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Carnegie Mellon Qatar Celebrates the Achievement of 48 Graduates
DOHA, QATAR—In a grand ceremony attended by an audience of around 1,000 guests, 48 Carnegie Mellon students celebrated their graduation on Monday at Education City. Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Chairperson, Qatar Museums Authority Board of Trustees, delivered the keynote address.
In the Scottish tradition of Carnegie Mellon University, bagpiper John Gasper, dressed in full regalia, led the formal procession of graduating students, faculty and dignitaries. This was followed by a declaration by faculty marshal, Selma Limam Mansar, who led the procession carrying the ceremonial Arabic sword. The Qatari National Anthem and the United States National Anthem were played by a string quartet.
Thirty-six students in business administration, three in computer science and nine in information systems were dressed in traditional academic regalia, with their caps bearing a red tassel and 2011 pendant. Faculty members wore traditional academic regalia representing the university where they received their degree.
The ceremony began with an Arabic poetry reading by graduating senior Jummana Al-Kahlout. Following the reading, G. Richard Tucker, Ph.D., dean of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar welcomed guests and spoke to the graduating class. "This is an exciting time to be a graduate from Carnegie Mellon. We are confident that you are prepared and that you are eager to participate in the work that will need to be done to make the Qatar National Vision a reality," Tucker said.
Nofe Al-Suwaidi, a business administration senior, was selected to be the 2011 class speaker. Al-Suwaidi delivered a thoughtful speech, reflecting on her childhood and the misconceptions of what it means to be a Qatari woman. She discussed a woman's role in contemporary society and the opportunities that await her.
"In my lifetime, Qatar and the women who guide her have undergone long-awaited changes. Women have emerged as leaders and role models. H.H. Sheikha Moza bint Nasser championed Education City-without her vision, we would not be here this evening. H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa, our keynote speaker, drives the philanthropic and arts initiatives in Qatar. Dr. Hessa Al-Jaber leads one of the most prominent organizations in Doha. They, along with other Qatari women, have begun to change our path," she said.
The ceremony's keynote speaker, Sheikha Al Mayassa, delivered an inspirational address to the graduates, encouraging them to be passionate about their decisions in life in order to achieve success. Her speech echoed the words of the university's founder Andrew Carnegie, "My heart is in the work," as she recounted the success of Qatar as a progressive nation under the country's visionary leadership as an example of dedication, drive and passion.
"Who would have thought Qatar would ever host the World Cup? It all began with a dream of my father's in the 1970's," she said. "All dreams are realizable — the question is how committed are you to that dream."
Jared L. Cohon, Ph.D., president of Carnegie Mellon, delivered the charge to the graduates. He congratulated the Class of 2011 and acknowledged the significance of graduation day. "Today, you join more than 80,000 Carnegie Mellon alumni. It is a distinguished group that includes Nobel Laureates, business leaders and award-winning actors, all people who discovered their passion and honed their skills at Carnegie Mellon, just the way you have.
"No group of graduates is more important than you. Never has the hopes of a nation and a region rested so heavily on a group of young people. Never has there been so much opportunity for change and progress," Cohon said.
President Cohon expressed his gratitude to Dean Tucker for his leadership and welcomed Ilker Baybars, Ph.D., as the incoming dean of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. Baybars has served at Carnegie Mellon University for more than 32 years.
The graduation celebrations began on Sunday with Senior Celebration — an evening of awards, accolades and remembrances. Awards were given to students for their academic achievements and student service and leadership. John Robertson, assistant dean for academic affairs, presented the academic awards including the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society award for Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Phi Kappa Phi honor society award for academic excellence and the Andrew Carnegie Society Scholar award. Gloria Khoury, assistant dean for student affairs, presented the awards for student leadership and service. Sashes were presented to students who studied abroad.
Samreen Anjum, a computer science graduate, was among the students who received awards. "It was a great experience to be recognized in front of my family. I will miss all the great friends I have made as well as the faculty and staff who have equipped me with the skills I need to face challenges in the future. I am looking forward to exploring all the options and opportunities that will come my way after I have completed this milestone," Samreen said.
The class of 2011 represented 14 nationalities including Qatar, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, New Zealand, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria and the United States.
Members of Carnegie Mellon's Class of 2011 from the Qatar campus are as follows:
Hira Niyaz Ahmed, Jummana Al-Kahlout, Hind Abdulrahman Al Khulaifi, Asma Saeed Al-Kuwari, Farha Al Kuwari, Maryam Mubarak Y M Al-Kuwari, Nada Abduljalil Al-Mahmeed, Noora Abdulaziz Al-Mannai, Zeyad Tareq Abdallah Al Mudhaf, Mai Al-Naemi, Muhanna Al-Rumaihi, Maryam Al-Semaitt, Naif Mohammed M Al Sowaidi, Amal Shaheen J. Al-Sulaiti, Nofe K. Al-Suwaidi, Mohammed Faisal Al-Thani, Aeshah Salah Anani, Benazir Kaiser Anis, Rifki Pratomo Bahri, Marwan El Ghamrawy, Shazia Haq, Fatima Abdulrahman Hilal, Samira Islam, Mathew James, Laila Tariq Khan, Maria Khan, Hala Mohammed Abdulaziz Khashabi, Moon Jong Kim, Brian S. Manalastas, Ramsey Nicolas Massouh, Mridula Mukundan, Laila Murad, Yara Ezzeldin Saeed, Shweta Seetharaman, Samya Sharab, Omnia Khalid Shehabaddin.
Mohamed Tarek Mohamed Abdellatif, Maryam Abdulla Al-Sunaidi, Samreen Anjum.
Amna Khalid Abdulla Al-Hitmi, Faiza Abdulkafi Alsaied, Samee Ul Amin, Douaa Dalle, Olympia Datta, Shashank Kamlesh Jariwala, Yasser Masood, Syeda Fatima Mujahid, Omar Nael Shaath.
A press kit is available at http://www.qatar.cmu.edu/821/graduation-2011
Pictured above, left is the formal procession of graduating students, faculty and dignitaries. At right, Nofe Al-Suwaidi returns the class tile to G. Richard Tucker, dean of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar.