The fifth annual Qatar Leadership Conference (QLC) was held from the 20th to the 22nd of October 2016 at the Qatar National Convention Centre. Over 600 students from schools all over Qatar, as well as visitors from every corner of the globe, convened for a weekend of informative and inspirational workshops and sessions.
Although affiliated with The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN) Qatar, the reach and ambition of the QLC extended far beyond MUN, serving as a hive of ideas and opportunities for both students and teachers to take advantage of.
For those not familiar with the concept of MUN, it stands for "Model United Nations" and it is
an educational simulation in which students learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. MUN involves and teaches researching, public speaking, debating, and writing skills, in addition to critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities.
At Doha College, MUN started in 2006 as a small political club run as an after-school activity. This grew into MUN and the school attended its first conference 10 years ago at QMUN. Many successful overseas trips followed, leading to the first DCMUN Conference in 2008 with 50 students. In 2011, DCMUN IV was inspected by Mr Cameron Janzen, Regional THIMUN Qatar Director, and THIMUN affiliation was awarded making Doha College the only school in Qatar with this honour.
Back to the recent conference at QNCC, it hosted hundreds of sessions that covered topics ranging from the power of photography and film to entrepreneurial endeavours. Each session was led by experts in their field, and it was remarkable that so many of these experts were students who had devoted time and energy to their passions and found the courage to head the workshops for the benefit and enjoyment of their peers.
The conference was headlined by a number of keynote presenters: Northwestern University Qatar Professor Andrew Mills urged participants to take risks and "walk in the direction of your fears," and motivational speaker Khalid Al Ameri persuaded them to take action and write their own futures.
Doha College is proud to have been represented at the QLC by a team of students and staff, including Year 12 students Jeeveththaa Thirugnanasambanthar and Armaan Chaiwalla, who conducted a session on mastering the art of public speaking, and Principal Dr Steffen Sommer, who directed a talk on what makes a successful leader. Year 13 student Anusha Khan was a member of the Student Executive Team and delivered a wonderful speech on her humble MUN beginnings.
The Qatar Leadership Conference provides a unique environment for students and teachers to engage with each other and to develop personal goals and aspirations, in a way that is meaningful and impactful to everyone involved. It is through events like the QLC that we can witness the dawn of a new generation of innovators, pioneers and leaders.