Georgetown University in Qatar hosted international activist and author Manal Omar in an enthralling lecture and book reading from her book 'Barefoot in Baghdad'. The evening was hosted in collaboration with Qatar National Library (QNL).
Georgetown University in Qatar hosted international activist and author Manal Omar in an enthralling lecture and book reading on June 10 at 6:00 pm. The evening was hosted in collaboration with Qatar National Library (QNL).
QNL is a non-profit organization under the umbrella of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. The public event features her memoir, Barefoot in Baghdad, a riveting story of hope and despair where the unsung freedom fighters are strong, vibrant and female.
In the book Ms. Omar, who is Director of Iraq, North Africa and Iran programs at the US Institute of Peace, chronicles her time spent as an aid worker in the turbulence of war-torn Iraq, and examines issues of identity, civil society, and women’s rights that emerged from the struggle. She quickly finds herself drawn into the saga of a people determined to rise from the ashes of war and sanctions and rebuild their lives in the face of ongoing chaos.
“In conjunction with Georgetown University, Qatar National Library is proud to bring an author and thinker of Manal Omar’s caliber, prominence and relevance to speak with our community in Qatar,” said Dr. Claudia Lux, Qatar National Library’s Project Director.“Qatar National Library is an active member of the community and a critical piece of infrastructure in Qatar’s knowledge economy, empowering people to unlock their potential by providing tools for lifelong learning. Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development said the modern reader’s role is not only to receive data, but to interact and produce knowledge. Events like this exemplify Qatar National Library’s commitment to fulfilling that role for the modern library, and works like Manal Omar’s offer readers and other members of the community the inspiration to achieve that.”
The event was opened by Gerd Nonneman, Dean of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Qatar. He said, “Books and newspaper headlines can tell us facts or give us a window through which to look at places and people. But hearing those words brought to life by the very author who wrote them, we get the rare chance to step through the window to the other side, so to speak, with the writer as our personal guide. We are delighted to be able to present this opportunity both to our Georgetown community and the broader Doha community.”
Ms. Omar brings to the presentation over fifteen years’ experience of working in the field of women’s rights, peace-building, humanitarian aid, and development. Her professional background ranges from multilateral agencies, including the UN and the World Bank, to international non-governmental organizations such as Oxfam-GB and Women for Women International.