QF Cancels Annual Convocation Concert


Photo by Silma Suba
Photo by Paulo Fugen


Qatar Foundation’s annual graduation concert will not take place this year, according to Qatar Foundation’s events manager.

“There will be no concert this year,” said Eid El Sayed. “We will have a guest speaker instead.”

Qatar Foundation hosts a concert by an international artist or band every year as a celebration for the graduating classes from all the campuses of Education City. In the past, artists such as The Script, One Republic and Enrique Iglesias have given musical performances.

Still, no one knows for sure why the concert was cancelled on such short notice.

This may change later tonight.  According to Arwa Ibnouf, a member of the 2014 convocation team, her department will be sending out an email to students tonight with details regarding the concert cancellation.

In early February, all graduating seniors in Education City received an online poll to vote for their favorite artist or band. Options included Emeli Sande, Alicia Keys, Imagine Dragons, Amr Diab, Mohammed Assaf and several others. There was never an announcement made of the winning artist or even if any artist was selected for the concert.

Instead of an international artist or band, QF said that there will be a guest speaker, but no speaker has been identified yet. However, in previous years, guest speakers have been giving speeches at the convocation ceremony in addition to a concert that also took place during convocation week. Last year, Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, was the guest speaker and the Irish rock band, The Script, was the convocation concert artist.

“I’m sad to see that we won’t be having a concert this year because it’s something that’s been done every year. Also, I’m wondering why an official announcement hasn’t been made regarding its cancellation, as it’s all been hearsay for us students,” said Saif Alnuweiri, a journalism senior at Northwestern University in Qatar.

“It’s really sad to hear that the concert is not happening,” said Mujtaba Qureshi, a senior at Texas A&M University at Qatar. “It used to serve as a nice event where the graduating class and their friends could come together and celebrate their graduation.”

However, some students have said that the concert should have been cancelled because it conflicts with religious standards that should be respected.

“I don’t think we should have a concert because although it’s part of the [graduation] celebration, having the concert and celebrating this extravagantly is taking things over the top in times where people and Muslims around us are in dire situations,” said Aisha Al-Misned, a senior at Northwestern University in Qatar. “I’m seeing it from a religious point of view, not cultural.”

Rashad Al-Aani, a communication senior at Northwestern, also favors the cancellation of the concert and was planning not to attend because it goes against her cultural considerations. “For me to be at this event, I would have to negotiate some of my own values of modesty, respect and public conduct,” she said. “It’s a lot of wasted financial investment as well, so it’s wise of them to cancel it.”


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