Northwestern Qatar celebrates its 10th graduating class

May 02, 2021

In remarks delivered at the Class of 2021’s Graduation, Northwestern Qatar Dean Marwan M. Kraidy and AJ+ Managing Director Dima Khatib charged the graduates with using their storytelling skills to empower the truth and make an impact on the lives of others.

This year’s graduation ceremony, which was held virtually and attended by graduates’ family and friends around the world, celebrated the accomplishments of the 85 journalism and communication students. 

In her address to the class, graduation speaker Dima Khatib, who directs the award-winning AJ+ digital channel, told the Class of 2021 that as storytellers they can positively affect the lives of people whose voices have been marginalized by telling their stories and advancing their narratives.

“Our duty is to continue telling the stories of the unheard, of the underrepresented, of the voiceless.”
- Dima Khatib, managing director, AJ+

“Our duty [as journalists] is to continue telling the stories of the unheard, of the underrepresented, of the voiceless,” stressed Khatib. “Don’t be afraid of uncomfortable truths. Worry about the purpose, the impact. There is nothing more satisfying to a journalist than seeing the impact of their stories on people’s lives.”

She went on to encourage the graduating class to prioritize ethics when facing dilemmas and choices in their careers as journalists and storytellers. She added, “Journalism will be a fight. Sometimes it will be a fight with yourself. Look for the truth from the perspectives of those who have less power.”

Dean Kraidy also urged the graduates to use the skills they developed at NU-Q to challenge injustices with better and more inclusive narratives. “Now you are entering a world unsettled by a pandemic and by rampant hatred, lies, and misinformation. Your skills as critical communicators have never been more important. We look to you as the emerging leaders, journalists, filmmakers, professors, diplomats that will tell better stories about our world.”

Razan Ghadban, the student speaker, reminded classmates of what they had accomplished in their four years at Northwestern and told them to hold on to the lessons they had learned as they embark on new adventures after graduation.

“NU-Q taught us a very important thing— that knowledge is endless, and that in order to grow and progress, you strive to always learn new things and push the limits of what you think you are capable of,” said Ghadban. 

Lauding the Class of 2021 for their resilience on the path to graduation day, Northwestern University President Morton O. Schapiro told the graduates that their work “is already making a profound impact. And now there is a world out there that needs you to fully share your skills, your wisdom, your compassion, and your leadership.” 

This year’s graduation ceremony included a total of 85 graduates representing more than 22 countries, including China, Egypt, Gambia, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Korea, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sudan, Sweden, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, Ukraine, and the United States.

During the ceremony, Dean Kraidy announced several awards. Professor Ann Woodworth, who taught at Northwestern Qatar until 2020 received the Northwestern Qatar Career Achievement Award, and students who were recognized during their senior year were also highlighted. The students honored were Inaara Gangji, Dean’s Award; Rui Xin Oh, Communication Award; Maryam Abdulla I. H. Al-Badr, Journalism and Strategic Communication Award; Danna Takriti, Liberal Arts Award; and Tony El Ghazal, Student Leadership Award.