Citizen Diplomacy Network

The Network unites organizations that are committed to advancing purposeful global engagement at a person-to-person level, providing them with a common platform from which to share, participate, and learn in this important community.

Qatar Foundation International

Active Areas:

Culture & Arts, Education Exchange, International Visitors, K-12, Volunteer Service

Age Groups:

Children (12 years & under), Teens (13 – 17 years), Young Adults (18 – 24 years), Groups

Countries Served:

Qatar, Canada, Brazil, USA


1400 Eye Street NW
Washington, DC 20005, USA


Phone: (202) 652-0147
[email protected]

QFI implements its mission through innovative educational and volunteer programs, which inspire lasting exchanges of experience and knowledge. By placing young people from diverse social, economic, and cultural backgrounds into effective, collaborative and global learning environments — inside and outside the classroom, in person and online — QFI is committed to providing K-12 students in Qatar and the Americas the skills that will enable them to be engaged global citizens.

A core part of QFI is its Arabic Language and Culture Program. QFI grants to K-12 public and public charter schools implement in-school ARABIC programs. So far the organization has supported:

  • 22 schools in North America and 8 in Brazil, reaching over 2100 students
  • 29 Jurisdictions supported:  Rio de Janeiro; Vancouver, B.C.; the District of Columbia; and 26 U.S. states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington).

Additionally, with support from QFI, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) launched a dual-language Arabic program at PS/IS 30 in September, 2013.  The program, funded by a grant from QFI, began in PS/IS 30’s kindergarten this fall, and provides a rich curriculum for English-speakers learning Arabic and Arabic-speakers learning English. It is the first of its kind in New York City.

  • Qatar Foundation International (QFI), LLC, is a U.S.-based member of Qatar Foundation (QF). Its mission is dedicated to connecting cultures and advancing global citizenship through education.

    QFI is committed to providing K-12 students in Qatar and the Americas the skills that will enable them to be engaged global citizens by placing young people from diverse social, economic, and cultural backgrounds into effective, collaborative and global learning environments —inside and outside the classroom.

    Through core programmatic activities such as Arabic language and culture, in person and online exchanges, youth engagement initiatives and support of digital learning technologies, QFI is focused on creating a global community of active, engaged and collaborative learners and educators. QFI is both a grant-making organization as well as a convener of like-minded organizations and individuals.


  • Arabic Language and Culture

    QFI implements a unique, systemic approach to expanding the study of Arabic in public and public charter schools across the Americas through its flagship Arabic Language and Culture (ALC) program. ALC provides numerous opportunities for students from varied backgrounds to learn Arabic and experience the Arab world’s rich history and culture. Additionally, ALC supports the Arabic language teaching profession by increasing the supply and proficiency of qualified teachers of Arabic through curriculum grants and professional development opportunities.

    The program seeks to:

    1. Build bridges across cultures through access to Arabic language and culture education
    2. Increase the number and quality of Arabic programs in public schools in urban and rural districts in the Americas
    3. Support the creation of age-appropriate curricula, learning materials, and assessment mechanisms
    4. Use information technology to support access, school partnerships, and teacher and student collaboration

    Youth Engagement

    QFI’s Youth Engagement program prepares youth to investigate the world, understand varied perspectives, exchange ideas, and tackle community and global issues. They aim to inspire youth action, cultivate student ideas, and encourage young people around the world to work together. As a key part of QFI’s commitment to promoting global citizenship, these programs focus on three areas—service learning, academic excellence, and media literacy—to help youth confidently address and collaborate on community and global issues.

    Cultural Exchanges: In-person and online

    QFI organizes cross-cultural exchange programs related to Arabic Language and Culture, Youth Engagement, and STE{A}M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math). In addition to in-person exchanges, QFI is deeply vested in using the power of online platforms and appropriate technology to implement virtual exchanges that develop critical global competencies and deepen the impact of face-to-face initiatives. Both in-person and online exchanges enable learners and educators to experience different cultures and collaborate on cross-cultural projects with their peers from across the world. Furthermore, QFI has organized professional development workshops for Qatari teachers in the United States and American teachers in Qatar.

    Grants and Fellowships

    As part of its Arabic Language and Culture program, QFI funds grants, fellowships and conferences that aim to promote excellence in the classroom and advance the teaching of the Arabic language and culture in public and public charter schools throughout the Americas. QFI's grantees share our vision of a world that embraces and respects diversity, values lifelong learning, and empowers individuals to take action to shape their future.

    Education Technology

    Technology provides students and teachers with a means to communicate, collaborate and share experiences across geographic, cultural and social distances. A major underlying theme of QFI’s work is striving to link teachers and students from across the world using appropriate cutting-edge technology. QFI’s projects reach hundreds of people in the United States, Qatar and Brazil and many of these stakeholders share common needs and value exchanging knowledge with their colleagues. QFI’s online platforms provide a space for communication and collaboration on teaching and learning materials and techniques


  • Since 2009, QFI programs in Arabic Language and Culture, STE{A}M—Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math—and Youth Engagement have given students in the Americas and Qatar the tools and platforms they need to discuss important issues with each other and with educators. QFI believes that youth today face shared global challenges such as climate change, insufficient access to education, and rising disease rates, which they will need to work together to solve, in cross-cultural teams. Young people today crave the opportunity to make an impact but too often, no one has challenged them to try. QFI programs teach students to see beyond their surroundings to their place as part of a global community, which they’ll one day be responsible for maintaining. QFI believes that true cultural understanding doesn’t come from simply hearing about other ways of life—not even through continuous access via social media and popular culture. Real understanding requires global awareness and 21st-century skills in problem solving, collaboration, communication, and use of technology. And though educators know the importance of these things, schools struggle to integrate them effectively into the classroom before college. Knowing that that’s too late, QFI works to incorporate this type of training in K-12 curricula across the Americas. Four key themes inform and unite QFI programs:  community, Challenge, Access, and Dialogue. The organization works with partners, schools, educators, and students who strive to exemplify these values.

  • Al Masdar - Meaning “The Source” in Arabic, Al-Masdar is a one-stop shop for information on Arabic language materials, programs, open education resources, scholarships, etc. This site is hosted by QFI and acts as a single point for students and teachers around the world to access materials and opportunities related to Arabic language and culture teaching and learning at no cost, and to provide a social and professional hub for Arabic language educators.

    ‘Aber: What’s Your Story? - ‘Aber is an annual QFI educational exchange that stems out of it’s Arabic Language and Culture program, bringing together Arabic language learning students from cities across the U.S. to Doha to join their Qatari peers on a cross-cultural exploration of language and identity.

    TII - The Translation and Interpreting Institute (TII) of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) and Qatar Foundation International have identified an opportunity of collaboration in the development of an intensive three-week summer immersion Arabic language program in Doha. This study abroad program will give 10 U.S. high school students, who have studied Arabic for at least 2 years, the opportunity to travel to Doha, Qatar and spend three weeks attending daily classes in Modern Standard Arabic and Qatari dialect at TII. Students will stay in the dormitories at HBKU.

    NSLC - QFI, in partnership with the National Leadership Council (NYLC), will sponsor 30 QFI students, with 15 from Qatari schools to attend a week long educational program for youth and educators that will take place April 5-13th, 2014, and includes QFI students participation in the National Service Learning Conference (NSLC), a community service learning training program taking place in Washington, D.C. from April 9 -12, where they will learn to design, prepare and launch a service-learning project on their own.

    QFI Summer Institute - Taking place in Washington, DC from August 11 - 15, 2014, the Arabic language and culture institute will be led this year by Dr. Donna Clementi, former Director of Education and Research at Concordia Language Villages and a leading expert in performance- and Standards-based curriculum planning, and Dr. Salah Ayari of Texas A&M University, a recognized K-12 Arabic curriculum and teacher training expert.