11:11 AM

UHCL to contribute to U.S.-Qatar Year of Culture 2021

In July, University of Houston-Clear Lake announced a groundbreaking partnership between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar to expand the range of educational services and training of diplomats through a new Diplomacy Institute (DI). Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin signed a Memorandum of Understanding designating 2021 as the U.S.-Qatar Year of Culture.

Each year, Qatar launches an initiative to display its culture and art to an international audience to promote mutual understanding and appreciation between countries, inviting people from both countries to explore their cultural similarities and differences.

“This Culture Year 2021 between the U.S. and Qatar is very much aligned with the mission of our newly-formed Diplomacy Institute,” said Assistant Vice President of Global Learning and Strategy Gigi Do. “Cultural diplomacy, an important learning aspect of our institute, is the exchange of ideas, values, traditions and other elements of cultural identity. Qatar has used practices of cultural diplomacy to enhance its standing abroad, and consolidate its legitimacy at home.”

Do said that with the new partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Diplomatic Institute of Doha, UH-Clear Lake is looking forward to delivering cultural events that will promote respect and recognition of cultural diversity and heritage between Qatar and the U.S.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has requested that the DI create and host several events in 2021 that will provide a shared cultural exchange involving the interplay of education, science, sports and art,” she said. “The DI’s Internal Advisory Committee members will work together to develop programming to elevate UHCL’s international profile through these activities.”

She said that UHCL’s participation in the Culture Year dovetails with the Diplomacy Institute’s first phase of operation, which is to work closely with Qatar to expand educational services and training to consular offices, students and university partners all over the world.

“The DI has created an Internal Advisory Committee and we have planned a fall 2020 schedule that includes a continuing education/professional development course in public speaking for the Consulate General of the State of Qatar in Houston, a monthly diplomatic lecture series, and there are more plans being developed to work directly with the Diplomatic Institute in Doha,” she said. “The institute also aims to organize other specialized diplomacy training, seminars, conferences, faculty and student exchanges and opportunities for joint research and scholarship.”

“The expansion of our partnership with the Diplomatic Institute of Qatar demonstrates the global impact of UH-Clear Lake,” said UHCL President Ira K. Blake. “As an institution of higher education, we are responsible for providing learning opportunities across many disciplines, and the Year of Culture further diversifies our subject matter expertise as well as the way in which we deliver that information to our students and the larger community.”

Houston is one of America’s most international cities. The DI places UHCL as innovators at the forefront of creating a better future for the world. Learn more about UHCL's Diplomacy Institute online.