When Safaa Sadi Jaber matriculated into the LLM in International Law and Foreign Affairs program at Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) College of Law she anticipated a transformative experience that would prepare her for a career in international law.
Originally from Palestine, Safaa was drawn to the LLM program’s high-quality curriculum and faculty and the university’s reputation for innovation in teaching and research - particularly admiring its institutional commitment to encouraging creativity and collaboration across all degree programs. She was also encouraged by HBKU’s alignment of its programs with Qatar’s vision to foster human capital and economic diversification, challenging students to apply their skills in a rapidly changing and entrepreneurial environment.
After a few months into her studies, Safaa realized that HBKU and the LLM program exceeded her expectations as her studies were a source of passion and helped define her life purpose, both academically and socially.
“The professors at the College of Law, experts in their respective fields, have been my mentors and friends by pushing me to reach my full potential and inspiring me to pursue my passion for law. My classmates were steady companions, sharing in the challenges and triumphs of our academic journey and creating unforgettable memories. I am grateful for the incredible experience and relationships that HBKU provided me, and I will always cherish my time here,” said Jaber.
The LLM in International Law and Foreign Affairs continuously challenged Safaa to use critical reasoning in anticipating and solving complex legal issues while granting her opportunities to learn and engage with world-class academics from diverse backgrounds and legal systems. HBKU College of Law’s comparative approach gave her and her classmates a deeper understanding of legal frameworks in different countries - an indispensable foundation of knowledge for an increasingly globalized world. Safaa used the comparative approach in her LLM thesis, which examined the legal status of the Gaza Strip.
Beyond her legal coursework, Safaa benefited from the opportunity to participate in the Wilhem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna, Austria, in which she and her College of Law teammates argued a mock arbitration case before international judges. She also appreciated the interdisciplinary nature of the LLM program’s curriculum. The College of Law’s future-oriented view and awareness of rapid technological developments inspired the LLM program’s open-ended architecture, exposing its participants to various fields of study that inspired Safaa to broaden her knowledge beyond the degree specialty.
“I now consider myself not only a lawyer and researcher, but also an economist, politician, and environmental activist. The program offered a platform to explore different disciplines in local and international contexts, even outside the realm of international law and foreign affairs. It allowed me to shape my personality and mentality in ways I never thought possible,” said Safaa.
This year’s graduation marks the next chapter in Safaa’s journey as she aspires to positively impact Qatar and the world. She has already committed to the next step by enrolling in the College of Law’s Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) program, building on the education she received in the LLM program.
“While I was initially sad that my journey at HBKU would be short as the LLM is a one-year degree, I am grateful to have the opportunity to continue my studies at HBKU’s College of Law. My time here has given me the tools and mindset to tackle in my S.J.D. dissertation the complex legal issues arising from digital technologies and how international organizations apply them. I am excited to see where this journey will take me and grateful to continue being part of the vibrant HBKU community,” said Safaa.