Friday, January 9, 2009


Yesterday the Qatar session of The LeaderShape Institute came to an end. 59 participants from Education City are now out in the world with the opportunity to impact their communities and change the world. It was an amazing week that I am thankful to have been a part of. It's also the kind of week that I have to reflect so I won't be going into detail here. So I said farewell to Al Khor and the Al Sultan Resort and headed back to Doha.

Denny Roberts, a member of the LeaderShape community, is very graciously hosting Jeff and I in his villa. Not only is he a wonderful host, he's quite the tour guide! We are already having a wonderful experience.

Once we got back to Doha, we went with Denny to the Education City campus to attend a forum on the situation in Gaza. The forum was hosted by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah. The attendance was impressive and there was a large contigency of students from the LeaderShape session there. Three students spoke to the crowd; one from Education City, one from Qatar University, and the last was a Palestinian student but I didn't catch from where. Those in attendance were given the opportunity to share their ideas on how the Arab world can help the situation in the Gaza Strip. Her Highness was extremely interested in what ideas the students had and although she did share some thoughts of her own, she encouraged those in attendance to speak. It was so interesting. Most of the comments were about the need for the Arab world to unite. There was also talk of how education is essential to the success of the Arab world.

Many in attendance were wearing stoles with the Palestinain flag to show their support. Others were holding signs and one group was holding up a banner. We were wearing translaters since the forum was held in Arabic. There were documentaries on the Gaza Strip shown. It was a fascinating and rare experience.

In the evening we went to Denny's rug guy, Mohammed. The Persian rugs he had in his store were just beautiful. They are amazing works of art and I really enjoyed learning about them. We looked at rugs made from silk, wool, wool and cotton, wool and silk, and synthetic silk. They are from all over the Middle East - Turkey, India, Iran, etc. Some took as long as 3 years to make. We found a couple that we liked but just couldn't decide. Mohammed insisted that we take them back to Denny's to sleep on it. We'll go back tomorrow with the rugs and our final decision. Then we'll have a lovely piece of art for our home!

I'm going to let Jeff make his post and then I'll be back to talk about how today went.

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