During a signing ceremony at the Oryx Rotana Hotel in Doha on 11 December 2014, in the presence of the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of the State of Qatar, HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar Airways announced its partnership with the Shafallah Center for Youth with Special Needs.

The ceremonial signing signified the first partnership for The Shafallah Centre with an employer in Qatar.  Qatar Airways, the national carrier of the State of Qatar, will employ members from The Shafallah Center to be part of the airline’s team, providing them with full support to use their talents and skills in various roles within the airline. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, HE Akbar Al Baker, said:

Qatar Airways has been a long-standing contributor to social responsibility and this partnership is especially close to the airline, being a Qatar-based center that is committed to the development of contributing members of our society. In Qatar Airways, our new team members from The Shafallah Center are provided with the same benefits and opportunities to learn, work and grow their careers as we do with our existing employees. They are provided with training and development, with the commitment to growing their professional work experience. We look forward to employing even more ladies and gentlemen from The Shafallah Center and broadening the job opportunities, and further integrating our two organisations. Qatar Airways is committed to nurturing and supporting the very centers and facilities that grow and enhance the well-being and foundation of the State of Qatar.’

Qatar Airways began the partnership as an initial ‘pilot project’, employing five members from The Shafallah Center in Qatar Aircraft Catering Company as general clerks carrying out aircraft preparation and customer delivery readiness tasks. Shafallah members who are currently Qatar Airways employees are familiarised with the working place and its facilities, and trained on a daily basis on the tasks they are assigned to do. Qatar Airways Vice President Employee Services, Nabeela Fakhri, said:

It is everyone’s responsibility to care about having a united society and involving everyone in the development of our country. Our young adults from The Shafallah Center are highly committed to their jobs, take great pride in their work, and are talented and skilled. We are thrilled at their recent joining and welcome them with open arms to be a part of the airline – their national carrier – as we all contribute to pay back Qatar.

Amal Al Mannai said:

I would like to thank the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of the State of Qatar, HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani for his presence and support today. I would also like to thank Qatar Airways for caring for the special needs community, and giving them the opportunity to be trained and recruited in the national airline of Qatar through this partnership.’

Established on 1999 at the behest of HH Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, The Shafallah Center is the first facility of its kind in the Arab and Muslim world that provides comprehensive services for children with disabilities. The Shafallah Center is a private, non-profit institution that provides special education, exceptional health care services and therapies for children with disabilities from birth to adulthood.

Qatar Airways celebrated its one year anniversary, in October 2014, of joining the oneworld global alliance. The award-winning alliance was named the World’s Best Airline Alliance 2014 by Skytrax for the second year running this year. Qatar Airways was the first Gulf carrier to join this global airline alliance, enabling its passengers to benefit from almost 1,000 airports in more than 150 countries, with 14,250 daily departures. Qatar Airways has more than 340 aircraft on order with a value of US$70 billion.