VCUQatar students win Qur’anic Botanic Garden Photography Competition

Press release
Published April 20th, 2017 - 05:30 GMT
Qatar Foundation
Qatar Foundation

Students from Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (VCUQatar) have won the top three prizes in the Qur’anic Botanic Garden’s (QBG) Ghars Photography Competition, held as part of the annual ‘Ghars’ tree planting campaign.

The competition, which is open to all university students in Qatar, is designed to showcase Qatar’s photography talent and support botanical conservation efforts in the country. The initiative was developed by QBG in conjunction with Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU), VCUQatar, and the Youth Hobbies Center of the Ministry of Culture and Sports.

The QBG event aims to create an opportunity for students to appreciate and interact with Qatar’s natural landscape, and increase local knowledge about Qatar’s flora through the medium of photography.

Ms. Fatima Saleh al-Khulaifi, Project Manager, QBG, said: "QBG is delighted to see such enthusiastic participation from students across Qatar in the Ghars Photography Competition. At QBG we believe university students are the future leaders of our country and play an integral role in shaping a sustainable future for Qatar and its environment, which we all seek to protect."

In the run up to the competition, QBG provided students with a technical workshop at HBKU’s Student Center. The workshop was delivered by VCUQatar Professor George Awde, and aimed to improve and refresh the students’ photography skills, and guide and enhance their understanding of light and subject, among other photography topics.

QBG also held a presentation on a wide range of plants and trees in Qatar to assist and inspire participants with the competition’s themes of: ‘Most attractive tree/trees/landscape in Education City/flora of Qatar’; ‘The biggest and oldest trees in Qatar’; ‘Tree Components, including roots, bark, stem, leaves, and flowers’, as well as other pre-existing ‘Ghars’ initiatives in Qatar.

The award ceremony was held at HBKU Student Center recently with first prize awarded to VCUQatar student Maryam Khalil who received QR5,000; 2nd place was award to Nimrah Kabiruddin (VCUQatar) who received QR4,000; and 3rd place to Amira Khalil (VCUQatar) who received QR3,000.

On the sidelines of the awards, QBG launched a photo exhibition of the students’ work at the HBKU Student Center where 50 photographs are on display, expressing different scenes of plant life and nature in Qatar.

Dr. Akel Kahera, Dean of VCUQatar, said: "I’m very pleased to learn our VCUQatar students won all three prizes in the Ghars Photography Contest.  This win is emblematic of the emphasis we put on encouraging students to creatively explore their world through their own lens, and to find their voice and harness it to contribute to making a difference. I applaud our student winners and all of the participants who took time to reflect on the world around them. Through their focus and hard work, we can all see ourselves and our place on this earth a little more clearly."

QBG, a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), aims to encourage social engagement and strengthen cultural and conservation awareness in Qatar, supporting QF's commitment to promoting environmental sustainability within the wider community.

For more information about the competition and about QBG; please visit

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Qatar Foundation

Qatar Foundation (QF) is a non-profit organization made up of more than 50 entities working in education, research, and community development.

Our unique ecosystem—supported by partnerships with leading international institutions—is built on initiatives that address our most pressing challenges, create global opportunities, and empower people to shape our present and future.

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