Dutch Ambassador’s Classroom Visit Offers an Account of Conflict and Diplomacy 


Deputy Head of Mission H.E. Dr. Tiest Sondaal from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Qatar recently visited GU-Q to speak to students enrolled in a course on Warfare/Lawfare: The Law of Armed Conflict. He spoke about the historical role of The Netherlands in the development of the country’s contributions to international law and international legal institutions.

The upper-level international politics course, taught by Assistant Professor Noha Aboueldahab, focuses on the law and politics of armed conflict. The students, all juniors or seniors, engaged with Dr. Sondaal by asking him questions about his experience and insights. Discussions touched on a number of topics, such as the role of the Netherlands in the adoption of the Hague Regulations and in the establishment of several international legal institutions, including the International Criminal Court and the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia.

Dr. Sondaal also fielded questions about opportunities for education and professional growth in The Netherlands, and potential career paths. “It is important to have  diplomats like Dr. Sondaal engage with our students. His insight and diplomatic experiences allowed our students to gain a deeper understanding of international relations and diplomacy, as well as the historical context of international law,” said Dr. Aboueldahab. 

Abouledahab also recently organized a Public Panel on Humanitarian Intervention addressing these issues. She stressed the importance of offering courses at GU-Q that focus on international law, including the laws of war. 

“For students planning to pursue further studies and careers in law, engagement with legal scholars, policymakers, military practitioners and diplomats should begin in the classroom. GU-Q students are fortunate to have excellent access to these communities, especially as they begin to make important decisions about their future beyond university.”