Call to boost student exchange programmes with US

May 13, 2010

Qatar scholars (fund recipients) with the fund chairman - Gulf Times

The chairman of the Qatar Katrina Fund, the $100 million established to provide direct cash assistance to victims of Hurricane Katrina in the US Gulf Coast area, has called for more exchange programmes between students from the US and Qatar.

“Hopefully in the future we will see not only lecturers but also students coming to Qatar from the US,” Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Qatar’s ambassador to the US, said. “I would like to see more sharing of knowledge. People are the enemies of what they do not know,” he said, extending support to exchange programmes between Qatar University and those supported by the fund in the US.

The Qatar Katrina Fund has donated $38.1 million to educational projects throughout Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, Al Khalifa said.

“We hope that the compassion shown by the Qatari government and people will inspire the recipients of the fund to show similar empathy for others in need in the future,” he said. “We have now provided education for 2,135 ‘Qatar scholars’ and I hope that when they make it in the future, they will help others as well. And I hope that they will remember that it came from Qatar and that they think of Qatar fondly – the distance between our countries may be far but our hearts and minds are close by,” he said.

The Qatar Katrina Fund has provided direct cash assistance to people and institutions in most dire need in the wake of the storm, and gifts were committed to healthcare, education, housing, and places of worship.

According to Humanity First USA, the Fund’s first phase of donations, totaling more than $61 million, was announced on May 2, 2006 and included grants to rebuild homes, financial assistance to provide medical care, and university scholarships – all reserved for victims of Katrina.

The second phase, representing $33 million in gifts, announced on September 8, 2006, targeted the hardest hit areas of Mississippi and Louisiana and commemorated the one-year anniversary of the hurricane. The third gift of $5.6 million in 2007 was the final installment of the $100 million Qatar Katrina Fund.





About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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