Six years before the world’s
biggest sporting event comes to town, Qatar’s preparations for hosting the 2022
FIFA World Cup are advancing at a rapid pace.
To help successfully navigate the challenges ahead, the Community Engagement division of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), with the Josoor Institute as a partner, recently organized a high performance leadership workshop for representatives from over 27 Qatar-based communities who had signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) last November to enlist the support of their social groups before, during and after the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™.
The workshop, titled
‘Leadership – Understanding Yourself and Developing Others’, was conducted by
Tom Cross, a British sports psychologist with vast experience of working within
high performance environments in both business and elite sport including the London 2012 Olympic
“Building the capacity and empowering our communities is central to our vision. We want to support leaders to better deliver the invaluable work they are doing in their communities” said Khalid Al Jumaily, SC Community Engagement Manager.
“The workshop attracted leaders from over 30 community associations resident in Qatar, many of whom had previously signed an MOU with us to increase community participation in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar activities and programmes. The workshop explored personal leadership attributes, coaching skills to develop other people and global leadership perspectives from industry experts in high performance sport.”
Representatives from three resident national communities in Qatar – Turkey, Russia and Algeria – spoke to www.sc.qa on the sidelines of the workshop giving us a glimpse of their social groups’ hopes, aspirations and concerns about the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Kayıhan Bagdatlı, Turkey
“The 8,000-strong Turkish community in Qatar, as well as back home, are proud that Qatar is hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The Turkish community in Qatar comprises people from diverse social and economic backgrounds and though their experiences might be varied they are all united in being proud of Qatar hosting the World Cup for the first time. Turkey is part of the greater Middle East and we are all happy that the greatest sporting event on earth is coming to the region.
I am proud to represent Qatar 2022 and raise awareness among the Turkish community on the various SC projects and initiatives. It will be a great journey – I am sure I will not merely get to know my community better but also the country where I have been residing since 2006.
The Turkish community out here is proud of Arda Turan, who is now a member of Barcelona, the best club team in the world. We don’t know if he will be playing in 2022 but we are looking forward to see Turkey play here. We reached the semifinal in 2002 when the tournament was last held in Asia and we have players like Hakan Calhanoglu who will make that dream possible.
Tens of thousands of people from Turkey are going to be here if the national team qualifies for Qatar 2022, and as members of the local Turkish community we will have a significant role in welcoming and leading them. The insights from the workshop will help immensely.”
Marina Loktyukhova, Russia
“As a member of the 2,000-strong Russian community in Qatar, I feel very aligned to the country at this point of time. With Russia hosting the 2018 tournament and Qatar the 2022 one, the two countries are like twin siblings now.
I am looking ahead with great excitement at the road ahead – both 2018 and the four years following it. As a community representative, I will do my best to take the natural synergy to the communities. There are about 7,000 people in Qatar who speak Russian language – drawn from the various nations that constituted the former Soviet Union. At a social level therefore, I see a larger representative role for me in the years ahead.
There will be many challenges in the road leading to and during 2022, and I am sure I will be able to benefit a lot thanks to the insights from the workshop. The Russian community out here has an immediate task of spreading awareness about their homeland. There will be many official Qatari delegations visiting Russia in 2018 and the Russian community could play a major role to make their stay as smooth as possible by sharing their experiences with people out here.”
Nasreddine Hakim, Algeria
“We have around 5,000 Algerians living in Qatar, all of whom are extremely proud that the World Cup will be hosted for the first time by an Arab country. I remember when Qatar won the hosting rights on December 2, 2010, members of the Algerian community were part of the festivities after having supported the bid right through.
The local Algerian community is also very proud of our football heritage – we played in the 2014 and 2010 World Cup tournaments in Brazil and South Africa, and in Spain 1982 we defeated the mighty West Germany. We are following the brilliant English Premier League season that Riyad Mahrez has had for Leicester City. We are confident that we will be able to support Mahrez and our national team in Qatar in 2022.
However, the road ahead will not be all rosy. There are challenges and I am confident the skills I picked up in this leadership workshop will help me in navigating them. Till recently, 90 percent of the members of the Algerian community here in Qatar were qualified professionals. However, that is slowly changing now with increasing blue collar recruits from Algeria. Forging a positive consensus about the World Cup among all economic groups will be of utmost importance.
Another challenge will be during the tournament itself. I was in Brazil in 2014 and about 5,000 travelling supporters from Algeria were there following the team. There were about 40 buses taking the supporters around. I envisage the number shooting up exponentially because of the geographical proximity of Qatar. Members of the local Algerian community will have a role to play in promoting social harmony during the tournament.”