Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) is offering non-credit evening community classes taught for the first time at the Georgetown Building on a wide range of topics in English and Arabic.  

The classes will run in the evenings from 6.30 to 8.30 once a week from March 15 through April 30 on topics such as comparative religious perspectives, contemporary issues in Gulf studies, Arab politics, innovations in digital learning, using online learning, how to appreciate Arabic poetry, great philosophers and contemporary world events, Islam and contemporary issue, the history of the Middle East and Sports Education. This initiative provides Qataris and residents of Qatar an opportunity to make learning a part of their busy lives. GU-Q hopes to provide the knowledge and resources for working professionals and members of the wider community to meet their educational goals.

Arab Women's Conference 2006
Dr Amira Sonbol, professor of history and chairperson of the Georgetown Faculty Council.

Dr Amira Sonbol, professor of history and chairperson of the Georgetown Faculty Council tasked with developing the community class curriculum, explained who would benefit from enrolling in these courses:

There are many people in Qatar who missed out on a degree who would love to pursue an education – mid level professionals, women who never went to college in order to raise a family, those who entered the workforce instead of college, as well as members of the expat community who would love to advance their education.’

Further commenting on why the university chose to offer courses for mature students, Dr Sonbol said:

At Georgetown, we believe we have a duty to reach out to Qatari society and offer what we do best here to the wider community.’

Dr Khalid Bibi, Associate Dean at Georgetown University.

Dr Khalid W. Bibi, Associate Dean at Georgetown University, holds a Ph.D. in Kinesiology with a specialty in Sports and Exercise Sciences from the University of Connecticut and will be teaching a special course entitled “Sports Education and Exercise Science: Contemporary Issues & Relevance to Qatar.”

Dr Bibi stated:

Qatar has made tremendous investments in the sports sector, and in the process, created many opportunities for employment and growth that will endure well into the future. My class will teach how this sector is shaping Qatar’s future and how to contextualise these newly emerging professions in a manner that meets the nation’s religious and cultural priorities as well as its strategic goals.’

He further explained that class instruction and discussion would be supported with factual applications, site visits, and co-presented by select notable experts and practitioners from Qatar.

GU-Q professor of political theory, Dr Joshua Mitchell, who will be teaching a Community Education course titled “Great Philosophers and Contemporary World Events”, which will be an inquiry into topics of how great philosophers influence and teach about the contemporary challenges faced in the world today, said:

One of the many tasks of a university is to reach out to the community of which it is a part and, where possible, offer classes that help its members rise to the challenges they face–as citizens, as employers and employees, as family members, and as individuals.’

Remarking on the prospect of teaching a completely new type of student at Georgetown in Qatar, he added:

While I thoroughly enjoy teaching college-age students, I really do look forward to teaching those whose college years are behind them, but who have not forgotten that the important issues of the day require a deeper sort of inquiry that universities provide.’

The courses run on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 6.30 pm to 8.30pm. For more information visit their website.