Dr Waseem Kotoub, Interim Director, British Council Qatar 

I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the British Council team inQatar, especially in the year the country is hosting the FIFA World Cup for the first time in the Middle East. I joined the British Council in Qatar as the lead for the cultural component of Qatar UK Year of Culture 2013 and have enjoyed developing links with the UK’s vibrant arts and cultural scene. I have worked internationally in cultural relations within the British Council for over 13 years in MENA and the UK, sharing the best of UK’s culture and education system whilst learning from others. 

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work in more than 100 countries, connecting millions of people with the United Kingdom. The British Council was established in Qatar in 1972, and we have a diverse and talented team of 59 staff, running innovative programmes across our core areas of Arts and Culture, Education and English to support Qatar’s 2030 National Vision. We continue to seek to create many more opportunities for people in Qatar and the UK to learn from each other and work together on areas of common interest. 

We work with trusted governmental organisations, top educational institutions and leading corporations and are continuing to create new partnerships and new learning opportunities. We believe this work plays a vital role in generating deeper, more inclusive relationships between people in our two countries. We aim to change –and improve– lives through access to UK education, skills, qualifications, culture and society; to make people engage with the UK’s culture and arts, education, diversity and openness; to grow cultural and education exports through the market intelligence and business opportunities we share with our UK partners; to create more opportunities for the UK to innovate and, finally to support the development of educational and arts institutions in both countries through the links we help them to establish. 

We will achieve this by staying true to our values: quality, customer care and professionalism, but also through a focus on equality, diversity and inclusion across all of our work.  

Over the coming months, I hope to be able to work closely with our partners so that we can plan programmes and activities together and build a future of mutual benefit to us all. 

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