The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations recently selected Texas A&M University-Commerce political science and Honors College student Kaylin Taylor as one of ten students from across the U.S. to receive the Qatar Exchange Fellowship. The fellowship allowed Taylor to travel to Qatar with the other fellowship recipients and five faculty members who received the Malone Fellowship.
“Kaylin’s receipt of the Qatar Exchange/Malone Fellowship is a testament to her hard work and ambition. Only 15 people are selected each year for this prestigious program,” said Dean of the Honors College, Dr. Raymond Green. “As an ambassador of our university she is demonstrating that great students can do great things at Texas A&M University-Commerce. I couldn’t be more proud of her.”
One goal of the fellowship is to increase awareness about the positive relationship between the U.S. and Qatar. The group stayed in the capital, Doha, and visited Qatari government ministries including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology.
“The Qatar Exchange Fellowship gave me the opportunity to experience a region that many Americans will never have the chance to visit,” said Taylor. “After meeting with various Qatari officials on topics like government, foreign policy, business and education, I acquired a better understanding of Qatar and its role in international relations.”
According to Taylor, Qatar is committed to its national development strategy, Qatar National Vision 2030. The vision rests on four pillars including economic, human, social and environmental development. An important part of the National Vision is encouraging education in Qatar. During the visit, Taylor was able to visit Education City and Qatar University. Education City is a co-educational campus where students can study certain degrees at some of the most prestigious American universities including Texas A&M University, Weill Cornell’s medical college, Carnegie Melon, Georgetown University, Virginia Commonwealth University and Northwestern University.
In addition to learning about the education in Qatar, fellows visited Al Jazeera, the National Human Rights Committee, the Museum of Islamic Art and the Ras Laffan Industrial City and Ooredoo, a telecommunication provider in Qatar. The group also met the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the committee responsible for preparing and ensuring that the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar aligns with the National Vision 2030.
“This trip furthered my aspiration to become a global citizen, and I am proud to have represented Texas A&M University-Commerce in the Middle East,” said Taylor.
The group stayed in Qatar from November 27 to December 4, 2015. Students eligible for the fellowship must participate in their campus’s Model Arab League (MAL). MAL allows students to debate as diplomats and discuss real issues according to the actual agenda set by the Arab League. Taylor has been involved in MAL at A&M-Commerce since her sophomore year. She currently holds the highest student position, the Secretary General, for the MAL Conference. This year, the MAL Conference will take place from March 31 to April 2.