GU-Q New Student Convocation 2018

(soft music) – Good afternoon, please remain standing for the national anthem of Qatar and the United States of America. Afterward Dr. Akintunde Akinade, professor at Georgetown University Fatah will introduce the opening prayers. (Qatar national anthem) (United States of America national anthem) – It is our custom to begin
and end our convocations with prayer, at the beginning
we invoke God’s presence to come with your grace and heavenly heat to fill the earth which you have made. At the end, we will ask God’s blessing as we go forth to do his will. Georgetown University is
grounded in the belief that spiritual development is
essential to personal growth. Saint Ignatius placed
prayer and reflection at the center of Jesuit life. Today, Georgetown celebrates
this long tradition by providing pastoral
care and opportunities for worship, reflection
and service to members of the community across
the diversity of faiths. This tradition sets us apart
from other universities. We have interfaith and
Muslim prayer rooms at SFSQ to ensure we carry on the
legacy of this unique tradition. Today we will begin the convocation with an Islamic prayer and a Christian prayer. Abdullah Al Marti class of 2021 will offer an Islamic prayer. (foreign language) – Adam Polacco class of 2021 will now offer a Christian prayer. – In the name of the Father,
Son and the Holy Spirit amen. Almighty God we thank you
for bringing us together on this special day and
we asked you to bestow your blessing upon this
young women and men. As they are matriculated
into Georgetown University may they always seek to
honor and glorify you rather than themselves,
may they be as concerned for the needs of others
as for their own needs, may they always strive
to live the ideals that they have been taught and
may they be ever mindful of the responsibility
to use their abilities to enrich the lives of others
and to preserve the beauty of this world that you
have so wondrously made. Eternal God the source of
all goodness, discipline and knowledge bless our
university in its quest for excellence, awaken teachers
and students everywhere to the unending search
for truth and justice, and enable all who discern
truth to make the wholeness of humankind their lives call, amen. – Members of the faculty and staff of the School of Foreign Service in Qatar, members of the School of
Foreign Service in Qatar, class of 2022, parents and friends, ladies and gentlemen,
welcome to the convocation of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service
in Qatar, class of 2022. My name is Ahmad Dallal and I’m the Dean of the School of Foreign Service in Qatar. A convocation is a ritual
and like all rituals reminds us of the debts
we owe to our predecessors and the commitments we have
to those who follow us. This convocation, your
convocation underlines the great cycle of higher
learning and the traditions of the University of
which we are all a part. In this new student convocation
we will recognize the ideas of Georgetown University
and repeat the rituals for bringing our newest
members, the class of 2022 into our community of learners. Today is your day, as the newest members of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar and we are delighted to share it with you. Students of the class of
2022 join a long line of men and women who for more than two centuries have become sons and daughters
of Georgetown University. 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 day that we observe as our founding date. It was not until 1814 with
the enrollment passing 100, that Georgetown’s then
president Reverend John Grass of the society of Jesus
asked our first student, William Gaston who by then
was a Carolina congressman. He asked him to introduce a petition to Congress for a Federal Charter. It is our custom to mark
all academic ceremonies with the reading of that Charter which is our founding document. Anne Nebel, Senior
Assistant Dean and Director of academic services will
read the University Charter. – 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 persons meriting
academical honors to any degree in the faculties, arts,
sciences and liberal professions to which persons are usually
admitted in other colleges and 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 Representatives, John Gaillard, president
pro tempore of the Senate. Approved March 1st 1815, James Madison, president of the United States. I now have the pleasure of
introducing Dr. Ian Almond, professor at Georgetown University Qatar who will welcome you on
behalf of the faculty. (applauding) – Okay, ladies and
gentlemen, incoming class of 2022, everybody else
(foreign language). Welcome to Georgetown University Qatar, welcome to Georgetown University. Georgetown University a prestigious name, a prestigious University
founded over 200 years ago on the values of truth, justice and maybe a little bit of slavery. I can’t tell you what
a privilege, an honor, a long cherished goal it is
for me to drive here today to give you the welcome speech
to you the class of 2022. When I was told I was going to
be given the faculty welcome, I immediately asked if I could
give it from home via Skype. To my surprise they said no,
but this doesn’t in any way diminish the happiness
I feel at being able to share this special moment with you. Behind me stands our
faculty, God bless them. Look at them, super hero. (applauding) They are as happy to be here as I am. (laughing) I can assure you we are
one big happy family. A faculty, will count
them, a faculty that never ever quarrels, we never
quarrel, a faculty united in a common purpose,
respectful of each other, sharing a common love for
truth, almost a community of saints, completely free
of the petty rivalries, egoism, factions and
jealousies that plague less fortunate campuses than our own. I’m proud to say that in
13 years of the history of Georgetown Qatar, no professor has ever killed a colleague (laughing) or even been charged
with physical assault. (applauding) Well, well, well, I’d like to say it’s because of the community
we have too much respect for one another, it’s
primarily because no weapons or alcohol are allowed on campus. (laughing) But today is not a day
for cheap glib cynicism, take a good look at these
young fresh faces behind here. (laughing) Take a look at them
for the next four years you are gonna go, you aren’t gonna get to know these faces very well. Some of these faces you will
learn to love and admire for the wisdom and learning
they bestow upon you, some of them you will
resent but still recognize the wisdom and learning they give you. Of course some of them
you’ll simply resent, (laughing) some of these face, a
couple of these faces you will not recognize
even after four years, not because you didn’t
take any of their courses but because you were unconscious
in most of their classes. (laughing) When you arrived here
earlier today, you must have asked yourself as you stepped
out of your shuttle buses and Nissan patrols, what am I doing here? What do they want from me? What kind of place is this? And here is where I have
something serious to say. I hope you don’t think you’re gonna get an American University education here, we are way more ambitious than that. Yes we are not here to teach
you to worship the West, yes, you will be told about
the wonders of U.S. democracy. But you’ll also hear about its racism, its corporate corruption, the
countless murders, tortures and terrorism it is financed abroad. Yes you’ll be told about
the European enlightenment, its thinkers, artists and philosophers. You’ll also hear about how
it worked at the same time, often hand in hand with 300 years of slavery, genocide and colonialism. What we demand from you and
what we will try to cultivate in you is the gift of
critical thinking, the ability to see the mythologies
of power and to think and speak in its presence without fear. This does involve some
uncomfortable questions, for example, is a nation
state the political expression of a people’s freedom
or is it just a coup? So successful nobody
calls it a coup anymore. Are the police there to preserve
justice and law and order? Are they just a bunch of
uniformed thugs employed by the rich to protect
property and property owners? Is religion a sincere attempt
to connect our finitude to the cosmos or is it
just a distraction machine used cynically by elites
to keep poor people endlessly gazing at an imaginary horizon? And I will go further,
Georgetown University itself must be included in this critique. Is this an educational
institution for your betterment or is it just a neo
imperialist and venture trying to erase your identity? At every moment on your
journey, I want you to constantly question,
challenge even contradict your professors not in
silly childish insolence or with arrogance ignorance but with earnestness and passion and anger. There are 80,000 books in
that library, if you don’t like what your professor is
saying, get off your ass, go read a book and disagree with them. This is the essence of what
we are trying to teach here. I hope and I mean this, I
hope that no matter how much you like a professor, there
will always be something you reject in their course. I hope with all of my heart
that you will refuse some of the things we try to teach you here. Educate yourself so that
you can think for yourself and don’t let anyone else,
no Western media channel, no CEO, no Imam or priest
and certainly no professor, don’t let anyone else do
your thinking for you. (applauding) I now have the honor of introducing Samira Al Hajj Abad, class of 2019. (applauding) Who will welcome you on
behalf of the students of the School of Foreign Service in Qatar. – Thank you Professor Almond
for the amazing speech. Dear parents, faculty,
staff, faculty staff and future Hoyas, it’s an
honor for me to welcome you on behalf of the students of
Georgetown University in Qatar. Well, you made it to the
next four years of your life. I can easily stand here
and tell you, talk about how inspirational the
next four years will be. I’m sure that you’ve heard countless times how amazing Georgetown is. Yeah, it’s true, Georgetown
is an exceptional institution in various aspects but let me
be honest, the next four years of your lives will not
be unicorns and rainbows. There will be a time when you
would want to give it all up and let it all go, if
not everyone, most of you would go through such an experience. In fact you’ll find yourself
questioning whether or not you are where you’re supposed to be. I’m a senior and I still to
this day question my choices. At times the only thing
that keeps me going is how each class I registered for
benefits me in various ways. How Georgetown and its
community has really become my second home although I
guess my parents would probably argue that I spent barely
any time on my first home. Georgetown is a university
built on Jesuit values and we practice those
values in our daily lives. Once you become part of
Georgetown you are part of a community that will embrace you with an open mind and heart. Your professors are a vital
part of your experience here, enjoy learning from them
and all the information and knowledge they pass on to you. Respect and value the
classes you are registered and make sure you actively
participate in your own growth. Your fellow students come
from different backgrounds and cultures, cherish
and learn from each other because the next four years of your life will pass by with a blink of an eye. The only thing that I wish I
would have done differently is become active earlier
like from the beginning of my freshman year, you see,
I wasn’t always this outspoken and loud, in fact Georgetown
took me on a self home on a journey of self exploration. It helped me understand
myself further more. Staying in your comfort
zone won’t help you grow, become your own person
and start seeking what you are actually passionate about
and what you truly love. I spent the four years, the
first two years at Georgetown trying to convince everyone
around me that I was fit enough to become an international economics major only to realize I was just
trying to convince myself. I guess I was scared and scared
of committing to one major which essentially will
set the beginning of my adulthood and my career. I found that every time
I took a class centered around politics or culture
I drowned myself in the work of my Econ classes just
as an attempt to escape all the other work of the other classes. Sometimes you just know but
you need to give yourself reassurance that you are where you belong. It is really on you to
make this place your home. Student Government Association
model United Nations Hoya empowerment and learning
program, debate club, all the different sports
activities especially the heated football games
and I don’t even want to begin listing all the different events Georgetown holds on a monthly basis. Enjoy it and make the most
out of it, you’ll find your people, you’ll find your lifestyle and most importantly I guess
you lose yourself a couple of times in the next four
years but that’s okay because you’ll go on to
find out who you truly are. Georgetown has been good
to me and I assure you it will be good to you too. Yeah you’re going to pull
a couple of hard final, finals days and sometimes
your parents are going to wonder where you’ve
disappeared only to realize you just attempt to sleep
every time you get a chance to. Promise yourself that
this is only the beginning of a short journey where
everything and anything is possible, love it,
hate it and embrace it. Live your Georgetown experience
to the fullest because once you become a Hoya
there is no turning back and finally welcome to
Georgetown, thank you. (applauding) Joseph Hernandez director of admissions at Georgetown University will present the members of the class of 2022. (audience clapping) – We come now to the
heart of today’s ceremony, the presentation and
robing of the new students. Students when your name
is read, please rise and remain standing through
the honor pledge, robing and singing of the alma mater. Audience please hold your applause until all names have been read. Abubakar Abdullahi, Sara Abdul Razak, Jasmine Afifi, Shaza Afifi, Heder Ahmad, Labiba Ahmed, Armina Aharban Bona, Hala Al Abdul Gani, Eunice Alaga, Abdur Rahman Allah Madani, Doha Al Awadi, Shada Al Banna, Mubarak Al Doceri, Haya Alfahr, Toib Al Farsi, Abdullah Al Haddad, Hollom Ali, Hyah Al Kabi, Noor Al Kabi, Mariam Al Khatar, Hassan Al Kabeza, Mariam Al Kabesa, Nora Al Kabesa, Aisha Al Kawari, Zalia Al Kawari, Awliya Allur, Maitha Al Malki, Mohammed Al Manar, Al Jazzi Al Mansour, Najimar Al Mahanadi, Tallilah Al Mahanadi, Ibrahim Almar, Michail AlMar, Musa Alba’idd, Abdullah Al Okar, Haiya Raban, Lin Arrabat, Jawahar Ashamir, May Al Shabani, Miriam Asoveda, Salud Al Sabah, Amina Soleti, Laiya Soleti, Aljuri Al Thani, Bothaina Al Thani, Miriam Al Thani, Maiassa Al Thani, Moza Al Thani, Nora Al Thani, Sarah Al Thani, Sheikha Al Thani, Lena Barbecue, Amal Barada, Noor Binti Riswantu, Ijia Chen, Suin Chui, Dana Darwesh, Fatma Al Hasan, Hanan Al Shahab, Zoia Farid, Jack Qantus, Tudhania Garmai, Jong Yao Wo, Salma Hasabu, Mariam Hasan, Allah Hussein, Camilla Idris, Aisha Iqbal, Jinan Iram Bomi, Iman Ismail, Said Khalid, Sarah Kasheish, Eimon Khan, Eshil Khan, Karim Khazal, Khaimin Ma, Ahmed Makki, Tanner Manley, Kiala Mank, Oman Moniek, Neikha Naim, Islam Narzikolav, Hudda Osman, Abiji Hunt, Zainab Kazim, Othaina Ritha, Kushibu Shah, Aznas Hideki, Belal Takhar, Sanskriti Tanda, Tasneem Osmani, Dishuan Wang, Finchu Wen, Adina Jakub, Samia Ziya, Rafael Zimmer Dos Santos. Dean Dallal I have the distinct
pleasure to present to you the newest members of
Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. (applauding) – Thank you Joe. Ladies and gentlemen of the
class of 2022, I am delighted to welcome you to our
community of learners. As members of this community
we commit ourselves to be truthful and all that
we say and all that we write. And at Georgetown University
we invite all incoming students to express their commitment to this school by reciting the honor pledge. Mohammad Jaber class of
2019 and student chair of the Honor Council will
lead the honor pledge, so please remain standing. (applauding) – Choosing to attend
Georgetown entails joining a distinct culture centered
on values of honor, commitment, community
and academic integrity. These ideals highlighted
in the honor pledge form an essential part of a
Georgetown education. You will find the words
to the honor pledge in the centerfold of your program. Students, please remain
standing and repeat each phrase of the honor pledge after me. In the pursuit of the high ideals (students repeating) and rigorous standards of academic life (students repeating) I commit myself (students repeating) to represent, to respect and uphold, (students repeating) the Georgetown University honor system (students repeating) to be honest in any academic endeavor (students repeating) and to conduct myself honorably (students repeating) as a responsible member of
the Georgetown community (students repeating) as we live and work together. (students repeating) – Thank you Muhammad. Members of the class of
2022, now that you’ve taken the honor pledge, I invite
you to become partners with us in the ancient and honorable
community of scholars. The faculty you see before
you wear splendid robes that mark them as members
of our academic community. The wearing of robes made
of heavy wool, protected the scholars of medieval
Europe against the pervasive chill of unheated academic rules. Today in Doha we do not
exactly need this protection. Still the practice of wearing
academic regalia reminds us of our roots in a venerable
tradition that embraces a commitment to honesty
and integrity in all we do. The robes you carry over your arm are the bachelor’s gowns. When you don that gown, you
become part of this community and signify thereby your
pledge to pursue it, to pursue its highest
ideals, the search for truth in the service of your community, your country and the world. Ladies and gentlemen
you may don your gowns. (soft music) Fellow faculty, deans,
staff, parents and friends, please join me in welcoming
the newest members of the Georgetown University community. (applauding) Please rise and join Dr. Brendan
Hill and Mr. Rhoda Rosario in singing the Georgetown alma mater. You will find the words and music in your programs at the centerfold. (singing alma mater) (applauding) Please be seated. It’s now my pleasure to
bring to the newest members of our community a message via
video from Dr. John J DeGioia the president of Georgetown University. Dr. DeGioia is a graduate
of Georgetown college class of 1979 and holds the degree
of Doctor of Philosophy class of 1995. (bell ring) – On behalf of our entire
university community it’s my privilege to welcome
you to Georgetown University. We come together today across
more than 11,000 kilometers, seven time zones, two
continents and one ocean to celebrate your entrance into this very special community that we share. Ours is a community
animated by a tradition. This tradition is deeply
rooted in our Catholic and Jesuit identity and in
the teachings of the founder of the Society of Jesus
Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Saint Ignatius in the early Jesuits, almost five centuries ago
provided the foundation for our way of life, our way of proceeding here at Georgetown. This way of life that each
of us share as members of this community is
characterized by values that bind us together, a
commitment to academic excellence, to the pursuit of knowledge
through dialogue, to faith, to a life of contemplation
into serving each other, our communities and our global family. These are values that
we hope will come alive during your time with us. We are excited for the
time ahead as you embark on this new journey, a journey
in which you will engage with diverse often challenging
ideas and viewpoints and will deepen your
own self understanding and your understanding of how best to contribute to impact our world. We all share in the extraordinary
privilege of membership in our Georgetown community,
with this privilege also comes responsibility and how we care for one another and for our world. Our world is faced with
urgent challenges from how we think about our relationship
to our environment, to our assumptions about
growth and our economies, from fostering inter
religious understanding to addressing the sources of violence and unrest around the globe. We have the opportunity within the context of our Georgetown community
to confront these challenges. Universities are uniquely
positioned to act as conveners of discourse, to provide a
context for deeper understanding and greater civility among peoples of disparate experiences,
cultures and faiths. In our university community we draw on a strong tradition of
fostering intercultural and inter religious understanding. We are deeply committed
to promoting dialogue and in open exchange of
ideas because we believe this is the best way to
achieve a deeper understanding of one another and of our world. These values bridge the
physical distance between us. In our tradition we have the
resources to build bridges of compassion, understanding
and peace not only between Washington and
Doha but among all members of our global family especially
those who are most in need, who are marginalized or
displaced, those whose lives are impacted and disrupted
by violence, war and disease. The deepest commitment we
have within our tradition is the belief that by seeking
the very best in one another, we’ll find the very best in ourselves. You represent the very
best hope for our world, we are proud to call you
daughters and sons of Georgetown and we look forward to joining you on the extraordinary journey ahead. Welcome to Georgetown. (bell ring) (applauding) – Class of 2022, today
you embark on a journey that will leave long
lasting marks on your lives. Your journey did not start
today nor will it end when you graduate in 2022. You wouldn’t be here today
were it not for the work you have already done and the
achievements you accomplished. Your graduation will only be
the culmination of one phase in a lifelong journey of learning when you succeed in this
educational endeavor. But today is a special
day because it marks your official introduction
into the Georgian community. A community which is firmly
committed to the open pursuit of knowledge, joining a
university community is at once a privilege and the responsibility. It’s a privilege because you will be able to avail yourselves of the
knowledge and education of the faculty members
who care deeply about your intellectual and personal growth and who measured their success by yours. It’s a privilege because you
will forge deep friendships and bonds that will support
you during your formative years of study at Georgetown and beyond. But perhaps the greatest
privilege is that you will be part of a protected
environment where you will have the freedom to express
yourselves, to seek, explore, articulate and exchange
ideas and opinions, to test and enrich your convictions
and beliefs, to engage in open dialogues, to
understand multiple perspectives and ultimately to fulfill
yourself and inch closer to the attainment of what we call truth. Of course this privilege also
comes with responsibilities. The responsibility to listen,
to recognize the freedom of others and to cultivate
civil and open dialogues even if it takes you out
of your comfort zones. And the intellectual
responsibility that is the hallmark of academic freedom in a university. Recognizing that the truth
value of any proposition is only as strong as the arguments
we provide to validate it. Holding ourselves to high
standards of evidence and understanding that
in universities we seek to provide validation to our attempts to offer the best accounts of the truth. So class of 2022 I hope you
will take full advantage of the opportunities that a membership in this Georgetown community offer you. And we look forward to
welcoming each and each and every one of you to the Hoya family. I now ask professor Akinade
to offer the benediction, so please stand. – All loving God, merciful
and compassionate. As we embark on the new
school year, we ask for your abundant blessing
on our university family. As we begin a new academic
year at GUQ, be with our faculty, staff,
administrators and students. In your loving kindness
empower us to be ambassadors and agents of peace in
our deeply divided world. May Almighty God nourish
you with His grace and may the Holy one keep and bless you now and forever, amen. – Thank you for joining us here today, please remain standing
at your places until the academic procession has departed. Once the procession is
completed, please join us for a reception in the atrium. We would like to continue
the tradition of taking a photograph of the first year students and in their new robes. And so I ask all first year
students as soon as you have completed the procession to continue to the atrium for a
photograph then you may join your families at the reception. When the class of 2022 entered
the hall this afternoon the school banner was
carried in by a senior Mohamed Abu Harwesh, now as
you see the upper class student is handing the banner
to a member of your new, your own class Jawa Harisha Marie. In giving this emblem into
your hands we also entrust to you our newest sons and
daughters, Georgetown itself, its present and its future
treat that responsibility with care so that you may
live all your days in the joy and pride of this moment and
may your son live forever. (soft music)

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