Featured Presenters


Aryn Paige Thomas


aryn Photo

Aryn Paige Thomas is a Legal Officer at the United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, the residual court for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Her interest in international service ignited when she became a delegate to THIMUN while attending high school in Abu Dhabi. Prior to embarking on her UN career, she worked in private practice at a major international law firm, assisted with policy research on biometrics, and served in the US Peace Corps.  



Reality (v) TV: International criminal courts as portrayed in media

Fictionalized accounts of international justice often take liberties with the facts. This workshop will provide an overview of the jurisdictions and differences between many of the international and hybrid courts, from the Nuremburg tribunal to the International Criminal Court, and explore some of television and film’s representations (and misrepresentations). This workshop is aimed at both students and teachers with an interest in MUN and the ICJ/International Criminal Court.


YPP, CBI, PHP – Deciphering UN recruitment acronyms and some practical advice

This workshop will provide an overview of United Nations recruitment, and some practical pointers, from someone who made it through the recruitment process, has served on recruitment panels, and serves as a legal adviser her organization’s human resources department. If you are interested in landing a UN job, this workshop will provide some invaluable tips from someone whose gone through the UN recruitment and application process.


Dr Cairo Arafat

Cairo Arafat Copy website

Cairo Arafat is the Education Director of Bidaya Media an Abu Dhabi-based organization that develops media based educational and learning programs for children. She is currently working on the Iftah Ya Simsim/Sesame Street program and preparation of a variety of digital and print learning materials for young children in the Arab world. She is a leading educational advisor specializing in the area of child rights and early childhood education, and acts as the Special Advisor to the Palestinian Ministry of Education on education policy. Previous and ongoing work with Save The Children International as the Senior Child Rights Advisor in the Occupied Palestinian Territory includes supporting inclusive education opportunities for children in addition to developing programs to eliminate violence against children.


Cairo has also served as the Education and Research Director for 12 years (7 seasons) of Shara’a Simsim, the Palestinian co-production of Sesame Street, an award winning program that was instrumental in expanding, enhancing, and enriching early childhood development and education within Palestine and the national early childhood education movement within the country. She has published research on children’s education and psychosocial well-being and development. Cairo received her Masters Degree in Developmental Neuroscience and Ph.D in Psychology from Ohio State University.




The Making of Iftah Ya Simsim: Arabic Sesame Street and the Media Scene in the Middle East

The state of the media is at an interesting juncture. This can clearly be seen in attempts to bring children’s programming to Arab youth. Participants in this workshop will learn about the new Iftah Ya Simsim (Arabic Sesame Street) program and how this has been marketed and distributed through non-traditional channels (YouTube). Producers of the series also discovered interesting viewing patterns and demographics in sharing this new show in the region. This case study will help participants understand the changing landscape in the Middle East media scene. Individuals interested in a career in media will find this workshop of particular interest.


Gateways: Media Programming for Middle Eastern Youth

Bidaya, a media production company in Abu Dhabi is launching a new program to fill a void in programing for young adults in the Middle East. In response to this, a new YouTube program is being developed around the idea of allowing authentic youth concerns to be discussed on a weekly basis. If you are interested in understanding the power of YouTube and the impact these non-traditional shows might mean for the region, this session is for you. Participants will be exposed to this novel young adult YouTube program that deals with conflict and will engage with one another and identify conflicts and problems in their lives and how these might be translated into the actual Gateways YouTube program. Script writing and problem solving will be discussed.






Dr Dalia Fadila

Dalia photo

Dr Fadila is the Founder and Director of Q Schools and educational program focused on English Language and Human Development. She is an expert on educational entrepreneurship and organizational development. She also currently is president of Al Qasemi College of Engineering and Science and a lecturer at school of International Diplomacy and Leadership at IDC, Hertzilya.





Arab Women’s portrayal in educational textbooks-time to break the paradigm

Every day, millions of girls read educational texts that represent women in ways that are far removed from their own aspirations. Q Schools has shifted the paradigm by rewriting the status and image of women in textbooks. "Amal" the five year old girl in "Start"-the beginners' level of the QSchools' curriculum-is the main character leading the process of learning/teaching from a place of positive self-awareness and empowerment. Other women and girls' role models emerge along the curriculum.

As an institution founded by an Arab Muslim woman, Q Schools paves the way for male and female students and educators to establish an educational policy that is relevant to the progress of individuals and communities in our region. Throughout the workshop, examples will be given of books that were developed by Q Schools. Stories and case studies showing how this curriculum was received and resisted by parent communities, how this resistance was managed, and how this process has led to positive change in the community.

QSchools: Educational Entrepreneurship in a Developing Society

This workshop will describe the process of establishing and expanding QSchools, an innovative institute for teaching and learning English and human development. QSchools is a progressive educational entrepreneurship model in a developing society that aims to expand the horizons of its students while working for change within society.

Throughout the workshop, the cultural and organizational challenges to promoting education for all will be presented along with the strategies used to overcome them. Specific reference will be drawn to working with marginalized Palestinian youth in Israel and Jordan, and what the successes of QSchools means for education in the region. This workshop will inspire your belief in the power of education.


Khalid Al Ameri


Khalid Photo

Khalid Al Ameri is a recent MBA Graduate from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He was previously in asset management and investments at an Abu Dhabi based sovereign wealth fund, and co-founder of food and beverage company, Slices. Khalid is currently a writer on regional issues such as education, entrepreneurship, and employment for The Gulf Today and Shawati Magazine. He hosts workshops across the UAE on career development and life planning. He is passionate about youth issues and doing what he can to bring passion and purpose to the lives of others. In 2016 he was named by Arabian Business as one of the 100 most influential young Arabs in the world.

Workshop Sessions: Pending

Dr Mehran Kamrava


Mehran Kamrava photo

Mehran Kamrava is Professor and Director of the Center for International and Regional Studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar. He is the author of a number of journal articles and books, including, most recently, The Impossibility of Palestine: History, Geography, and the Road Ahead (2016); Qatar: Small State, Big Politics (2015); The Modern Middle East: A Political History since the First World War, 3rd ed. (2013); and Iran’s Intellectual Revolution (2008). His edited books include Fragile Politics: Weak States in the Greater Middle East (2016); Beyond the Arab Spring: The Evolving Ruling Bargain in the Middle East (2015); The Political Economy of the Persian Gulf (2012);  The Nuclear Question in the Middle East (2012); and The International Politics of the Persian Gulf (2011)




The Impossibility of Palestine

The "two-state solution" is the official policy of Israel, the United States, the United Nations, and the Palestinian Authority alike. This workshop will explore the idea that Israel's "state-building" process has never risen above the level of municipal governance, and its goal has never been Palestinian independence. He explains that a coherent Palestinian state has already been rendered an impossibility, and to move forward, Palestine must redefine its present predicament and future aspirations. Dr Kamrava’s fieldwork and research will be the basis for this enlightening and thought provoking session.


Olaoluwa Abagun


Ola photo

Olaoluwa Abagun is a Lawyer in Training and vocal girls' rights advocate. An early starter, she was ushered into advocacy at the age of 13, serving for four years as a Child Senator in the Nigerian Children’s Parliament. As a university undergraduate, she volunteered with AIESEC – the world’s largest youth-run organization. Through AIESEC, she facilitated several local/national leadership conferences between 2013-2014, engaging up to 1,500 young people across West Africa - including volunteers from Europe and Asia.

Olaoluwa is the Founder of “Girl Pride Circle” a Nigerian-based NGO, geared towards speaking up for girls’ rights and fortifying African girls with education and leadership skills required to transform their communities.On the strength of her work, Olaoluwa was selected as a Women Deliver Young Leader in 2015 - one of the 200 outstanding global youth advocates for the rights of girls and women. She is also part of the 2015/2016 cohort of the WISE Learners' Voice Program - an initiative of Qatar Foundation.




The Accidental Social Entrepreneur

The profiles of dynamic social entrepreneurs around the world can be a little intimidating. Young people are often left with the impression that embarking on social change is an arduous and complex journey: A journey which they might not be well fit for. Using real "accidental" stories, this workshop will demystify social entrepreneurship, clarify the "how" and inspire you to launch/accelerate your impactful journey of social change.


Breaking down gender bias in the classroom

Globally, more girls and boys are being enrolled in schools. Should it end here? How can we ensure that schools embrace gender equality and education outcomes for boys and girls remain equal? Participants will be led to unveil several shades of gender bias in the classroom. Together, participants will rediscover simple ways to sustain equality in the classroom.


Matthew French

Matthew French Photo

Matthew French is a development practitioner specializing in urban development and community development. Professional qualifications include a Bachelor of Architecture and Masters of Architecture from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and a PhD from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. He is currently working with the United Nations in Afghanistan managing five major urban development programs with a team of over 900 staff across 12 Provinces.




Getting Things Done in Afghanistan

This workshop will explore leadership in the context of challenging environments, such as Afghanistan, with a focus on 'getting things done'. It will explore key aspects of UN programme development and delivery and the importance of having a common vision and consensus on the path forward. Particular emphasis will be given to participation and how to engage a wide range of actors to 'get things done!


Sustainable Development Goal #11 on Cities

This workshop will explore sustainable urbanization and urban development. Cities are home to over 50% of the world's population and are responsible for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions. How best can we plan and manage our cities for social inclusion, prosperity and environmental protection. The workshop will explore the recently-adopted SDG #11 to make cities and human settlements safe, inclusive and resilient.



Note: Each year the QLC  sponsors a number of international presenters; flights, hotel and visa assistance are provided. Applicants will also be considered and accepted without QLC sponsorship.  For international applicants, you will be given the option to indicate whether or not you wish to be considered as an unsponsored presenter (travel and accomodation would not be covered). Please check this page in the spring of 2017 if you are interested in presenting at QLC 2017.


Local Presenter Applications are still open. Applications for International and Student presenters is now closed.


Local Presenters: If you are an adult professional and live in Qatar, please complete this application.

Applications for local adult presenters are due August 30, 2016.


International Presenters: If you live outside the state of Qatar (student, teacher, professional), please complete this application.

Applications for international presenters are due May 14, 2016. Applications are now closed.


Student Presenters: If you are a student living in Qatar, please complete  this application.

 Applications for student presenters are due June 1, 2016. Applications are now closed.


 For your reference, please see the QLC Conference Program 2015.