Qatar has been instrumental in providing education to millions, especially for out of school children, on account of its visionary leadership and innovative approach to education, noted the founder of the Soufan Centre.
“The programme, ‘Educate A Child’ by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, helps in educating millions of children around the world especially in conflict areas. This is one of the best ways to help them live a better future. It enables the youngsters to come out with critical thinking,” Ali Soufan, CEO, Soufan Group, told Gulf Times.
Soufan, a former FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) agent who has investigated several terrorism related cases, was in Doha to take part in the two-day Global Security Forum.
“Qatar has been one of the first countries in the region to adapt an education system with critical thinking. It is very unique in the region. The phenomenal role of Qatar Foundation in introducing world class education in the country by establishing branch campuses of several leading universities, has truly transformed the country,” explained, Soufan.
“The country has already become a hub of education in the region and beyond. We can see students from several countries studying in these universities and making it a learning centre for everyone. The addition of several museums and the Qatar National Library with its great resources, are truly transforming the country and provide a multicultural environment with people from most parts of the world,” continued Soufan.
Soufan who has dealt with many important cases against terrorism noted that education with critical thinking is the only way to uproot terrorism from the world.
“What is needed is not rote learning but critical thinking, the main element in education. In the pretext of education, some people promote radical thinking, leading to extremism and terrorism. What is needed is to give hope to the youngsters by educating them with critical thinking skills to understand the reality,” maintained Soufan.
“Education gives children the tools to lead a better life. It is the cornerstone of life. Those who are educated properly, live a balanced life; do not care for other things and will work for a better society in a productive way. For this, we need education with critical thinking,” highlighted the official.
Soufan felt that terrorism is a disease with several symptoms and causes and there is not any particular method to solve the issue.
“To eliminate terrorism, what works in one country, may not be suitable for another country or region. There are social, cultural, economic and geopolitical factors behind it. The reasons for terrorism could be identity issues, poverty, alienation among others. Terrorist groups make use of these people especially youngsters and recruit them for their purposes. Education with critical thinking is the only way to overcome such a scenario,” he added.