purpose is to raise awareness, nurture empathy, and encourage discussions on social justice and humanitarian causes,” Kalash said. “It aims to create space for open and informed classroom discussions, enabling students to ask questions, share their perspectives, and engage in meaningful conversations.”
According to Kalash, fostering understanding and empathy for those affected by conflict resonates with the core values of empathy and compassion. This helps QAM students comprehend complex global issues and advocate for positive change.
“We aim, through this event, to foster informed, compassionate, and engaged global citizens who understand their responsibility to promote peace and justice, both locally and internationally, and who know how to do so in a constructive and peaceful manner.”
Ahmed Omer, a nine-year-old student at QAM, said, “Wearing the colors of the flag or clothes that reflect the heritage of Palestine helps me show how much I care about the people in Palestine. I'm wearing the Palestinian keffiyeh and I'm proud to do so.
“It's a time for all of us at school to come together and support something that matters to a lot of people.”
Maryam Abdullah Al Khalifa, a 10-year-old student at QAM, said, “We are all inspired by how strong and brave the people in Palestine are. I want them to know that we're here for them, and we're standing together with love through these hard times.
“I stand with the children in Palestine, and I wish them strong, healthy, and happy lives. I want to tell them to never give up.”
Al Mayassa Hassan Saleh, a nine-year-old student at QAM, said, “This little thing I do helps me support them. I want to tell the world that we care and that they're not alone.
“It's not only about supporting Palestine; it's about understanding that we, as students, can speak up and make a change. I'm happy to be in a community that cares.”
Meanwhile, Qatar Academy Doha (QAD) – also part of QF’s PUE – planted an olive tree between its primary and middle school campuses. The olive tree, alongside its religious significance, is a symbol of the Palestinian cause, and represents a steadfastness to their land. QAD also used the planting of the tree to spread awareness of the Palestinian cause and collect donations for the people of Gaza.
Mehdi Benchaabane, QAD Director, said, “Each time we gather under the canopy of this tree, our souls unite with the people of Palestine. The olive tree will be our gateway to their struggle for peace and a legacy to remind many generations to come of our unwavering support and sympathy for all the oppressed people around the world striving for freedom.
"Under the tree's nurturing shade, we cultivate compassion, share narratives, uncover the history, and promote critical thinking. We leverage our IB education to understand the world around us and commit to the mission of making it a better place for all.
“This initiative aligns with our mission of helping our students become the leaders of tomorrow, who tackle global and local issues, and participate in and steer global conversations on peace.”
Other schools under QF’s PUE, such as Qatar Academy Al Khor, Tariq Bin Ziad School, and Qatar Academy for Science and Technology, have also organized prayers and held educational sessions, with students wearing traditional Palestinian clothes and scarves, to demonstrate their support.
Originally published: QF Press Release
Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development (QF) is a non-profit organization that supports Qatar on its journey to becoming a diversified and sustainable economy. QF strives to serve the people of Qatar and beyond by providing specialized programs across its innovation-focused ecosystem of education, research and development, and community development.