Q Life Magazine Issue 7 - Page 12

Issue 7 Qataris Abroad 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. basis. 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. 12 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.” 13