Sameera Jamal Mahmoud AlHaj-Abed’s decision to enroll in the Master of Public Policy (MPP) program at Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) College of Public Policy (CPP) was rooted in a belief that education is the most powerful tool in the possession of Palestinian youth.
“As a teacher working in Qatar, I witnessed firsthand how different policies can impact the lives of teachers, parents, and most importantly, students. Public policy is able to influence an entire culture and mobilize the public towards a transformative shift in trends and patterns, and I am fascinated by its ability to affect real change,” said Sameera.
The MPP program, designed to impart theoretical knowledge while providing opportunities for specialization in advanced seminars and labs, helped define her career aspirations. Inspired by the university's strong commitment to innovation and its highly-established local and international faculty, she discovered a passion for research.
“As I immersed myself in the MPP program at HBKU, I realized I could wield my expertise in service of the education sector by contributing to groundbreaking research in this field. The skills and knowledge I gained, combined with my unique experience of teaching in Qatar, have equipped me with a unique perspective that I believe can add value to our collective understanding in this area,” said Sameera.
Sameera developed the skills required to understand and contribute to policy making in Qatar, the region, and the world within HBKU’s unique interdisciplinary environment, which naturally reinforces Qatar’s strategy to invest in human capital and economic diversification. The MPP program provided her an opportunity to put her skills to the test, with the curriculum culminating in a capstone project.
Sameera’s capstone project entailed researching and analyzing the intersections between Qatar National Vision 2030, the FIFA 2022 World Cup, and women's empowerment, challenging her to think critically and craft a compelling argument in defense of her work.
This experience proved to be incredibly fulfilling for Sameera. Her project encapsulated how the university encourages multidisciplinary innovation, entrepreneurship, and commitment to finding cross-cutting solutions for complex challenges. It also allowed her to utilize her expertise in different fields and connect various topics toward an overarching objective.
“I poured my heart and soul into the project, and it was an incredibly rewarding experience to see my ideas come to life. It was exhilarating to see how the diverse strands of my research could be woven together to paint a cohesive and meaningful picture,” said Sameera.
With her focus on advancing the state of educational research in the context of public policy, Sameera will be following in the tradition of CPP graduates who are making a positive impact on society by assuming roles in government, multinational corporations, as well as the non-profit and policy research sectors, at home and abroad in service of their communities.
Sameera joins the Class of 2023, who are now ready to embark on new journeys where they will consistently apply their experience to positively impact Qatar and the world. Its graduates all embody the university’s dedication to innovation and entrepreneurship, which has been reflected in academic programs and research that traverse its five focus areas: Precision Health; Artificial Intelligence; Progressive Education; Sustainability; and Social Progress.