Class of 2018 Commencement Ceremony

(dramatic orchestral music) (cheering) (audience applause) – President DeGioia, Your Excellency Ms. Aysha Al-Mudahka, Members of the Board, Ambassadors, Members of the Faculty, Members of the Class of 2018, ladies and gentleman. Welcome to the Commencement Exercises of Georgetown University in Qatar, School of Foreign Service. Please remain standing
for the National Anthem of the State of Qatar and
the United States of America. (Qatar national anthem orchestral music) (audience applause) (USA national anthem orchestral music) (audience applause) Please be seated. It’s our custom to begin
and end our ceremonies with the prayer. At the beginning, we involve
God’s presence among us. Today, Alisha Kamran, class of 2018, will offer the opening prayer. – Thank you, Dean Dallal. The following passage has been taken from Surah Al-Jumah, the congregation. (prayer in foreign language) Whatever it is in the heavens and whatever is on the
earth is exalted for Allah, the Sovereign, the Pure, the Exalted, and Might, the Wise. It is who has sent among the Unlettered a
Messenger from themselves, reciting to Him his
verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and Wisdom, although they were before in clear error. And others of them who
have not yet joined them and He has exalted the Might, the Wise. That is the bounty of Allah, which he gives to wisdom, He wills and Allah is the
processor of great bounty. The likeliness of those who are entrusted with the law of Moses yet applied not. is as the likeness of the
donkey carrying books. Like there is the likeness of folk who denied the revelations of Allah and Allah does not like wrongdoers. – Thank you Alisha. Most Reverend John Carroll, first Catholic Bishop in the United States took formal possession of the land on our Hilltop in Maryland in 1789. And it is that date that we
observe as our founding date. It was not until 1814,
with enrollment passing 100 that Georgetown’s then
President Reverend John Grass of the society of Jesus
asked our first student William Gaston by then a
North Carlina Congressmen to introduce a petition into Congress for the Federal Charter. It is our venerable custom to begin academic ceremonies with the reading of that Charter for the College of Georgetown within the District of Columbia. To discharge that office, I
have the pleasure to present Marie Mattson, Secretary
of the University. (audience applause) – An act concerning the
college of Georgetown in the District of Columbia. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of
America in Congress assembled, that it shall and may be lawful for such persons as now are, or from time to time may be, the President and Directors of the College of Georgetown, within the District of Columbia, to admit any of the students
belonging to said College, or other person meriting
academical honors, to any degree in the
faculties, arts, sciences, and liberal professions, to which persons are usually admitted to other Colleges or Universities
of the United States; and to issue in an appropriate form the diplomas or certificates
which may be requisite to testify to the
admission to such degrees. Signed Langdon Cheves, Speaker of the House
of the Representatives, John Gaillard, President
for temporary of the Senate and approved March, 1,
1815, James Madison. – Now it is my distinct honor to welcome Ms. Aysha Al Mudahka, CEO of the Qatar Business
Incubation Center to deliver the commencement address. Ms. Al Mudahka has a
strong business pedigree, both in terms of education
and work experience. She began her carrier at
the Qatar Financial Center and the Qatar Finance
and Business Academy. Working her way up from volunteer, she served as the Executive
Director of INJAZ Qatar, where she remains as a board member. Ms. Al Mudahka has been the CEO of the Qatar Business
Incubation Center since 2014, where she leads a team
professionals devoted to supporting local entrepreneurs whose mission is to develop the next one hundred million
Riyal companies in Qatar. Throughout her career, she
has exemplified the virtues of responsibility and excellence and has been a tireless champion for the value of leadership,
entrepreneurship, and female empowerment. Her ethos, hardwork, and commitment did not go unnoticed. As a result, Ms. Al Mudahka featured in a number of prominent publication
in the past few years. She was listed in the top 100 most powerful Arab women by the CEO of Middle East Magazine and was considered among
the most influential Qataris by the Arabian Business Qatar Magazine. Serving the community
with compassion and wisdom has also resulted in her being recognized for various accolades, which include this
special recognition award at the 2015 Arabian Business Qatar Awards. It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you Ms. Aysha Al Mudahka. (audience applause) – (speaking in foreign language) Your Excellency Dr. Hassan
Lahdan Al Mohannadi, Minister of Justice, Your Excellency Dr. Abdullah Al Thani, Your Excellency President DeGioia, Dean Hellman, Dean Dallal, distinguish guests, ladies and gentlemen, graduates congratulations Hoyas, it’s been quite a journey, here you are. To mark this important movement of Georgetown University in Qatar, a University so international about a figure who inspired me. I would like to talk about a
figure who had inspired me. When my grandmother was born, Doha was sand before the Krunish, before the Sheraton, before the invention
of hydrocarbon economy. She belonged to a traditional generation with the strong respect
for morals, education and the uncertainty of the future. About female empowerment
her answer was simple. To inspire her daughter and
me and the whole family, to get out and do. Not to flout its convention,
no disrespect, no drama. But not to let anyone or
anything get in the way to where we want to go. My grandmother believed
in the traditional values. She taught us that it is
right to pursue excellence to fulfill our potential and to persists. No matter what road looks, we might encounter on our way. I am proud to belong to a nation now, which deals with obstacles
in my grandmother’s way. No disrespect, no drama. Just getting on with the plan and refusing to let anyone or anything gets in the way of where we want to go. Georgetown graduates,
look at the world today, when insularity and indifference are flaunted like virtues. I call upon you to keep building bridges with both compassion and dignity. And also as more distinguished speakers have said before me don’t believe in rumors, find out for yourselves instead. Graduates let your gift
to humanity be simple. I ask you to flourish, I ask you to flower as good people. You have lived in a
nation under blockades. You have shared on Qatar’s
efforts to flourish to flourish as a grand
community and a nation. As family, as friends,
as learners, as teachers, as individuals to flourish
to dreams of a better future. Remember when you grow, some may want to block you. Keep flowering, keep
going and keep growing. In the long run, nothing is
sweeter than knowing this, we never gave up. Maybe at first you won’t
know what directions to take. It’s okay, I didn’t
know at first like you. I got a good education, I graduated from Qatar University. I was full of fire to do great things for my family and my nation. But I didn’t know what great things. So I went to the U.S. determined to seize learning
and life by the throats, discover my dreams and unfold my wings. And I woke up one day and somehow I had ended
up working in insurance. Yes I learnt a lot. I learnt my path was elsewhere. I gave up my safety nuts
and I came back to Qatar and I started volunteering for an organization called INJAZ Qatar. Helping other people to
achieve their business dreams and eventually my love for that my love for that work brought me to Qatar Business
Incubation Center as CEO. And so I have become an entrepreneur for entrepreneurs, crazy busy and a love
with my professional life. At QBIC, we have a mission to find the Qatar’s next 100 million
Qatari Riyals companies. After four years of existence, we are about to celebrate
a graduation too, our tenth wave of ambitious entrepreneurs. We have 330 graduates and
more than 120 companies. We have invested 4.5 million Riyals in our entrepreneurs and have made 27 million
Riyals in revenue. We are helping develop Qatar’s national Qatar’s Knowledge Economy towards the national vision 2030. And through which all, I
have never stopped learning. I even went back to college. I did an executive MBA at HEC Paris, because I realized that more learning makes space
for more growth to happen. My story is a story that
makes sense looking back, but I could not appreciate that while it was all happening because I was living at forward. We live forwards blindly and we are sealed by the
personal stories around us, just one moment of kindness when you are touch someone else’s soul that can open away for
the world to change. We cannot say which way
our future road will turn, what transformation will experience, nor what unexpected friends
will join us along the way. But if your road doesn’t
give some real bumps, probably that road doesn’t go anywhere and is not exciting enough. Take some risks, if I
can do it you can do it. If I can do it, you can certainly do it. You are life, you are future. One day, I hope to be a grandmother too. My daughter is four. I’ll always be for her to come home too. But you represent the world
she is going fly into. When she is 10, you will be her teacher. When she graduates, you
will be her employer. When she is 25 and discovering
her passion in life, you will be making decisions
that could change her life. So please make it, so
that she doesn’t have to squeeze herself into some
little job description. Make it, so she can shape
the world to herself, not cut and pull herself into the world. Let her stay amazed and grateful at the miracle of being alive. And don’t let her lose
for spontaneous creativity and her deep kindness. Help her be a problem
server, a lifelong learner. And make her a champion of human values. Keep her safe, please, but not too safe. Make sure there are wide
open spaces for her to dance and fall over and be her free self. Whatever else she does, help her be a good entrepreneur and I wish you the same, the very same. I know you will live well and lead well and truly I look forward to
seeing you in years to come, still with fire in your bellies continuing to flower as good people, continuing to lead us
into new happier futures. Again class of 2018, Qatar Georgetown
Representatives to the world, my warmest congratulations to you, thank you very much. (audience applause) – Thank you Ms Al Mudahka
for your inspiring words. I assure you that our students will live up to your expectations. We would like to demonstrate our deepest gratitude with the gift. The gift will be presented
by President DeGioia. (audience applause) We come now to the most important part of the program. All the parts are important, but this is the most important. It’s the Conferral of Degrees. You are the purpose of all we do and you are certainly the
University’s greatest legacy. Dr. Amira El Zein, Associate professor of the Georgetown University in Qatar will call the names of
the degree candidates, where candidates have
achieved Latin Honors from cum laude meaning with distinction up to summa cum laude meaning with the highest distinction. This will be noted before their name. Similarly those inducted into a number of National Honor Societies in recognition of their excellence will have that society
mentioned before their name. You will recognize this
as three Greek letters. Each candidate will come
forward to be hooded to receive the diploma
and to be congratulated. After all the candidates
have crossed the stage, Dr. Joe Hellman, Dean of the
School of Foreign Service will present the candidates
to the President, who will confer the degree in course. – Graduating summa cum laude alpha sigma nu and phi beta Kappa Wissam Al Qannas (sp) (audience applause) Omar Abbad (sp) (audience applause) Moha Ibrahim Al Ahmad (sp) (audience applause) Fathima Ibrahim Al Ansari (sp) (audience applause) Issa Sayyid Al Bahr (sp) (audience applause) Awatef Mosa Mohammed Al-Afasy (sp) Graduating cum laude Ralia Khalid Nasser Al-hail (sp) (audience applause) Hunan Ali (sp) (audience applause) Graduating summa cum laude alpha sigma nu and phi beta Kappa Yaara Al-Kahala (sp) (audience applause) Omar Sulaiman Al Khatib (sp) (audience applause) Rawan Al-Kulaibi (sp) (audience applause) Issa Ahmed Al Qubaisi (sp) (audience applause) Mohammed Ghanim Al Kuwari (sp) (audience applause) Muneera Mohammed Al Mena (sp) (audience applause) Alanood Ghazi Al Minnary (sp) (audience applause) Washt Abdullah Al-Meraki (sp) (audience applause) Almaha Hassan Al Mohannadi (sp) (audience applause) Shafia Ahmad Al Mohannadi (sp) (audience applause) Almaha Ahmad Al Nama (sp) (audience applause) Maryam Ali Al Sayyakkal (sp) (audience applause) Khulood Khaleel Hassan Asheeba (sp) (audience applause) Aya Abdullah Ahmed Al Fani (sp) (audience applause) Waqt Ahmed Al Fani (sp) (audience applause) Ran Bassam Arshad (sp) (audience applause) Graduating cum laude Graduating magma cum laude Jihan Venamar (sp) (audience applause) Richard Weight Yuchin (sp) (audience applause) Yun Suk Jordan Choi (sp) (audience applause) Hameeda Nahaag Dorsadhe (sp) (audience applause) Wardha Abdulrahman Al Khalifa (sp) (audience applause) Carlos Eduardo Estrada Luis (sp) (audience applause) Heera Fathima (sp) (audience applause) Amber Fold Kayan (sp) (audience applause) Atif Aslam (sp) Graduating cum laude (sp) (audience applause) Irshad Iskander (sp) (audience applause) Ahmad Abdullah Al Jaber (sp) (audience applause) Alisha Yamal Kamran (sp) (audience applause) Sina Kaunk (sp) (audience applause) Chi Yu (sp) (audience applause) Farah Mahzil Mahfooz (sp) (audience applause) Graduating Summa cum laude Alpha sigma nu and phi beta kappa Emma Ringer Mogensen (sp) (audience applause) Nayab Rana (sp) (audience applause) Ola Shaaz (sp) (audience applause) Alak Hemanth Chef (sp) (audience applause) Rana Haider Tahir (sp) (audience applause) Zohib Tahir (sp) (audience applause) Graduating magma cum laude Munravi Thanitho (sp) (audience applause) Walliullah (sp) (audience applause) Arman Zabi (sp) (audience applause) Walid Zahoor (sp) (audience applause) – It is now my honor to
present Dr. Joe Hellman, Dean of the School of Foreign Service who would formally present the candidates to President DeGioio who
will confer the degrees. – Candidates can I ask
you to please stand. President DeGioio, I have
the honor to present to you these candidates for the degree of Bachelor of
Science in Foreign Service. These students have been duly examined and recommended by the faculty and approved by the Board of Directors. I therefore ask that you bestow on them the degree in course. – By virtue of the authority vested in me by the Congress of the United States and by the Board of Directors
of Georgetown University I officially confer upon these candidates the degree of Bachelor
science in Foreign Service, congratulation. (audience applause) – That’s it this is Members of the class of 2018. You richly deserve the congratulation you have just received. You have all worked
hard then achieved much during your years at Georgetown. None of you however has managed to do this on your own. You have benefited from the knowledge and wisdom of your professors and you have been supported
by family and friends. So now it is time graduates to turnaround please turn around and applaud the people who
helped to get to this day. (audience applause) Please be seated. It is now my privilege to formally present Dr John J. DeGioio, 48th President of Georgetown University who will offer closing reflections. – Well, thank you very much Dean Dallal, we are deeply grateful to you for your leadership this past year and for the many ways that you have supported our students
as they have achieved this very special day of commencement. For almost a decade and a half, we welcomed a new class of students into our community here at GUQ. These are some of the most extraordinary young women and men from around our world. And each year they share with us their talents, perspectives
and immense capacity to act in service to others. We could not welcome such an exceptional group of young people without the dedicated leadership of so many members of our community from Dean Hellman, who has brought such
exciting vision and energy to our School of Foreign Service to Dean Dallal in the
Dean’s office here in Qatar who provided resilient leadership and ensure the flourishing of our community this past year and of course our faculty and staff who shaped the experiences that our students have here every day. And we could not do this without such committed
partners here in Doha. We are honored to be joined by many distinguished guest today. His Excellency Sheikh
Abdullah Bin Ali Al Thani, a member of our University’s
Board of Directors. His Excellency, Sheikh Hamad Bin Faisal
Bin Thani Al Thani, Sheik Marrian Bin Abdullah Al Thani members of the Qatar foundation, the international diplomatic community, as well as representative
of our other institutions here in education city. And I wish to express our
deep gratitude to each of you. I also wish to share our appreciation with our commencement speaker who offered such a wonderful address, Ms. Aysha Al Mudahka. We thank you for making this day that much more special by sharing your insights
and perspective with us. And to everyone who joins us today, thank you for being here for this very special occasion
in the lives of our students. And members of the class of 2018, congratulations for all of your hard work, the challenges that you have overcome, your service, your achievement. Everything that you
have done at Georgetown has brought you to this moment. And it’s a great privilege for all of us to be with you at this very special time. Universities are places unlike any other. They bring together young people in a period of profound
formation with faculty, learn it, women and man who have devoted their lives to the discovery and
creation of new knowledge and then come to a place like this to share that knowledge and to share the journey that they are engaged in with all of you. It’s in this context that the
work of formation happens, the work that all of you
have been engaged in, the work that now has prepared you for your lives beyond this place. In 1947, as a college student, at a time very much like yours in that time of his life, writing in his school newspaper, Martin Luther King Junior explained what he saw as the purpose of education. When was no older than any of you, this young man, a man who
over the next two decades of his life would
challenge us and change us change America, change our world. He wrote of a education
that we seek to impart. These are his words. “Intelligence is not enough. “Intelligence plus character “that is the goal of true education, “the complete education gives one “not only power of concentration, “but worthy objectives
upon which to concentrate. “The broad education will
therefore transmit to one, “not only accumulated knowledge, “but also the accumulated
experience of social living.” Well this is the work of formation, the work of enabling you to come to terms with the fundamental question
of personal formation what constitutes an authentic life. Now we have sort to provide a context in which you can wrestle
with this question. To learn what matters most to you. How you best connect
others into our world, to understand your deepest and truest aspects of your identity. The person that you are, the person that you are meant to be, the person that you are called to be. Authenticity, when we
have alignment between our actions and our
most deeply held values. We must always be seeking
a deeper alignment between our values and our actions. And the most profound idea that animates our tradition of learning, the tradition that you have all engaged in over the course of these last four years, that most profound idea that when we seek the
very best in one another, we will find the very best in ourselves. And it’s this commitment to
one another above all else that provides us the
opportunity to realize all that we are capable of contributing as members of our global community. While you have engaged in this work of personal formation during your time on this campus, we hope that you will continue this work. And the years ahead as you now move beyond our community. When you’ve arrived her you embarked on an incredible journey, when that continues now beyond this place and beyond this moment. Today, you take with you not only the knowledge
that you have learnt, but also the values that
have shaped your lives here, the character that you have forged. All of you are prepared
to bring your talents, your knowledge, your compassion and your imagination in
service to our world. As you depart on this day of celebration
and accomplishment, we are grateful for all
of the contributions that you have made to our community and we look forward to the ways that your leadership and
service will contribute to the common good of the communities in which you all live your lives. It’s a privilege for all
of us to be here with you to recognize this important
milestone in your lives and the beginning of the
next step of your journeys. Now with this commencement, you embark on another very
special time in your lives. This is your time and we are honored to share this moment with you. Congratulations on your commencement. (audience applause) – Thank you President DeGioia. Please stand and join the class of 2018 in the singing of the Alma Matter, which will be led by Dean Brendan Hill and Mr. Uday Rosario. You will find the words and music on the last page of the program, if you know how to read music, I know, which given the bilingual structure means right in the middle of the booklet. Following the singing of the Alma matter please remain standing
for the benediction, which will be offered by the Revered Mark Bosco
of the society of Jesus, vice president for mission and ministry at Georgetown University. ♪ Hail oh Georgetown Alma Mater ♪ ♪ Swift Potomac’s lovely daughter ♪ ♪ Ever watching by the water ♪ ♪ Smiles on us today ♪ ♪ Now her children gather round her ♪ ♪ Lo with garlands they have crowned her ♪ ♪ Reverent hands and fond enwound her ♪ ♪ With the Blue and Gray ♪ ♪ Wave her colors ever ♪ ♪ Furl her standards never ♪ ♪ But raise it high ♪ ♪ And proudly cry ♪ ♪ May Georgetown live forever ♪ ♪ Where Potomac’s tide is streaming ♪ ♪ From her spires and steeples beaming ♪ ♪ See the grand old banner gleaming ♪ ♪ Georgetown’s Blue and Gray ♪ (audience applause) – We pray good and loving God. We come to you today with gratitude. You call each of us to be part of this community at Georgetown, blessing us with the education, educational legacy that
began with Ignatius of Loyala and has been passed from
generation to generation. You call us to stand in
solidarity and kinship with all who share our journey on earth. And you invite us to live
lives of active service rooted in justice and in love. Help us to build on the wisdom of the past with the vision open to the
opportunities of the future. Dare us to move beyond
what is known and secure broadening our imagination and deepening our trust in you. Fill us with one wonder in all as we receive these gifts with open minds generous hearts and passionate spirit. Oh God, as our graduates
move to the next stage of their journey in life and as we prepare ourselves
for the coming year ahead, here our simple prayer that when we are weak be our strength, when we doubt, be our faith, when we are anxious, be our peace, when we are discouraged, be our hope, and when we are lost, come and find us, when we are in darkness, be our light, and when we are sad,
be our comfort and joy. Grant us this Lord, as we call upon your
holiness to fill our lives with love and grace, Amen. – Please remain standing at your places until the platform party
and students have recessed. All are cordially invited to join Georgetown’s newest graduates at the reception in the library. (orchestral music)

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