The Importance of Credible Sources and Collective Responsibility
Hamad Bin Khalifa University

Excellence Alumni Spotlight: The Importance of Credible Sources and Collective Responsibility in Tackling COVID-19

Kholeh Mortada
Graduation Year: 2019, College of Islamic Studies 
Position: Public Relations Specialist, Qatar University 

How is your current work supporting in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic? 

In my current work as a public relations professional at Qatar University, I focus on supporting with crisis communication, and media and publication plans with everything related to the university's efforts to combat the global pandemic. In my personal capacity, I have written a number of articles covering various consequences of the pandemic on our lives. These articles were published in the form of a series titled ‘Inspired by the Global’, published as a weekly column in the Qatari newspaper, Al-Watan. I have also been involved in co-authoring a book entitled ‘Responsible Efforts that Rescued the World’ in which a number of experts and researchers from different countries of the world have contributed. 

What skills and knowledge did you gain at HBKU that have proved essential to your success in your current role? 

I think the ideas and questions raised during my lectures at HBKU formed the foundation that has sparked my constant search for the truth. This passion, initiated in the form of permanent systematic research, is to formulate my beliefs on various facts that the universe and science present to us in a new form every day.

HBKU provided us with the tools to acquire crucial knowledge with different scientific tools, which each deliver different results. These tools have helped me during the pandemic in that they have presented correct information from various sources, which I expanded on and used in my public relations role and in my journalistic writing and academic research.

How is the work you are currently involved in contributing to your personal and professional development? 

Previously, I used to believe that I would never be able to continue to give more in exceptional circumstances, as in the case of an unexpected pandemic. However, thanks to Allah the Almighty I have concluded that, with some sort of patience, resolution and persistence, a person can seek ways to live in hard conditions and face any given challenge.  

In my current role, I need to focus and be creative, and my current field of study in human civilization requires delving deep into knowledge and analysis. The self-isolation and social distancing necessitated by the pandemic has enabled me to reset my personal, professional and scientific priorities.  

Key outcomes and lessons in dealing with the current pandemic that will go on to advance your industry?

This critical period in our collective human history has forced many civil society organizations to develop their mechanisms and systems so they are better prepared to r deal with crises and risks that may befall institutions, society, a state, or the world at any moment. 

Before the pandemic, most institutions neglected to look at these aspects since they were focused on achieving their short and long-term goals, and consequently postponed development and training on dealing with a crisis. 

The current pandemic has highlighted individual and collective responsibility in dealing with a crisis. Without positive support from all segments of the society, precautionary and preventive guidelines and alternative measures will be unsuccessful. The pandemic has also underscored the importance of obtaining information from credible sources. The coronavirus has led to an information epidemic that has seen the dissemination of false information, rumors and news from unknown sources. 

What are your future career ambitions? 

My ultimate goal is to diligently pursue knowledge, properly utilize it and present its fruits to the people and the country as well. This is my highest aspiration. 

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