Quarterly Newsletter                                                       Supporting Research, Developing Minds                                                      September 2014 
لقراءة هذه النشرة باللغة العربية، يرجى النقر  هنا
In This Issue
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Art & Film
3rd Annual Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival

The 3rd Annual Fine Arts Festival invites filmmakers, artists, photographers, and designers to submit their original work for the 2015 film screening and art exhibition. More information on the submission process can be found at the Festival website, www.rakfinearts.ae.
Local Film to Appear in International Festival

Sponsored by the Al Qasimi Foundation, Burden is a film that tells the story of Ibrahim, a local youth who drops out of high school and finds himself incarcerated indefinitely under Islamic law for stabbing another young man to death. Burden will be featured in the Dubai International Film Festival this December. For more information, visit www.dubaifilmfest.com.
Profile Corner

Full Video Profile
Teacher Scholarship Recipient: Khaled Al Sabah 

Khaled Al Sabah, an English Language Teacher and Coordinator in Ras Al Khaimah, shares his experiences as an educator and with the Al Qasimi Foundation. Khaled has taken multiple professional development courses with the Foundation and is currently one of its Teacher Scholarship recipients. Through this scholarship opportunity, Khaled is pursuing his master's degree at the American University of Ras Al Khaimah.
New Publications

International research has shown that teachers' support is crucial for large-scale education reform is to be implemented effectively. This study provides insight into teachers' views of the education reforms in schools in the Ras Al Khaimah Education Zone and includes an analysis of what contributes to effective reform in the region. Full Publication


Arabic for "top of the tent," Ras Al Khaimah represents an emirate with a rich history and dynamic presence. As the northernmost emirate continues to develop, this document acquaints readers with Ras Al Khaimah's historic, economic, cultural, governmental, educational, and urban landscapes. This Fact Sheet provides those interested in Ras Al Khaimah with an overview of the emirate as well as a catalogue of relevant sources about the region. Full Publication
Challenges to Building a "Knowledge Society": The Role of Literacy in Promoting Critical Thinking in the UAE

In its 2021 Vision, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government prioritizes the

development of a "knowledge economy" to replace its current oil-driven one. The Vision highlights the country's need to develop a new generation of creative and critical thinkers. This paper emphasizes the integral role that literacy plays in achieving that goals. Full Publication

Intern Profiles: Meet Brian & Mastewal

The Foundation is pleased to share the successes of Mr. Brian Chung and Ms. Mastewal Taddese, two 2014 interns from New York University Abu Dhabi. Both interns lent their skills to the research team while making the most of the professional and cultural opportunities unique to Ras Al Khaimah.
Press
Members of the press who are interested in covering or learning more about the Al Qasimi Foundation's research, events, or other initiatives may contact Ms. Caitrin Mullan, Program Manager for Outreach.
Our Mission
 
To aid in the social, cultural, and economic development of Ras Al Khaimah and the United Arab Emirates through high-quality policy research, strategic capacity development, and purposeful community engagement


Welcome to the September 2014 edition of the Al Qasimi Foundation's quarterly newsletter. As we begin a new academic year, I'm pleased to tell you about our team's recent accomplishments and upcoming plans. This semester's teacher professional development courses have begun with some innovative new technology workshops. The Sheikh Saqr Student Enrichment Program has welcomed a new group of grade 10 students to its English courses while offering English language and other support to returning grade 11 students. In the research department, our team has published a paper detailing the findings of a Foundation study on private education in the UAE and will be presenting the findings later in the year in the USA. Finally, a successful Iftar celebration this July leads us to our fall events calendar, which is now full of exciting Community Gatherings such as our Emirati film night, a fashion design workshop with renowned Emirati designers, and our annual holiday feast! We hope to see you there, and please let us know if you have any ideas for different events or ways we can better engage you.

Warm regards,

Dr. Natasha Ridge
Executive Director
Feature Articles
Community Engagement

Thai Cooking: A Taste of the Far East in the Middle East

  
This June, the Community Gathering series organized "Thai Cooking For Everyone," which was held on-site at Banyan Tree Al Wadi's signature Thai restaurant, Safran. Here, eighteen participants learned to create a mouth-watering Thai meal while getting to know their neighbors in Ras al Khaimah. "We wanted to host an event with Chef Nugraha because we find his approach to food so compelling. He crafts each dish with thoughtfulness and brings a farm-to-table approach to cooking in a desert region," explains Dr. Natasha Ridge, the Foundation's Executive DirectorFull Story 

 

Capacity Development

Complementary Colors at Work: Professional Development at the Al Qasimi Foundation

  

Much of the Ras Al Khaimah community is familiar with the Al Qasimi Foundation's bevy of community-based capacity development initiatives. What community members and stakeholders may not realize, however, is how much the Foundation also invests strategically in the development of its own team. The Foundation has roughly 25 members of staff representing more than 10 nationalities, and these professionals are gaining fresh perspectives and skills through the Foundation's professional development initiativesFull Story

 

In the Headlines

 

In this in-depth interview with Dr. Natasha Ridge, Al Ghorfa provides a helpful overview of the Foundation and its activities. In particular, this piece takes a look at the Foundation's ongoing research and capacity development initiatives. It also provides insight into the what lies ahead for the ambitious think tank, which is complementing its focus on education research with strategic local and international collaborations. Full Story 

The National  (August 10, 2014)
Staff Crisis Hits Higher Education Data Centre

Education researchers and policymakers have voiced their dismay over the staffing problems affecting the Centre for Higher Education Data and Statistics. For the past two years the center, run by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, has compiled data related to more than 70 ministry-accredited universities and colleges in the UAE. Dr. Natasha Ridge, Executive Director of the Al Qasimi Foundation, comments on the significance of the database project. Full Story


A new study published in Higher Education Policy, an international peer-reviewed journal, indicates that short-term contracts for university staff are causing job insecurity and "major professional instability" in higher education in the UAE. Dr. David Chapman, professor of educational leadership at the University of Minnesota, led the research along with a team from the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research. Full Story
Al Fanar Media (August 28, 2014)

The UAE champions itself as a hub of higher learning in the Arab world, yet the country's state and federal schools are largely attracting transient expatriate staff who are on short-term contracts, work in institutions characterized by top-down decision making, and have limited opportunities for professional development. Those factors could be harming the country's quality of education, researchers have suggested. The Al Qasimi Foundation's Executive Director, Dr. Natasha Ridge, lends perspective to this discussion. Full Story

The National (September 15, 2014)
Well-being is a State of the Mind and Body

As part of its monthly Community Gathering series, the Al Qasimi Foundation hosted a free yoga class in Ras Al Khaimah this September. The Foundation is focusing more on public health in the northernmost emirate, and the event, "Basic Yoga for Everyone," gave female participants a chance to learn about and engage in yoga as physical and mental exercise. Full Story

Upcoming Events
Majlis Event
October 12: Inspiring Outdoor Liveablility in Arid Coastal Environments

The recent commercial developments lining the coasts of the Arabian Peninsula have various implications for the environment, economy, and society as a whole. This majlis event explores the relationship between residents' perceptions of the coastal landscapes that are being created and the effects that such developments have on the environment, including their demands on water. More Information
Community Gathering
October 22: Fashion for Everyone

The Al Qasimi Foundation is pleased to bring another installment of Fashion for Everyone with acclaimed Emirati designers Eman and Elham Al Flamrzi, co-owners of E & E. In this workshop, Eman and Elham will explore the world of fashion design with participants, sharing their journey and insights while fostering creativity and talent among guests. This intimate event represents a unique opportunity for budding designers and fashionistas. More Information

Community Gathering
October 29: A Musical Evening with Della Mae Band

In a relatively short period of time, American band Della Mae has become a sensation in the music world. Commanding a powerful collective chemistry with vocal, instrumental, and songwriting talent to spare, the Boston-based combo mines time-honored elements to create music that's unmistakably fresh and contemporary. Please join the Al Qasimi Foundation for this evening of music and cultural enrichment. More Information

Capacity Development
November 2-6: Sheikh Saqr Student Enrichment Program to Partner with Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth
 

To foster the continued development of the Student Enrichment Program and promote more opportunities for top students, the Foundation is partnering with the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University. The Center's staff will visit Ras Al Khaimah to help the Foundation and Education Zone identify gifted students and run a two-day (bilingual) professional development training for a select group of 30 education professionals. More Information 

Community Gathering
November 27: Made in the UAE, An Evening of Emirati Films

If you want to know more about the UAE, meet Emirati directors, or learn more about filmmaking, why not join the Al Qasimi Foundation for "Made in the UAE: An Evening of Emirati Films"? All films will be accessible in both Arabic and English through subtitles. More Information   

Majlis Event
December 7: Breast Cancer Awareness with University of Sydney
 

Several researchers from the University of Sydney have partnered with the Al Qasimi Foundation, RAK Hospital, and RAK Medical Health Sciences University (RAKMHSU) to conduct a study on breast cancer in Ras Al Khaimah and the United Arab Emirates. This majlis session will formally launch the study's data collection phase, in which women can volunteer to be study participants.

 

Note: This project is supported by the Commonwealth through the Council for Australian-Arab Relations, which is part of the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


 

Upcoming Deadlines
Careers
October 15: Applications Deadline for Spring 2015 Internships

Applications are due for Internships that begin in the first half of 2015.

For more information on the internship program, including eligibility, application process, and online application form, please visit the Internship Opportunities section of the Al Qasimi Foundation website.

Capacity Development
October 31: Applications Deadline for 2015 Teacher Exchange with Malaysia

The Ras Al Khaimah Teacher Exchange Program provides opportunities for educators in Ras Al Khamiah government schools to further develop their knowledge and skills of pedagogy and learning environments through a study program and exchange visit with educational institutions in Malaysia. This exchange will be part of a professional development course offered through the Foundation's Teaching & Learning department. More Information
Capacity Development
December 31: Application Deadline for Spring 2015 School Grants

 

Applications are due for School Grant projects beginning in Spring 2015. For more information on the School Grants program, including eligibility and application process, please visit the  School Grants section of the Al Qasimi Foundation website. More Information   

 

Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research
 www.alqasimifoundation.com | info@alqasimifoundation.rak.ae | (P) +971 7 233 8060 | (F) +971 7 233 8070


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