Daily Archives: September 23, 2012

HH the Emir Congratulates Saudi King on National Day

Doha, September 23 (QNA) – HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani has sent a cable of congratulations to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia on the occasion of the National Day of the Kingdom.  (QNA)

Qatar Participates in Conference of Supreme Courts in Arab Countries

Doha, September 23 (QNA) – The State of Qatar participates in the Third Conference of Presidents of Supreme Courts in the Arab countries, currently in session in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. Qatar’s delegation to the conference is headed by HE Masoud Mohamed Al-Amri, President of the Cassation Court and chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC).
The three-day  conference is feature a host of topics including a fair trial between standards of Islamic law and international contemporary standards of litigation of electronic crimes and evidence to prove them in Arab legislations between hope and reality, as well as the jurisdiction of the Supreme Courts on crimes of money laundering and cross-border crimes.(QNA)

4000 Students Join Qatar University This Academic Year

Doha, September 23 (QNA) – Qatar University (QU) President Prof Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad has said that the university now has over 12,000 students in its ranks with some 4000 students joining this academic year.
Addressing a press briefing to outline changes, developments, progress and plans at QU for the academic year and beyond, Prof Al Misnad said this number is complemented by an additional 12 new undergraduate programs, a total of 24 Masters and 3 PhD programs, and an increased faculty body.
In conjunction with its expanded student population, the university has further advanced its infrastructure and facilities for new and current students with a program of construction projects including the opening of the new library and new Colleges of Law and Business in 2011, and forthcoming College of Pharmacy and College of Engineering (2016), Research Complex (2013) and on-campus student accommodation (2014).  Additionally, new parking facilities have been created and provision of the intra-campus shuttle bus has been expanded to accommodate the male campus.
 Our direction is student-focussed, Dr Al Misnad said, adding that  QU has also upgraded its academic support services for students through a strengthened academic advising program, establishment of a student Helpdesk, and improved Learning Support Centers. “According to an annual student satisfaction survey, student satisfaction jumped from 66% to 76% over 2 years, recording a 10% increase”, she said.
Addressing the subject of the language of instruction, Prof Al Misnad said that QU is committed to improving the skills of students in Arabic and English to prepare them to meet market needs in all sectors. She pointed out that Arabic is the language of instruction in Business, Law, Media, and  International Affairs and others, and that QU has ensured that sufficient English courses are integrated into curricula to ensure our graduates are  competent in both languages in a way that responds to labor market needs. 
She highlighted QU s commitment to building on past improvements to ensure the university continues to provide students with a world-class education.  In 6 years, QU saw a 47% improvement in student average GPA with 2.8 in 2011 up from  1.9  in 2005, she said, adding that student GPA of 3.5 and upwards multiplied 4 times, and that the number of students taking more than 5 years to graduate decreased from 21% to 12%.
On the issue of Qatarisation, Prof Al Misnad highlighted that Qatari faculty now make up 40 percent of the academic faculty, a figure up by 21 percent from last year. Through the National Capacity Building Program, QU supports professional development initiatives for Qatari academics to bolster their existing skills and competencies, she said. 
Additionally, a scholarship program at QU for nationals enables them to undertake their graduate studies at some of the best universities in the world, returning to the university as faculty or to join the various sectors in Qatar as leaders in their field. Some 52 are expected to return to QU in the near future as faculty in various majors. 13 additional students were recruited to the program recently.
 In concluding, QU President reiterated the university s commitment to addressing students  needs and concerns.  She further noted that along with these considerations, QU continues to advance its responsibility to take a leading role in the growth and development  of Qatar in support of the National Vision 2030 and the National Development Strategy 2011-2016. (QNA)

Qatar Youth Hostels Association Organizes Tourist Program for Students

Doha, September 23 (QNA) – Qatar Youth Hostels Association (QYHA) has organized its annual tourism program (Know Your Country 2) with the participation of thirty junior high school students. The Program aimed  at  promoting youth tourism and inform Qatari youth of the most important tourist attractions and historic achievements. The Chairman of QYHA Abdul Aziz Al-Amari stressed the importance of this program, which was overseen by an elite of educational supervisors, in attracting Qatari youth to get enrolled in the association’s home and overseas programs in order to get acquainted with different cultures and to develop their leadership capacities.
The program included a lecture and a workshop on diabetes and how to deal with diabetic patients. It also included a visit to the ancient city of Zubara where the participants were briefed on the city’s major tourist attractions and monuments. (QNA)

HH the Emir Arrives in New York

New York, September 23 (QNA) – HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani arrived on Sunday in New York to participate in the 67th Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters. (QNA)

Minister of Culture Meets UPU Director General

Doha, September 23 (QNA) – The Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, HE Dr. Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, met here today with visiting Universal Postal Union (UPU) Director General, Edouard Dayan, and the accompanying delegation.
During the meeting, the UPU Director General thanked the State of Qatar for hosting the UPU’s 25th Universal Postal Congress from 24 September to 15 October, expressing confidence in the ability of the State of Qatar to achieve the UPU’s objectives during the presidency of the Board of Directors.
For his side, Dr. Al Kuwari underlined Qatar’s keenness to succeed the conference, which is sponsored by HH the Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani.
The Minister of Culture further said Doha has become an important venue for conferences.  (QNA)

QNFSP Relegates Impact of Saudi Vegetables Export Ban on Qatar’s Market Prices

Doha, September 23 (QNA) – A new market survey study carried out by the Qatar National Food Security Programme (QNFSP) has revealed that the recent decision of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to ban exports of five types of vegetables has a limited impact on their prices in the local markets of Qatar.  “Looking at retail prices of the five products over the past two weeks provided by the Consumer Protection Department (CPD) we see no significant changes in these prices,” the study reiterated. However, it added: “out of all the products, potatoes are more likely to have a slight price increase in the interim due to the Saudi ban and  a large local demand. For the other four products prices may also increase but to a lesser extent and mainly due to other factors such as increased land transportation costs and seasonal variations.”
The Saudi Ministry of Agriculture had issued a decree banning the export of potatoes, watermelon, dry onion, sweet melon and pumpkin as of 17th September 2012. Subsequently, media reports spoke of a new wave of price hikes including a possible 30-40% increase in the prices of potatoes. Currently Qatar imports more than  65% of its needs of this crop from Saudi Arabia.
Underlining that Saudi Arabia is “the major importing source for pumpkin, watermelon, sweet melon and potatoes,” the study said.  Onions are mainly imported from India, whose prices are similar to those of Saudi Arabia. It added that “Saudi Arabia’s dominance in the Qatari markets for these vegetables is largely due to:  the highly perishable nature of those products and KSA being the closest producer; and the small size of the Qatari market.”
However, the study affirms that “alternative suppliers  of these products  are available in  Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, India, Turkey, Iran, China and others, some of whose unit prices are comparable to those of Saudi Arabia.” “In time, these sources will fill most of the shortfall,” the study reiterated.
Commenting on the study, the Executive Chairman of QNFSP, HE Fahad bin Mohamed Al Attiya, said that the new development shows the potential to easily increase local production for at least some of these crops, like watermelon, sweet melon and pumpkin.  Local producers can take advantage of the market needs and relatively high prices, he added.
According to the study, the current situation provides a good incentive for increased local production of vegetables including potatoes which can also be easily stored for long time with appropriate storage facilities. (QNA)

HE Al-Attiyah Meets Zanzibar’s Official

Doha, September 23 (QNA) – HE the Chairman of the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, who is also the President of the Climate Change Conference (COP-18) and the President of the Supreme Committee of (COP18) summit, met on Sunday morning with HE the Minister of State in the First Vice-President’s Office in the Zanzibar Government Fatma Habib Fereji, currently visiting the country.
During the meeting, they discussed the most important issues of common concern, in addition to issues pertaining to the Climate Change Conference (COP-18), due to be held in Doha next November. (QNA)