The Qatar Foundation, founded in 1995, has become an important player on a world scale in supporting education events, scientific research and community development, and incidentally in culture and the media. It is a name one sees more and more in relation to conferences, debates and other events, and it is eager to let its name to be known, including appearing on the shirts of FC Barcelona as main sponsor, maybe the best thing a company or institution that by itself has nothing palpable or trendy to sell has done to make its name known all over the world. Children anywhere in the World and from all classes, wear the shirt.
The Foundation has vast funds to spend, or in most cases to invest as part of a long-term strategy. It plays a major role in financing Qatar’s Education City, including the National Library. Such enterprises are much more than a costly hobby enabled by oil wealth, but rather an investment with a real pay-back effect, when, in the future, scientific research would become profitable and students wanting to study here will bring in money. Though one might wonder if there is enough talent in the world to populate all these new centers of excellence that are being created in Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, they can be attractive to students who do not have easy access in the US and Europe, and who want an international atmosphere.