Among stiff competition from a variety of strong applicants, these candidates stood out. Find out what makes their story unique and vote for your most inspirational story for the 'People's Choice Award'.



This award recognises alumni who have distinguished themselves through exemplary leadership and achievements in their professional industry, and who can demonstrate the highest level of integrity and character in their professional career.

AWARD RECIPIENT | DR. ALLA EL-AWAISI, Robert Gordon University; University of Strathclyde

Dr Alla El-Awaisi is the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at Qatar University College of Pharmacy and the Chair of the Interprofessional Education (IPE) Committee at QU Health. She is also a leader and active researcher in IPE and collaborative practice in healthcare.

Studying in Aberdeen equipped her with long lasting transferable skills such as leadership and an opportunity to meet and work with key figures in IPE.

Dr Alla’s PhD had significant impact in promoting ‘interprofessionalism’ in Qatar and led to many successful IPE initiatives nationally and internationally, including successfully leading a winning bid to bring the 10th All Together Better Health Conference to the Middle East for the first time in October 2020!

Dr. Dena Ahmed S. Al-Thani, Queen Mary, University of London

Dr. Dena Ahmed S. Al-Thani is an assistant professor at Hamad bin Khalifa University and a consultant for Research and Innovation in Mada centre. Her research focuses on designing technologies for people with disabilities. Her work has been presented at leading events and platforms, including the United Nations. 

Dr. Dena is a real expert in the field of assistive technology and leads on various research projects in both academia and industry.

During her studies at the Queen Mary University of London, she gained great experience speaking at leading conferences in her field and met world renowned scientists, equipping her with the skills and experience that have made her the expert she is today.

Dr. Samar Aboulsoud, Cardiff University

Samar Aboulsoud is a nationally and internationally recognised leader in healthcare regulation and medical education. 

As the CEO of the Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners, Samar developed the national CME/CPD accreditation system for the state of Qatar in collaboration with the RCPSC.

Completing a MSc in medical education at Cardiff University in Wales represented an invaluable addition to Samar’s credentials, as it contributed to a paramount shift in her career path as she moved to the academic field and holding educational roles.

Studying in the UK helped Samar to successfully implement strategies and support meaningful translation of theory to practice.


This award recognises alumni who are active in initiating, or contributing to, innovative new ideas or business opportunities with strong growth prospects.


Khalifa Al Haroon is the Founder and CEO of and the I Love Qatar (ILQ) Network, which is Qatar’s first Qatari social website. 

Khalifa, also known as Mr. Q on his blog/vlog, has a background in law, investment banking and social media management. He has launched several YouTube and online shows such as QTips (Cultural), Weekend Round Up (Event Listing), and RaqamiTV. (Arabic Tech Show)

Khalifa obtained his law degree from the Anglia Ruskin University in the UK, which is where he set up his first business as a student, gaining great experience which he then applied in Qatar in many successful business ventures.

Ms. Nawar Al-Mutlaq, Royal College of Art

Nawar Al-Mutlaq is the co-founder and creative director of Makery Design Studio. 

Through her studies in the UK, Nawar saw the value of offering innovative services through people-centred design. 

Studying in the UK has helped Nawar grow immensely, both personally and professionally. The vast artistic culture of London inspired her, she brought the creative cloud of London back with her to Qatar and was motivated to share this with others. 

In Qatar and the Gulf region, she actively contributes to the elevation and betterment of the services, user experiences and the visual communication within the field of design.

Mr. Vijay Sivasankaran, London Business School

Vijay Sivasankaran a highly accomplished Digital Transformation Leader with over 20 years’ experience in pivotal executive roles within market leading TMT enterprises.

Vijay pioneered VOIP technology in Canada and launched one of the first B2B cloud Private Branch Exchange (PBX) firms.

Studying at the London Business School (LBS) provided Vijay with the platform to develop into a global leader. He believes that LBS’ methodology to prepare its students to be successful is unique.

Vijay is actively involved in many technology start-ups as an advisor, using his skills and experience to help entrepreneurs around the world, including in Qatar, to innovate and thrive.


The Social Impact Award acknowledges alumni who have made an exceptional contribution and commitment to creating positive social change and improving lives.

AWARD RECIPIENT | Ms. Reema Masoud Faraj Sultan Al-Merekhi, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne (Cardiff University)

Ms. Reema is the first Arabic female to join the IFRC Field Assessment and Coordination team (FACT), a team that gets deployed within 24 hours to assess disasters.

Studying in the UK helped Reema develop from a shy girl to an independent leader, who was able to be deployed to relief missions and be away from home for more than 30 days at a time. 

Her studies also provided her with strong quality research and empathy skills which she applies to her work at FACT contributing to saving thousands of lives from all over the world including Nepal, Indonesia, Iraq, Syrian relief and Rohangiya.

Dr. Rania Sawalhi, University of Warwick 

Rania Sawalhi is an academic supervisor of student-teachers (Undergraduate and postgraduate) in College of Education-Qatar University. 

She also is the co-founder of Eduenterprise, a non-profit organisation, that launched the world’s first educational leadership coaching e-platform that creates a database of educational leaders in many Arab countries and has trained hundreds on these skills.

Studying at the University of Warwick provided Rania with quality experiences, skills and dispositions that enabled her to conduct research and disseminate knowledge, which she uses in her current roles.

It is Rania’s mission to link educational leadership to the context and the needs of Arab countries, utilising the best practices and collaborating with experts.

Dr. Sharifa Noaman Al-Emadi, Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU)

Dr. Sharifa Al-Emadi is the Executive Director of the Doha International Family Institute (DIFI). 

Sharifa has greatly contributed to the development of the Family Counselling Centre and Al Aween Drug Addiction Centres in Qatar, she has also helped to open a new Centre for treatment of drug addiction and trained clinical psychologists from GCC. 

According to Sharifa, studying in the UK equipped her with the right skillset to approach her counselling from a multicultural perspective. She applied her gained knowledge and experience from her time in Manchester to the Arab region which has had a tremendous impact on the counselling and psychology field in Qatar and the GCC. Dr. Sharifa was also awarded the PhD holders Platinum Medal at the Education Excellence Day in Qatar for the year 2009.