Northwestern Qatar celebrates ‘resilient’ graduates

April 25, 2022
Northwestern Qatar celebrated the graduation of its students from the Classes of 2020 and 2021 at an in-person ceremony, after previously having virtual ceremonies due to the global pandemic.
Students from both classes returned for a formal celebration of their graduation on the 10th anniversary of Northwestern Qatar’s first graduating class. In his address to the class, Dean Marwan M. Kraidy welcomed the graduates back to celebrate their achievements. “Like all of you, a little more than two years ago, I would not have thought, not in my wildest imagination,  that our lives would be so dramatically altered by a pandemic,” said Kraidy. “But you have persevered … you handled the challenge of the pandemic with grace and gusto. And here we are today back together and—finally—celebrating your achievements.”
Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro joined Kraidy in congratulating them for their perseverance on their path to graduation and successful transition to professional careers and post-graduate study. “What you have achieved despite all the challenges of a global pandemic are truly astounding,” said Schapiro, who reminded them “to thank the people who helped you get to where you are today—they are friends, family members, and faculty and staff at NU-Q.”
Doha Film Institute CEO Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, this year’s graduation speaker, also lauded their resilience and asked them to turn the lessons they learned from the pandemic into opportunities as they tell stories on different media around the world. “You are entering the media industry at a very difficult time,” said Alremaihi. “But you have learned to be adaptable, flexible, and to embrace technology where and how it matters, and in that sense, you are already ahead of the game.”
She went on to charge the graduates with using their power as storytellers to make a positive influence. “I see promise in every one of you and your limitless potential,” said Alremaihi. “Our region continues to be affected by media stereotypes that subvert truth, promote prejudice, and misrepresent the oppressed, and you have the power to change this with your commitment to honest, ethical reporting in any medium that you choose to pursue. You may face setbacks, but I ask you to persist and be your own champions and heroes.”
Reflecting on her undergraduate career as a student fleeing war in her country (Yemen), Mariam Al-Dhubahni, Class of 2020 student speaker, said Northwestern Qatar gave her the opportunity to “tell stories of humanity and perseverance by sharing visual messages with the world–from my world, from my home, from my life.”
Journalism alum Razan Ghadban addressed her fellow graduates in the Class of 2021 as its student speaker. “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, asking the graduates to hold on to the lessons they had learned as they embark on new adventures.
During their virtual graduations in 2020 and 2021, the graduates heard from Dima Khatib, managing director of AJ+, and Dena Takruri, senior presenter and producer at AJ+, and were surprised in 2020 with a virtual guest appearance by Northwestern University graduate U.S. TV star Stephen Colbert.
The graduates of the classes of 2020 and 2021 attending the ceremony are part of Northwestern’s global network of more than 250,000 alumni. As media and communication graduates, they work for international media organizations and agencies and attend some of the most prestigious higher education programs.