VCU’s 2018 Qatar Leadership Exchange to host Qatar Day and Majlis Day

VCU’s 2018 Qatar Leadership Exchange to host Qatar Day and Majlis Day

The exchange is to help give a better global understanding to our students and grant them the opportunity to share experiences and knowledge with students just like them who happen to live on the other side of the world.

A delegation of student leaders from the Virginia Commonwealth University campus in Richmond, Virginia, went to the VCUarts campus in Doha, Qatar in mid-October 2018. At the beginning of November, a delegation of student leaders from VCUarts in Qatar will make the trek to the VCU campus in Richmond.

The 2018 Qatar Leadership Exchange is sponsored by the Student Government Association (SGA) in partnership with the VCU Division of Student Affairs. The exchange is to help give a better global understanding to our students and grant them the opportunity to share experiences and knowledge with students just like them who happen to live on the other side of the world.

During the visit to Richmond, the VCU campus will host two events — the annual Qatar Day, held at the Monroe Park campus, and an equivalent Majlis Day, to be held at the MCV campus. Both events will exhibit traditional aspects of Qatari and Arab culture, such as henna, Arabic calligraphy, traditional Qatari clothing, food, and more. The events were developed to strengthen the relationship between the two campuses and provide Richmond students and faculty with opportunities to learn more about the Qatari campus and its culture.

Since 2010, students and faculty from VCUQatar in Doha have visited Richmond each fall for a week of cultural activities, including tours of the campus, Richmond itself, and Washington, D.C. They also participate in VCU’s Qatar Day. The annual event strengthens the relationship between the Qatar and Richmond campuses while providing students and faculty with an opportunity to learn more about each other. The events are co-sponsored by VCU School of the Arts, the Division of Student Affairs, VCU Student Government Association, University Student Commons & Activities and the Global Education Office.

A delegation of about 16 students and 2 advisers from Richmond traveled to Doha from October 13th – 21st, and a delegation of about 22 students and 3 advisers from Doha will travel to Richmond from Nov. 4-9. Our students came from both the Monroe Park and MCV campuses in Richmond, ranging from sophomores to doctoral candidates, and represented a variety of academic programs including engineering, social work, nursing, and art.

While in Doha, the delegation from VCU Richmond helped to put on a big event called Richmond Day, which showcased everything Richmond to the VCUarts Qatar students. We served American food, taught the VCUarts Qatar students basketball cheers and dances, and gave away items from our campus and Richmond. While in Richmond, the delegation from VCUQ helps to put on Qatar Day at the Monroe Park campus. We serve Middle Eastern food, draw henna tattoos on students, display a falcon, and play music.

The exchange is as much a leadership exchange as it is a cultural exchange.  It exposes and immerses students in another culture, but within a familiar and collegiate environment.

The VCUarts Qatar Campus in Doha, Qatar, was established in 1998 and is one of six U.S. universities with campuses in Education City in Doha. The Qatar Leadership Exchange has existed for many years but is only a few years into its current iteration. Undergraduate and graduate student leaders from both the Monroe Park and MCV campuses at VCU in Richmond are invited to apply for the program spring semester. Through a series of interviews, a delegation of students is chosen in the spring to participate in the program in the fall semester.

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Trevor Dickerson is the co-founder and editor of RVAhub.com, lover of all things Richmond, and a master of karate and friendship for everyone.