Partners Build a Civic Education Program in Qatar

February 2008

In January, Qatari government officials, educators, and members of the legal community gathered at the College of Law at Qatar University to begin designing a civic education program. The project, initiated by the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), will strengthen and deepen the understanding of the rule of law among young citizens, empowering them to effectively participate in civic life and promoting a culture of respect for the law and for individual rights and responsibilities. 

Dr. Mabel McKinney-Browning, Director of the ABA’s Public Education Division, and Karen Kendrick, ABA ROLI’s Qatar Program Director, introduced the project targeting preparatory and secondary students.

Supported by the U.S. Department of State Office of the Middle East Partnership Initiative, the project will be tailored to the Qatari context by the ABA and a working group of Qatari legal and education experts.  The core elements will include a pilot classroom-based civic education curriculum program that will be implemented in select Qatari classrooms this spring. 
During the January Working Group meetings, representatives from the College of Law at Qatar University, the Qatar Foundation and members of the legal community convened to select possible topics for the curriculum.  The curriculum will be complemented by a rule of law portal, public service announcements and a “Law Day” event. “The initiative has found positive response and the national institutions concerned have expressed a readiness to participate,” College Dean Hassan al-Sayed said.