Having worked within the United Nations for nearly “There are a lot of beautiful moments during my
a decade as an Ambassador, HE Sheikha Alya career as a diplomat,” she says. This includes her
demonstrates a clear vision for Qatar at the UN, as participation in the State of Qatar’s successful
well as comfort in discussing the complex structure initiative to establish World Autism Awareness Day,
and issues that the organisation handles on a daily which was adopted by the General Assembly in 2007.
More recently, HE Sheikha Alya shares the
“The United Nations brings all countries together, significance of the UN Day celebrations that took
big and small,” she describes. Whether a small island place only the day before. “Last night was about
country being affected by climate change or a large showcasing Qatar’s progress with the world, where
economic state – HE Sheikha Alya believes that the elements of arts and film were combined with
UN is the right platform for finding solutions: “It is the music.” The event took place at the UN General
only platform where we can really look eye to eye and Assembly Hall, which was packed with many of
find solutions together.” Qatar’s notable leaders, as well as UN Ambassadors
This trust in the UN system is hardly surprising. Her
from around the world.
late father, His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed bin Saif “Last night for me was really a moment of glory,” she
Al Thani, was one of Qatar’s most widely known remarks. “It’s a proud moment for us.”
diplomats. “He was a role model at home,” HE
Sheikha Alya explains. “He encouraged me, but also
said I needed a cause” – a cause to be passionate
about and a cause to fight for.
While this need was rooted at home, it was
Her eyes light up with excitement as she describes
the success of the event, which featured spectacular
musical performances from some of Qatar’s most
renowned artists. Her excitement should come as no
surprise – “I love music,” HE Sheikha Alya reveals.
discovered and nurtured in London. Enrolling in
the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS),
HE Sheikha Alya at the UN
Headquarters in New York
HE Sheikha Alya pursued a master’s degree in
International Studies and Diplomacy.
“This is where I decided to be a diplomat,” Her
Excellency recalls. “I picked a topic of interest to
pursue: human rights, particularly around women
and children.” She then began working for Qatar’s
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she rose quickly
through the ranks. She was then well on her way
towards becoming a diplomat.
Looking back on her career to date, HE Sheikha Alya
can point to many achievements that bring her a
sense of pride in herself and her country.
This is where I decided to be
a diplomat, I picked a topic
of interest to pursue: human
rights, particularly around
women and children.
Her Excellency Sheikha Alya bint Ahmed
Al Thani, Permanent Representative of Qatar
to the United Nations
“I have played the piano since I was a child.”
While she admits she no longer has the time to
climate situation, the language of hatred, as well as
the cycle of violence.”
practice as much as she would like, it is clear that her Nonetheless, HE Sheikha Alya believes that the UN’s
passion for music gave the event the fuel to reach for platform for multilateralism is the answer, with the
the stars. international community working together towards a
When asked about the future, HE Sheikha Alya
common goal. She proudly imparts these final words:
considers the question carefully. “The world is going “Multilateralism is relevant, and Qatar will be on the
through a complex time,” she notes, “with the current frontlines supporting the United Nations.”