The Amir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani and Qatar Foundation (QF) Chairperson HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser attended QFs annual Convocation ceremony, honoring the academic achievements of 786 new QF graduates, on Tuesday night.
His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO, Qatar Foundation, and His Excellency Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, President of Qatar Olympic Committee, also attended the event in Education City’s Ceremonial Court, alongside ministers and dignitaries, university deans, faculty, and family members.
The Class of 2019 now join QFs growing global alumni network – which already has more than 5,000 members – having graduated in fields including medicine, engineering, art and design, computer science, law, communication, and Islamic studies. Tonights Convocation ceremony was an opportunity for graduates from QFs nine universities to collectively look back on their time and accomplishments at Education City – and look to the future.
Her Excellency Sheikha Hind said: “For our Class of 2019 graduates, Convocation is many things: a personal and shared celebration, a source of pride, and a time to reflect on their achievements and experiences at Education City. It is a culmination – but it is also a beginning.
“At Convocation, the talented, dedicated, and ambitious young people that Qatar Foundation is proud to have called our students step out of one phase of their lives and into the next. A future that holds challenges and possibilities awaits them, but wherever their path leads, they will travel it empowered by the knowledge that they are as well-equipped to create, innovate, contribute, and thrive as any set of graduates in the world.
“Every member of our Class of 2019 has recognized and maximized the unique educational opportunity that Qatar Foundation provides. Their academic excellence has been matched by their growth as knowledge-seekers, critical thinkers, and active citizens who are determined to be drivers of positive change. As embodiments of QFs belief in what quality education stands for, and what it makes possible, they will always be part of our story – and we will watch with pride as they write their own.”
Tonights proceedings began with students from Qatar Leadership Academy – a school under the umbrella of QFs Pre-University Education – performing the Qatar national anthem. This was followed by the City of Knowledge, the alma mater song of Qatar Foundation, which is sung by its graduates every year at Convocation.
The 2019 Convocation keynote speaker was Brandon Stanton, author of Humans of New York – a photo blog and book chronicling the lives of people in the US city – who, in his address, urged the new QF graduates to concentrate on the things in life that they alone have the power to influence and command.
“The modern world has trained us to judge all our efforts by the immediate feedback that they get, but the more sustainable and more sturdy path to success is to forget about those things that are outside your control, and focus on the things that you can control – the amount of work that you put in, and what you do on a 24-hour basis with your time,” he said.
“What Humans of New York eventually became was nothing that I originally intended. All I focused on was going out and photographing every single day – and I did that thousands of days in a row. Through focusing on the work, and ignoring what people were saying about it, I was able to innovate and slowly build something that was beyond my wildest dreams.”
Following the keynote address, the project Mobsron was announced as the winner of Cycle 2 of QFs Akhlaquna Award – an initiative announced by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser in 2017 that aims to help nurture positive behavioral change within society. Created by students Nawal Al-Kurbi, Almazun Al-Marri, and Amal Al-Gherainig, Mobsron is a mobile app that helps people who are blind and visually impaired to order food, review ingredients, and compare prices.
A film featuring testimonies from Class of 2019 students was also screened at the ceremony before, at the conclusion of the ceremony, each graduate passed through the Door to the Future, a long-standing QF tradition that symbolizes students entering a new stage in their lives.
Since it was first held in 2008, Convocation has been a platform to collectively celebrate the graduation of students from QF member Hamad Bin Khalifa University, and QF partner universities Texas A&M University at Qatar, Northwestern University in Qatar, Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar, Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Georgetown University in Qatar, UCL Qatar, and HEC Paris in Qatar.
Dozens dead in Pakistan as PIA plane plunges into Karachi houses
Islamabad, Pakistan – At least 85 people have been killed after an Airbus A320 passenger airliner cr..
Islamabad, Pakistan – At least 85 people have been killed after an Airbus A320 passenger airliner crashed into a residential neighbourhood while on approach to the airport in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi, officials say.
At least two male passengers of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-8303 from the eastern city of Lahore to Karachi survived the crash on Friday, a health ministry spokeswoman told Al Jazeera.
There were at least 91 passengers on board the plane, according to an official passenger manifest shared with Al Jazeera by the officials.
Health ministry spokeswoman Meeran Yousuf told Al Jazeera by telephone that 85 people have died, with 53 bodies kept at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi’s largest government hospital, and 32 at Civil Hospital Karachi, another major state-run hospital.
Yousuf said the two survivors were being treated at the hospitals in Karachi, while 19 bodies have been identified so far.
At least six people who were on the ground when the airliner crashed into houses in the densely populated Model Colony area of Karachi, adjacent to the city’s international airport, were being treated for their injuries, she added.
“Our plane [an Airbus] A320 which was coming from Lahore to Karachi was on final approach,” said PIA chief Arshad Malik in a video message released after the crash.
“The last words we heard from our pilot were that there is a technical problem and he was told on final approach that he has both runways available to him to land on. But the pilot decided that he wanted to go around.”
The plane then rapidly lost altitude and crashed short of the runway into the Model Colony neighbourhood, witnesses told the local media.
Dense plumes of black smoke rose above houses in the narrow streets of the neighbourhood, with television footage showing several houses crushed from the impact of the aircraft.
Parts of the plane, including the emergency exit door, were seen strewn in the streets.
Wreckage of the PIA passenger plane crash can be seen in a residential area in Karachi [Sabir Mazhar/Anadolu]
Pakistan’s military said it had deployed helicopters to assess the damage and help ferry the dead and wounded to the hospitals.
An emergency was declared in all of the city’s hospitals, already reeling from a widespread outbreak of the coronavirus, provincial health minister Azra Pechucho told reporters.
“We are doing DNA testing of the dead bodies so that they can be identified and they can be given to their families,” she said.
“We were already in an emergency situation due to COVID, we were already alert … and now we have put the surgical units on alert as well.”
‘Shocked and saddened’
Pakistan resumed limited domestic flight operations last week, after a lengthy suspension due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has claimed more than 1,067 lives in the South Asian nation, according to the government data.
The Airbus A320, operated by Pakistan’s national flag carrier, was due to land in Karachi at 2:45pm local time (09:45 GMT) after an hour and a half in the air after departing Lahore earlier in the day.
In 2016, Pakistan suffered its deadliest recent air crash, when all 47 people on board a PIA Embraeur ATR aircraft were killed when it crashed into a mountain en route from the northern town of Chitral to the capital Islamabad.
In 2010, the country saw its worst air disaster, with all 152 people on board an Air Blue passenger flight killed when the plane crashed into the hills just north of the capital Islamabad.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered an immediate inquiry into Friday’s crash.
UK to introduce quarantine for international arrivals from June 8
Britain will introduce a 14-day quarantine for travellers arriving from abroad from June 8, interior..
Britain will introduce a 14-day quarantine for travellers arriving from abroad from June 8, interior minister Priti Patel said, with the government warning that anyone breaking the rules would face a fine or prosecution.
All international arrivals, including returning Britons, will have to self-isolate and provide details of where they will be staying under the plans, which were criticised by airlines, business groups and politicians alike.
“Now we are past the peak of this virus, we must take steps to guard against imported cases triggering a resurgence of this deadly disease,” Patel said at a news conference.
“We are not shutting down completely. We are not closing our borders.”
Those who breached the quarantine in the United Kingdom could be fined 1,000 UK pounds ($1,218), and spot checks would be carried out by health and border officials.
The quarantine will not apply to those arriving from the Republic of Ireland, nor to freight drivers, medical professionals or seasonal agricultural workers. The measures will be reviewed every three weeks.
The UK has recorded the highest number of deaths in Europe from coronavirus, with more than 36,000 people who have tested positive having died so far.
But the quarantine move is controversial, especially with the aviation sector, where flights have been grounded and passenger numbers slumped during lockdown measures.
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary this week branded a proposed quarantine plan “idiotic” and accused ministers of “making it up as they go along”.
Virgin Atlantic said quarantine would prevent services from resuming and claimed there “simply won’t be sufficient demand to resume passenger services before August at the earliest”.
Trade body Airlines UK has said it “would effectively kill” international travel to the UK.
Others have questioned why Britain did not introduce quarantine earlier, like countries such as South Korea, Spain and the United States.
Ireland also imposes measures
In addition to Britain, travellers arriving in Ireland from next week will also be legally required to inform the government where they will quarantine for 14 days to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Minister for Health Simon Harris said on Friday.
“These are extraordinary measures but they are necessary in a time of a public health crisis,” said Harris in a statement.
From Thursday until at least June 18, those arriving in the Republic of Ireland will be legally required to complete a form noting the address where they will “self-isolate” for two weeks.
Failure to complete the form will carry a penalty of up to 2,500 euros ($2,725) and/or up to six months’ imprisonment.
All nationalities will be required to provide information, including those coming from neighbouring Britain.
Ireland has suffered 1,592 deaths from coronavirus according to the latest department of health figures. Recorded daily deaths peaked at 77 on April 20 but on Friday, the figure had fallen to 11.
Trump predicts coronavirus vaccine by years end, vows plague will pass
As some states loosen lockdown restrictions in a bid to set the nation’s battered economy on the roa..
As some states loosen lockdown restrictions in a bid to set the nation’s battered economy on the road to recovery, President Trump endorsed a state-by-state approach while predicting at a Fox News virtual town hall on Sunday that a coronavirus vaccine could be available by December.
“I think we’ll have a vaccine by the end of the year,” Trump told the moderators, Fox News’ Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, saying he was “very confident” in the assessment. “We’ll have a vaccine much sooner rather than later.”
Asked by MacCallum if he was concerned about the potential risks of accelerating a vaccine and human trials, Trump responded: “No, because they’re volunteers. They know what they’re getting into … They want to help the process.”
That timeline was dramatically ahead of previous estimates from both public and private sector experts at the outset of the pandemic, which had said a vaccine could take up to 18 months, if not longer. But, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said this weekend it was “doable if things fall in the right place” to have a vaccine by January.
Trump also predicted that the U.S. would be self-reliant on antibiotics, without needing to rely on China, within two years. Republicans have said it’s “crazy” that America is reliant on China, a communist adversary, for critical supplies including antibiotics.
President Donald Trump speaks during a Fox News virtual town hall from the Lincoln Memorial, Sunday, May 3, 2020, in Washington, co-moderated by FOX News anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
However, Trump predicted that as many as 100,000 Americans could die from the coronavirus, in a significant increase from his estimate of 60,000 last month. “Were going to lose anywhere from 75, 80 to 100,000 people,” Trump said, calling it a “horrible” situation. Without his administration’s actions, Trump asserted, “the minimum we would have lost was a million two, a million four, a million five, thats the minimum.”
Trump generally backed the efforts of America’s governors to manage the crisis, saying that each state will have a different approach to reopening their economies.
“It’s going to pass,” he assured, repeatedly referring to the outbreak as the “plague.”
Trump went on to assert that Democrats and media organizations, who have mocked him for touting the possible benefits of hydroxychloroquine in fighting coronavirus, were motivated by politics and “don’t want to see a good result.” Some media organizations even reported that an Arizona couple had consumed fish tank cleaner because they believed it contained hydroxychloroquine. The woman in that case had claimed she was following Trump’s advice despite openly attacking Trump on social media. Her husbands death after ingesting the liquid is now under investigation.
President Donald Trump speaks during a Fox News virtual town hall from the Lincoln Memorial, Sunday, May 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)