Wednesday, January 20, 2010


During the Qatar Young Professionals Institute (QYPI or YPI) we were honored to have a group of young Qatari students host us at lunch one day. The students were very excited to provide us with traditional, homemade, Qatari cuisine. The food was the typical Chicken Biryani, but it was rather good, and for the guests with us from the US it was special to be invited to join. This is the exchange that occurred between the student who brought the food and a staff member who knows the student well.

Staff: “Is this a family recipe”

Student: “Yes it is.”

Staff: “Oh, was it passed from your grandmother, to your mother, and then to you.”

Student: “No, my mother told it to my cooker, and the cooker will train the next cooker to make it.”

I LOVE IT! It is so true, many of these students will have cooks that prepare all their meals for them. It would be unlikely that this student would have made it herself. (It should be noted, there are some students who may come from a family where they do cook – but this is the exception to the rule)

Now, about QYPI, this was a project that began over a year ago when a guest scholar and a few Student Affairs professionals thought it would be a good idea to have a study trip of graduate students from the US who would then engage in meaningfully inquiry with professionals in Qatar. 27 graduate students from the US came and spent about two weeks visiting colleges in Qatar and learning about that culture, in addition to the research that they did prior to arriving. They were then joined by over 30 Student Affairs professionals from 10 institutions in Qatar. We broke into groups to address 6 different topics related to Student Affairs practice. For two days we discussed, debated and considered various recommendations for the growth of Student Affairs in Qatar. The third day all the groups came back together and presented their outcomes and we discussed the outcomes from each group. This may sound boring to some of you – but it was great. It was like being back in Grad school from a few days. I forgot how tiring it is to think in that manner for three days strait. The thinking I do in my work is important and meaningful, but it is not nearly as tiring as the thinking I did in QYPI. I hope good comes of this project and I hope positive change and growth will not be rejected simply because it requires change and maybe compromising. One thing I know that has already come of this experience is that I better understand the stress my supervisors must feel when doing some of their job responsibilities. It is amazing to me how people who are supposedly working toward the same goal would resist so much to positive change. I will take this new appreciation for my supervisors work and try when I can to support them.

No comments:

Post a Comment