Georgetown Students Win Grants to Research Blockade Impacts, Employment for Disabled

Georgetown Students Win Grants

Ten Georgetown University Students were recently awarded money from Qatar National Research Fund to pursue their research. The Bachelor of Science in Foreign Affairs undergraduate students and their faculty mentors will be receiving a total of over 115,000 riyals through the Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP).

The winning proposals all have the element of service to the community of Qatar, with research aimed to fill research gaps that can help shape future policies. Two focus on the impact of the blockade on Qatar, and the third that looks at employment opportunities for the country’s disabled. According to James McGreggor, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, “these awards demonstrate the excellence of the research conducted by GU-Q’s students and faculty, as well as GU-Q’s commitment to engaging in research that will have a meaningful impact on Qatar and its residents.”

Six students will pursue research on how Baladna Farm has served as a means for Qataris to articulate their vision of sovereignty and self-sufficiency in the wake of the blockade, under the mentorship of GU-Q professors Rogaia Abusharaf and Uday Chandra, and Head of the College of Health and Sciences at Qatar University, Tahra El Obeid.  Students Abdulqudus Sanni (GU-Q’20), Khalid Marafi(GU-Q’20), Muhammad Ibrahim Tariq (GU-Q’20), John Robling (GU-Q’19), Ali Al Sheebani (GU-Q’20), and Nasser Al Kaabi (GU-Q’20) will conduct mixed methods research including an ethnographic study to explore this topic.

Exploring how the blockade has affected tribal and national affiliations will be the subject of Ameena Almeer (GU-Q’20) and Sarah Al-Mutoteh (GU-Q’20) research under the guidance of Professor of History Amira Sonbol.  The team will administer value surveys to ascertain if there has been a change in how Qataris self-identify along nationalist, tribal, and royal lines in the wake of the political events of 2017. 

Abdul Rehmaan Qayyum (GU-Q’21) and Khansa Maria (GU-Q’21) will conduct their research on the types of initiatives available to help disabled people in Qatar, and the extent to which these initiatives have been implemented and impact inclusion of disabled persons in the workforce, under the guidance of Associate Professor of Government Sonia Alonso and Associate Director of Research for the Center of International and Regional Studies, Zahra Babar.

With the goal of providing additional resources for students to gain research experience through team-based research collaboration with faculty, the UREP awards also further Georgetown’s mission of providing a rigorous education combining theory and practice while instilling the values of service to humanity.