Arab Engineering Bureau (AEB) presented the awards for Creative Achievement and Potential, and Design Excellence to junior and graduating students of VCUarts Qatar’s Graphic and Interior design departments during a virtual ceremony held in honour of the students

AEB presented the 2020 awards for Design Excellence and Creative Achievement and Potential, to two graduating and two junior students from Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar) in a virtual ceremony held recently. VCUarts Qatar is a partner university of Qatar Foundation.

AEB Group CEO and Chief Architect Ibrahim Mohamed Jaidah, a long-time supporter and friend of VCUarts Qatar, presented the AEB Awards for Design Excellence to graduating Interior Design student Farzana Abubacker Velliyattil, and to Graphic Design student Marwa A Al Kalbani.

Farzana Abubacker Velliyattil
Farzana Abubacker Velliyattil
Marwa Al Kalbani
Marwa Al Kalbani

The awards were instituted by Jaidah to encourage and assist graduating students as they start their careers as designers. Jaidah is recognised as a pioneer of a new architectural movement that combines the far-reaching influences of Islamic art with modern styles to create memorable landmark structures that are shaping Qatar.

Over the years, Jaidah explained, VCUarts Qatar graduates have proven to be at the forefront of various art and design industries in Qatar.

He commended the high level of education offered at VCUarts Qatar and fondly shared how he worked closely with several students as interns, and with several graduates who eventually joined their team. He said that he considers ‘recognising and supporting design talent’ not only a responsibility of practicing professionals as individuals, but that of the industry, too.

It is our responsibility to support our younger generations in gaining new knowledge and experiences; and it is our responsibility to nurture the leaders of tomorrow. So, I take this opportunity to congratulate once again all of the award winners on their achievements.

Aia Zaina
Aia Zaina

The AEB Award for Creative Achievement and Potential for a rising junior was awarded to Graphic Design student Zainab N Al Shibani; while the AEB Award for Creative Achievement and Potential for a rising junior was given to Interior Design student Aia Zaina.

The awards aim to help the junior students realise and achieve their true potential and encourage them to continue developing their skills through their senior year.

VCUarts Qatar’s Dean Amir Berbić said the university was hugely grateful for the continued support from AEB and Jaidah.

I am really pleased that we have arranged this virtual ceremony to mark the recognition of four of our leading students by one of VCUarts Qatar’s most enduring industry partners,  Ibraham Jaidah.

He said that students who won the awards in the past have gone on to leading positions all over the GCC, such as Lejla Nikšić (2007) who now works at AEB; Zlatan Pejdah (2012), a Design Manager at Cambridge Interiors in the UAE; Amira Natsheh (2017 and 2018), now a Product Design Specialist at Qatar Foundation; and Noha Fahmy (2014 and 2015), a Regional Retail Design Manager at L’Oreal UAE.

Dean Berbić noted that the awards recognised the students commitment to their future careers in what is a very competitive and demanding environment. Besides the awards, AEB and Jaidah continue to partner with VCUarts Qatar by offering internship opportunities to students.

For more information about VCUarts Qatar, visit