QLC 2019- a student’s perspective

#QLC19

By Maryam Al Sada and Taraf Jaro

 

The weekend of QLC has been continuously remembered as one filled with inspiration, motivation, and passion for creating change. Students and teachers alike, come in knowing that they will leave with new-found purpose, passion, and determination that will hopefully help them play a significant part in bettering both the local and global society. This year’s conference has delivered on this, and done so with a strong focus on how the youth themselves – ourselves – can contribute to creating a lasting change while still being true to ourselves. 

 

The Impact of joining QLC goes further than just attending workshops, and beyond the few days of the event. Motivated students will be able to link simple projects such as beach cleanups to larger goals in their community, or the world, such as the sustainable development goals of the United Nations (SDGs). This will allow youth-led or run initiatives to better be able to show the impact they are making on either a local or global scale. This will motivate the youth to focus on the impact any project has on achieving these larger, more worthwhile, goals and encourage further participation now and in the future. By focusing on specific goals, initiatives will be tailored to target the areas that require the most concentration. After tackling one area, efforts can be expanded by either working with other initiatives targeting the same goals, or branching out to totally different goals, depending on what issues require our immediate attention. The combined efforts of multiple youth-initiated and run projects will subtly propel the change to the better improving many lives now and in the future. For example, youth engagement can be achieved through a myriad of methods such as iGEM, which is a grassroots competition aiming to have high school and college students create their own synthetic bio initiative while linking it to the SDGs. This shows how a direct, evident, and efficient impact can be created with youth involvement. 

 

Much of the reason we, as the youth, have shied away from taking action can be attributed to feeling as though it won’t make a difference. It is an understandable reason, as often times the voices of younger generations are silenced by people in power, however, the time has come to have our voices heard, both loudly and clearly. We should always keep in mind the consequences of inaction. Not doing is always easier than doing something, however, the consequences of inaction are usually undesirable and sometimes harmful. When lives and the future of our planet are at risk we cannot afford inaction. Don’t consider why you shouldn’t take action, rather focus on what is the benefits and rewards of your actions. Today’s youth are continuing to raise awareness and lobby for change. It is our turn to become part of today’s youth power.

 

In light of the theme of the third day of QLC, ‘Call to Action’, we asked various participants to answer the following questions: ‘What was your favorite session and why?’, and ‘what call to action are you going to take on as a result of what you’ve learned?’. The result was a variety of responses that make me confident that the leaders of tomorrow will be a positive asset to society.

 

Saumya Tibrewal

DPS MIS

 

“I attended the workshop by Kellen Brewer, ‘Make an impact and take action’. He focused on the Thirst Project which is about the water crisis, and as he was 19 at the time it showed me that it doesn’t matter what your age is; you take action anyhow. It gave me an incentive towards focusing on women’s abuse because I think it’s an underrecognized issue, so, from his explanations on how young women can take action, I felt like I can make a difference in the world.”

 

Hala Haidar

American School of Doha 

 

“My favorite session so far has been ‘Questioning the categories we create’ because it helped me think outside the box. When it comes to MUN as delegates I think we focus too much on developing vs. developed [nations], and that’s how we define countries, and we realized that there is no one set definition of developing and developed. It’s just the perceptions we have of these nations that affect the way MUN works because often times a country such as the U.S. will be sided with more since they’re considered more powerful, however, we realized that every country has their own strengths that make them developed in certain aspects.”

 

“After this conference, I’m inspired to create more sustainable change within my school. I’m part of the EFFECT club that aims to implement sustainable changes within ASD. We already do a lot of work with sustainability

 

As we wrap up the 8th annual Qatar Leadership Conference, let’s make an effort to implement what we’ve gained within the walls of this conference to our local communities, and eventually on a global scale. Remembering always, as the author Steve Goodier said, “An authentic and genuine life grows like a sturdy tree. And like a tree, it grows slowly. Every time you make a different and better decision, it grows a little. Every time you choose to do the right thing, even when nobody would find out otherwise, it grows a little.” Every one of us can, and should, make a difference; let that difference always be for the better.

 

Man on a Mission: Alain Meidinger and French MUN

An Interview with THIMUN co-chair Alain Meidinger
Interviewer: Rayan El Amine

Alan Meidinger is currently acting as the co-chair in THIMUN Foundation. His passion and consistent participation in conferences around the world have put him in quite the unique position. His perspective into a conference such as QLC may be unmatched. Speaking on his role in THIMUN Foundation, as well as some moments from QLC that resonate with him, he is providing incredible insight into this conference.

Could you tell us a little about your experience in the THIMUN foundation?

I joined the THIMUN Foundation in 2004. I was at the time, and still today the only History and Geography teacher of the Board. My fellow colleagues are more linguist teachers. Almost every year I propose to the Board the theme of the conference to come, theme rephrase by my native speaker colleagues.

I am in charge also of the Tuesday Cinema Evening during THIMUN The Hague. With the help of Irene Crépin, THIMUN managing director, we look for a film or a documentary relevant to the film.

Furthermore, and following my 2nd visit to Doha during the Film Festival, I proposed to the Board 3 years ago to start in The Hague a World Photo Exhibition and Photo contest.. 2018 will be the 3rd exhibition.

Last but not least. I organise workshops on MUN. I went to Singapore in 2005 and 2006, Montevideo in 2015 to promote amongst teachers all the benefits of MUN and THIMUN. QLCs 2016 and 2017 are new workshops for the French committees.

You’ve been a part of QLC for a few years now, how do you think it has changed?

QLC ’17 will be my 3rd participation. QLC has moved from the Qatar Academy where I went the first time to the National Conference Centre. This move have made the conference already very professional to a landmark in the history of the THIMUN Foundation. It attracts people from all over the world, sharing their experience. It is also a vast network of students, teachers and professors alike. Thanks to Cameron Jansen then Lisa Martin, QLC has been shaping the Middle East leaders of tomorrow.

What do you think is the value of MUN in multiple languages?

The United Nations has 6 official languages [Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish]. It is more than obvious to me that MUN conferences in these different languages must be promoted. I am French and try to promote in Europe, Africa and in Qatar French MUNs.

2018 will the 14th session of our French MUN called Modèle francophone des Nations unies in The Hague. Since its creation in 2004, MFNU has supported the creation of other conferences especially in Egypt, France, Morocco, Turkey. I organised workshops in Casablanca and Istanbul. I am in contact with French Politic Sciences University in Menton, next to Nice, where a multilangual conference is organised every year at the end of March [Arabic, English and French]. Our MFNU attracts now schools coming from Belgium, Bulgaria, Benin, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Luxemburg, Niger, Nigeria, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, UK.

If I come to Qatar is because there is strong demand of French MUN in the region. With the support of Lisa Martin and Samia Zakaria from Lycée Bonaparte in Doha, we have launched last year the first French Committee. At TQ’18 there will be 2 and they are fully booked.

All in all, MUN conferences in multiple languages allow more students to participate in this activity because we tear down the language barrier. MUN is a strong and powerful member of the Civil Society, the more members, the better the world will be govern in the future.

Are you looking forward to anything in particular this QLC?

I am always looking forward to meeting new people, presenting other views, other perspectives. I might not be always in agreement but it is important to listen to others in order to better understand the world we live in, and selfishly to better understand who I am.

I am also looking forward to seeing friends coming from other parts of the world to share views, projects.

What excites you about coming to Doha?

Next to QLC’17 I love modern architecture, museums… I haven’t seen yet MATHAF and I know that I will need to come back to Doha to visit the National Museum realised by French architect Jean Nouvel.

 

#QLC17 – Malak Elmoh and the Virtual Handbook

Malak Elmoh
Interviewer: Zoya Salahuddin

Malak Elmoh is an  International Politics major at Georgetown University, passionate human rights activist and Qatar International School graduate. This experienced QLC presenter has always been enthusiastic about advocating for human rights; she has served as her school’s MUN Deputy Secretary General and has diligently volunteered in multiple organisations. After the success of her workshop ‘Women in Arab Societies: An Unconventional Standpoint’ at QLC last year, she returns with her guide to university preparations, created specifically for students worried about the process: ‘The Virtual Handbook to Preparing for University’.

Are there any essential skills you picked up during your involvement with your school’s MUN? How have they helped you over the years?  

Yes, there are quite a few actually! After years of being both a delegate and a chair, I saw such a sharp turn in my character altogether. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely always been a pretty outgoing, talkative person. However, it’s the maturity and clarity that I began to speak with that I owe to my involvement in MUN. It’s experiences like this which mould you into a member of a society who can actually CONTRIBUTE. The ability to outspokenly deliver a point to the table, whatever the situation, I see as one of the greatest strengths one could have. This, henceforth, aids in being a person who can easily adapt to different situations. Having taught and worked one-on-one with the students who were involved in my school’s MUN club, I also amplified not only my communication skills, but my leadership skills too. It’s these skills which have ultimately helped me obtain all the different opportunities I’ve encountered in my life.

Your workshop this year is titled ‘The Virtual Handbook to Preparing for University’. What are some of the difficulties you faced while applying for university and how did you combat them?   

You’ll have to attend my workshop to hear the full story! I can, however, give you a few sneak peaks. I think the biggest struggle was definitely ‘attempting’ to juggle my academics, social life, health, extra-curricular activities, the applications themselves etc. But luckily for other students, my workshop is going to provide some tips on how to combat this!

What was it like stepping into university for the first time after all your efforts?

It definitely felt surreal to finally embark on a journey that I had been working tirelessly towards for years! Orientation week felt like a blur, honestly. It’s one thing to get a university acceptance, but it’s another to actually, finally, attend. I have no shame in saying that I was, and still am, so proud of myself for having made it this far. It also lifted the massive, MASSIVE weight of whether or not I’d have somewhat of a future, off of my chest too. 

Was choosing your major difficult? What sparked your interest in International Politics?

It’s a well known fact that I’ve ventured and showed interest in every field throughout the entirety of my high school career. Therefore, I wouldn’t necessarily say it was difficult, just that it was quite a prolonged journey. However, what primarily sparked my interest in International Politics was my unshakable passion for current affairs and ever-changing world of politics. We live in a time where access to the world’s happenings is at our fingertips, and by indulging in a degree which widened my opportunities of being more engaged and aware of the world and its happenings, I have developed an even stronger passion for this field.

 

What made you want to come back to QLC after your first workshop?   

I absolutely adore QLC and the concept of it. It was undoubtedly my favorite conference of my high school years. After all of the positive feedback after my first workshop, I knew that I had to undergo the experience once again. It’s great to work one-on-one with students and to hear some of their amazing ideas and opinions and LEARN from them too! I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of attending the conference even though I’ve left high school, so here I am!

 

 

Finally, what drives your passion for women’s rights?

Although, I am lucky and blessed enough to have access to so many wonderful opportunities, like my education, I know this isn’t necessarily the case for a lot of other women. I feel for all the women in this world who are put at a disadvantage just because of their gender. Nobody, no matter who they are and what category they fall under, should be deprived of their basic human rights. The debate can rage on for as long as it wants, but at the end of the day, women’s rights are basic human rights. The confusion towards this notion is what ultimately motivates me to keep vocalizing this necessity for all women to have access to these rights.

 

QLC17 – An Interview with Sean Robinson

Interview with Sean Robinson
Interviewer: Oroni Hasan

Sean Robinson is an educator who has been involved in many motivating global projects and organizations. Creator of Connections-based Learning and co-founder of Connected Learning Partnerships, he has connected with educators around the world to advance technology and teaching in order to make the education system more meaningful. This year at the QLC, Sean Robinson will present “SDGs and You,” which will be about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and how every one of us can help achieve their goals. His conference will teach us how to make a difference by collaborating with other people to abolish poverty, establish equality, and promote peace.

What inspired you to achieve your goals and passions?

Years ago, I went to an international educational technology conference with many questions.  The questions were around apps, technological platforms, and ideas to incorporate technology in my teaching.  Though the conference had many workshops with many answers, I was more taken with the conference attendees.  Connecting with amazing educators from across the planet opened my eyes to new questions. They weren’t around good technology but meaningful teaching.  I went back to my school and began a pursuit of meaningfulness, allowing my students to be involved in meaningful projects, giving up control, allowing for reflection, autonomy, and collaboration.  When I did that, I saw two kinds of projects occurring: insular self-serving ones and connected other-serving ones. I have devoted my life to facilitating the latter.

 

What accomplishments or projects have you done in the past that relate to your interests?

Creating an approach to teaching that is based on connections is my life work. I’m just finishing a book on Connections-based Learning that outlines the approach and gives many examples as to how teachers can use CBL to increase meaningfulness in their teaching, which has caused me to take action on many initiatives. Whether it’s co-founding widespread platforms to help teachers connect in Connected Learning Partnerships or creating an atmosphere in my classroom to help students battle light property or water scarcity, I continue to press into the approach and help others to do the same.

 

How has presenting at the QLC or any other conferences benefited you?

Conferences, for me, are all about connecting with the people. The preparation for this conference has been amazing as I gather stories of students around the world working on the Sustainable Development Goals and connect with champions of gender equality.  But more so, I count it a privilege to be able to meet with students and educators from around the globe during the QLC.  What a great opportunity to mutually benefit each other’s work!

 

What effect on the audience do you hope to achieve after presenting at the QLC??

My desire is that my presentations inspire my attendees to make a difference. Whether it is working alongside some of the initiatives I share, creating their own initiative to help achieve the Global Goals, or making a change in lifestyle regarding gender equality, I hope to motivate my attendees to take further steps on the road to lasting change.

 

Why do you believe the topic you’re presenting is so important? Why does the audience need to know about your topic?

My topic causes us to look at the fundamental need of humanity. As the UN gathered both in 2000 and 2015, they agreed on what we really need to focus: goals that better the globe.  As I share stories of people like you and me making a difference on the Sustainable Development Goals around the world, we can be inspired to help them and to do the same.  Be prepared: I will beckon my attendees to take action.

 

Why Micky Mouse Matters: An Interview with Greg Bergida

Greg Bergida
Interviewed by Zoya Salahuddin

Director of Student Affairs at Northwestern University, Greg Bergida, is an experienced QLC presenter, having had numerous workshops prior to this year. His workshops incorporate learning from the variety of media surrounding students today, hoping that they begin to perceive such media differently afterwards. In QLC 2017, he presents his workshop “Why Mickey Mouse Matters”, aiming to share how Disney shaped his views on the role culture plays in our lives. His unique and innovative ideas are sure to change your perceptions and understanding of the world we live in today.

Having presented at QLC for 3 consecutive years, what would you say is the best part of each conference?  

The best part about presenting at QLC is the chance to speak with students.  I continue to be impressed every year with the high quality of the participants and how engaged they are. 

Is there anything you believe to be a necessary skill to have when presenting?  

It is important to have a passion for the topic you are presenting.  If you don’t, it is noticeable.  Let your enthusiasm show, rehearse and prepare extensively in advance, and find a way to engage with your audience.

 

What do you find most inspiring about today’s youth?

While I cannot speak about all of today’s youth, I can speak about my interactions with our students here at Northwestern.  I am inspired by their curiosity and the desire to push forward.  Every summer I take a group of Northwestern students to visit media companies in New York City.  It gives me an opportunity to see them in a very different atmosphere where I get to understand their drive, passion, and that incredible curiosity. 

 

Many of your workshops involve learning lessons from fiction – do you believe this is something everyone should do? 

I try to draw on fictional content that in some way is a mirror to important aspects of reality.  Rocky Balboa is an inspiring character because he was the underdog.  More importantly, in the first movie, he lost.  He did everything he could but he still lost.  Rocky discovered that he had to do more; he had to train harder, get faster, and fight smarter.  Characters from comic books have powers, but are flawed, and they’re accountable for what they are capable of doing.  These are all things we should remind ourselves of as we move forward in life as leaders in our communities. 

 

What excites you most about the Qatar Leadership Conference? 

Again, this comes down to meeting students.  I hope that I can share with them some insights into my life experiences and that they take something positive away from our talk to apply to their futures.

 

How do you believe mass media and entertainment organisations, such as Disney, try to change our lives?

I think there are many faces to the media companies that create the content we consume.  While there is, of course, the commercial side to them where they sell to their consumers, I do believe there is more to them in their mission.  We are starting to see greater diversity in characters they create.  I personally hope that Doc McStuffins, the Dream Big Princess campaign, and characters like Mulan, Anna and Elsa, Merida, and Eleanor of Avalor inspire my niece and send her the message that there isn’t anything that she can’t do. 

 

Here’s Why your School Needs to be at QLC 2017

By Alya Al-Ammari

At the 2016 Qatar Leadership Conference, my fourth QLC experience, I had the pleasure of presenting a workshop on how to start a sustainable charity, as well as participating in some gripping seminars on topics such as women’s empowerment, growth in post-conflict areas, and youth-led initiatives. However, I did not attend with my school. I arrived alone under the generous banner of O-MUN Bahrain for the second year in a row. My only grievance was that my peers, all young and capable students, were missing out on an eye-opening and life-changing experience. I knew this was the case because I lived that experience every fall for the last four years. Once again, the familiar feeling of excitement and restlessness smoldered in my stomach as I ironed my best MUN outfits and nervously applied my makeup on the morning of October 20th 2016. I was well aware that the bus ride to the Qatar National Convention Centre from the Movenpick that day was the interlude between banality and inspiration. By no exaggeration, I knew that the sight of the near-iconic spider peeping over the edge of the escalators from the ground floor meant the beginning of another weekend of stimulus and educated, passionate dialogue. So here are my biggest takeaways from the conference throughout the years, to tell you why your own school needs to be at QLC 2017.

The Qatar Leadership Conference provides people from all walks of life an opportunity for quantitative growth. I arrived at QLC this year as a presenter, a youth leader, a student, and an excited member of Arab society. The conference brought out the best in these four identities. As a presenter, I was given a platform to express my ideas and share with like-minded and ambitious people my experiences in beginning a charity and working towards the goal of sustainability and humanity. I had the chance to open a dialogue between me and Qatari teenagers, a religious scholar, a US Peace Corps representative, and teachers from around the world, in order to elevate the potential of our ideas and make plans to deliver on them. As a youth leader, I was exposed to students who were younger than me, but had similar aspirations as I did at that age, and give them advice on how to approach seemingly unrealistic goals, all the while getting insight on the experiences of other ambitious, driven youth from as far as Taiwan and Malaysia. As a student, I learned from accomplished and engaging presenters a myriad of issues that have global importance while still relating to my life. As a member of Arab society, I was immensely and indescribably proud. However, another student at your own school may tailor their experience at QLC, so they are also learning in the same hands-on way that I did, but about how to flawlessly chair your first council, react in a crisis situation, or lead a Model United Nations conference with an emphasis on collaboration and shared growth. A teacher chaperoning this student is able to attend a Best Delegate Directors’ Workshop on MUN knowledge, debating skills, and organisation. I challenge any participant of the Qatar Leadership Conference to tell me one experience that they benefit from.

As a fourteen-year-old, coming to this conference ignited a sense of initiative in me that has not wavered since then. I believe that this is due to my exposure to the powerful, driven, young people that this conference celebrates. I had access to interesting and relevant presenters that promoted ambition and hard work in a way that was integral to my school life later on. These positive role models were relatable in a way that celebrities aren’t, where they have started in the same place as you, have grown up and made a name for themselves. I keep people like Salam Kaedan, Olaoluwa Abagun, Oliver Percovich, Khalid Al Ameri, and Ibrahim Kazzaz in mind when I feel overwhelmed and unmotivated by schoolwork. The examples that QLC presenters offer young students are exceptional and inspiring. They have personally touched my life in a way that cannot be replicated in a classroom, but is so integral to that particular environment. To be able to listen, meet, and converse with determined young people has been an invaluable contribution to my attitude towards school and work.

Walking into the Qatar Leadership Conference year after year only to be more excited, engaged, and roused every time is a strange experience. Although I am already a very diligent person, the level of motivation I feel after leaving these conferences surprises me. I return to school wishing that I had my friends with me learning about global conflicts and solutions, and my teachers to gush to about keynote speakers and presenters. The fuel the QLC can give its participants is incredibly rewarding and should be shared among peers and educators. We in the Gulf are lucky to have this conference pop up on our doorstep every year and schools have the opportunity to take full advantage of the resources it presents. From one seasoned QLC participant- and now presenter- to the next generation: urge your school to join, the gravity of the lessons you learn and the significance of its purpose will surprise you, then thrill you.

From QLC 13′ to QLC 16′

By Salam Kedan

QLC 16 has been a very special conference for me! Ever since attending QLC 2013, my first time in Doha, it was a life changing experience and the path to a great journey ahead. In QLC 2013, being a fresh graduate from High School about to start university, I presented about my life growing up as a Muslim Arab in a Jewish country – Israel. I shared my story, the things that I personally went through growing up and the nationality politics of the conflict, how it affected me living in the country, traveling as well as introducing myself in other countries especially to fellow Arabs or Muslims.

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The responses I got were very surprising, surprising to learn that almost the majority of my first audience had no clue that there is an Arab minority in Israel. I received many questions, but at the same time, everyone was very welcoming and open to learning about it. I made friends from Arab countries at QLC 13, meeting them changed my perspective, and for them to meet me completely changed their perspective as well!

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Ever since that amazing experience at QLC 13, I wanted to bring more students like me to share their voice and story with as many students as possible, as a way to raise awareness, encourage dialogue and promote peace.

After getting back home from QLC 13, I was getting ready to start university and at the same time help arrange an Online delegation to THIMUN Qatar 2014, I managed to bring two students from my old high school to attend TQ14, and it was an unforgettable and amazing experience for them.They made friends at the conference that they are still in very good contact with until today!

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Once Again, I joined QLC 2014 to talk about the same thing from QLC 13 but expand and add to it my university experience of studying at Tel Aviv University. The responses I got were again very motivating and encouraging for me to do more. Even though I was very busy and stressed after going back from QLC 2014 to start my hectic schedule of university, I was already planning and arranging the next delegation from my area for THIMUN Qatar 2015 through Online MUN.

I managed to get seven students, three girls, and four boys. Lives were changed, long lasting friendships were created and huge impacts and memories were made. I remember some of my student’s teary eyes when we were leaving!

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Time flew by with the workload of studies and it was time for another inspiring QLC, I arranged a delegation of 3 students to QLC 15, and at the same time was arranging the biggest delegation for THIMUN Qatar 2016. For TQ16, again through Online MUN, I managed to get and train 13 students from my area, seven girls, and six boys. Another unforgettable and amazing experience!

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Now with arranging the delegation to THIMUN Qatar 2017 and finally graduating from university, I wanted to arrange my own complete delegation, so I founded a new centre called Salam Centre for Peace. One of the goals of this centre is to give the students a place to meet and train rather than doing it all online. The leadership team of this centre is compromised of students I trained and traveled with to international conferences such as THIMUN Qatar.

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Ms. Lisa Martin, head of THIMUN and the person who got me involved in my first QLC, who inspired me to follow my dreams, made me believe in myself and gave me the strength to take risks and try new things every time! A true leader in my eyes that I will always look up to! She pushed me to do things I never did before, giving a speech in front of a huge committee in THIMUN the Hague 2013, presenting about my life at a Leadership Conference, arranging delegations at the age of 19 and more! If it weren’t for her, I would not be where I am today; I learned so many valuable lessons from this amazing person, and I appreciate everything that she has done for me and many other students like me. She’s the one behind all of it for me and many other new initiatives and inspiring organizations for youth around the world.
I joined QLC 16, my 7th time in Doha now, to present about the new centre and our upcoming plans and events for connecting youth and building relations through joining MUN conferences and arranging peaceful and guided intercultural workshops.
During QLC 16, Ms. Lisa Martin called me up to the stage to congratulate me on founding the centre in front of everyone giving me one of the most pleasant surprises I ever received! Currently, we are working in process on arranging our delegation to TQ17 and our next delegation after it to WIMUN 2017! We can’t wait to see what the future holds for us! I would like to thank everyone who believed in me, my wonderful students and amazing leadership team as well as give special thanks to Ms. Lisa Martin for everything that she has done!

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One more thing that made this QLC 16 extra special was the reunion and meeting face to face for the first time some of the leadership team from Online MUN! A big online loving and very supportive family that it is always wonderful to meet and catch up!
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Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Thani shares thoughts on #qlc16

1610_qlc_0359It was our great honor to have Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Thani speak at the fifth annual Qatar Leadership Conference. He made time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for our press team.

Have you participated in past QLCs and if so, how was this one different from past events?

This is the first time I have the privilege to participate at the QLC conference. QLC16 was informative and engaging and the volunteers were very helpful at all times.

What surprised you most about the Qatar Leadership Conference?

The excellent organization, the high level of the audience engagement and the proactivity of the students and volunteers who were, at all times, ready to assist in all tasks related to the workshop presentation and IT support in the Conference rooms.

What value is there in holding events like this for high school students?

To inspire them to discover what are their hidden passions that they may not be necessarily aware of by listening to the key speakers’ stories achievements aiming to bring about a positive impact on the society and the communities.

If the QLC could be improved or grown in new directions, what would that look like?

Focusing on practical applications and good practices in youth leadership education with a delivery that includes dynamic learning environments through simulation, group design activities, personal assessments and interactive learning sessions.

Placing High School students in summer internship programs to benefit the local and global communities in cooperation with non-profit organizations and/or Enterprises Corporate social responsibility programs and showcasing their projects at the QLC Conference with exchange programs scholarships and awards prices for the achievers.

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What is a favorite memory or two of this year’s QLC?

  1. Presenting my workshops at the QLC Theatre with the largest ever audience which I was subject to so far.
  2. Being impressed by the unforgettable resonance of the crowd’s positive energy vibes.


What value does a QLC event have for adults?

It engages them and gives them incentives to pursue their cooperation and continuous participation in QLC future projects to advance their personal development goals and those of the teams they may be working with aiming to benefit the local and global communities.

The Student Executive Team would like to thank Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Thani once again for attending #qlc16 and hope that he will join us for future events!

QLC 16′ – Peggy Flynn and Life in Botswana

By Ezekiel J

The Qatar Leadership Conference is fortunate to have Peggy Flynn who will be sharing her work and life in Botswana. Peggy Flynn is a Peace Corps volunteer from United States of America. She volunteered to help the less privilege in Botswana, and worked in a small town called Ghanzi, in the Kalahari Desert. She shares some insights into her work there.

1.You have spent the last three years in Botswana. What compelled you to leave your home in California and embark on this adventure?

I was accepted into the United States Peace Corps after an 11-month competitive e application process. I applied because I had always wanted to be a part of the Peace Corps, and deeply believe in the transformative power of community service, the ability of people, anywhere in the world, to come together and solve community problems.

2. What kind of work did you do in Botswana? Where did you live and did you make friends with local people?

I live in the Kalahari Desert of Botswana, and work at the District AIDS office, focusing on strengthening the capacity of government staff and local community organizations, i.e., planning and project management skills, budgetary and financial reporting skills. Yes, all my friends here are Botswana.

3. What value do you think High school students get from thinking about doing a program like the Peace Corps or some other volunteer service program?

I think it’s important for all of us, whatever our age, to have a sense of community and believe in our responsibilities to be a part of creating solutions, helping to make our community members healthier, happier and empowered to solve problems.

4. Have you ever presented at an event like a youth leadership conference?

Yes, I have!


5. If you could share one message from the youth of Botswana to the 
youth of Qatar, What would it be?

From the HV+ youth of Botswana: “We may have a virus, but that does not define who we are in this world.”

My Encounter with another World – QLC

Timothy Shu, a QLC student presenter from Taipei American School, took the conference’s message to heart, and has set in motion a project in Nepal that aims to touch the lives of young Nepalese students. Timothy explains…

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I went to QLC this October as a student speaker for the O-MUN/ Taipei American School team. The QLC itself was great, making speeches about O-MUN ICJ was also great, but what I took away most from the QLC was none of the above. It was rather, a deep seated feeling of inspiration and passion — a passion that I have never encountered before.

After hearing Mr. Keesey and Ms. Leahy’s presentation on their work in creating the Kony 2012 campaign and resisting the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, I was deeply moved by the sheer variety of ways in which we could help make the world a better place.  Even as teenagers there are so many different ways we could help change other people’s lives for the better. This presentation, rather in fact, just the general atmosphere of the QLC got me fired up and ready to do something —  anything to change the world for the better. But then, I met a man. This man will later change my view of the world and become my mentor/role model for years to come.

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His name is Peter Dalglish. Upon first sight, he seems like an ordinary Caucasian middle aged man with sun-tanned skin and a slight disregard for physical appearance.  But when he speaks, he becomes a sort of angel-incarnate who talks genially and practically about improving the world, step-by-step, and inspiring young people to stand up for their own passion. No matter how old you are, where you are, and what you are, everyone can make a change for the better in their own ways. So after his speech, I eagerly went to talk to him about a project that I have in mind. This meeting, surprisingly, considering the sheer amount of people waiting in line to talk to him, lasted for an entire hour. My idea was simple. By combining my passion — tennis, and my drive to change lives for the better, I proposed to bring a group of students to teach rural Nepali kids how to play tennis.

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After QLC, I remained in contact with Peter. Approximately one month later, in November, I packed my bags, bought a plane ticket and went to Nepal. This reconnaissance trip, suggested by Peter and eagerly followed up by me, opened me up to a brand new set of cultural background and urgency for change. I visited several public schools in Pokhara and rural Bandipur to get a sense of what education is like there. But as one of Peter’s friends in Nepal said, the school’s infrastructures are extremely dilapidated and the educational curriculum is based solely on rote memorization, something which had remained the same since the 1960s. So based on my first hand observation of Nepali kid’s situation and their predicament, I went back to Taiwan and started to devise a plan that would directly tackle the deficiencies of Nepal’s education system.

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My basic plan is to build a public multi-functional playground for the kids in rural Banipur that would provide kids with a suitable facility to play sports (tennis, volleyball, soccer cricket). This allows the kids to learn actively and develop self-confidence. On the other hand, I would also like to use the time while we are there, to introduce more advanced technologies such as PC and tablets to the kids, so that after we are gone, they would be able to learn by themselves more sustainably, and with minimal maintenance.

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Although everything is still in the planning stages , I nevertheless would just like to say that none of this could have happened without the QLC. The QLC is truly an inspirational conference that I believe will continue to inspire young people to do great things. Hopefully this short blog had provided you with a sense of what you, or anyone, could do in the world to make it a better place.

In the words of Mark Twain (later quoted by Peter): “Never let you school get in the way of your education”. Stand up, discover the world and be a change.  

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