Georgetown alumni, students and faculty at the School of Foreign Service in Qatar (SFS-Qatar) delivered about 400 meals to Muslim residents in need during their dawn-to-dusk fast for the holy month of Ramadan.
Muslims consume Iftar meals after sunset to break their daily fast during Ramadan, which ends on Sept. 10.
The school, located in the Middle East city of Doha, launched its Volunteer Qatar campaign this past August.
“This initiative is significant because, in addition to running various programs to benefit those in need, we hope it will also inspire a culture of volunteerism in the country,” says Haya Al Noaimi (SFS’09), a leading member of the campaign. “The Qatar community is well-known for its generosity and extensive involvement in charity work, but volunteering is not yet a common practice.”
Al Noaimi also notes that the campaign mirrors Georgetown’s tradition of service.
The commitment to service the university passes on to its students “is what made it possible for my fellow graduate and I to launch this important effort,” Al Moaimi says. “With the university’s continued support, we’re expecting great things from Volunteer Qatar.”
In the campaign’s first event on Aug. 30 volunteers -- who also included staff and friends of SFS-Qatar -- met at a central Doha location to pick up meals provided by one of the city’s restaurant chains. Led by SFS-Qatar alumni, the group then delivered the meals to neighborhoods across the city.
The volunteers represented a diverse mix of ages, gender and nationalities, according to a spokesperson for the school.
Lubna Kayyali, another 2009 graduate of SFS-Qatar, says the campaign is a particularly rewarding outlet for energetic young people.
“With teamwork and volunteering efforts, Qatari society will grow and become more cohesive,” Kayyali says. “The day the youth in Qatar are fully mobilized to be part of Volunteer Qatar [will be] a day of national celebration.”