On Qatar Academy’s 15th Anniversary, a longtime employee talks about the early days.“Qatar Academy was my baby before I had children of my own,” Admissions Supervisor Ayat Abdoun says with a smile.
Ms. Abdoun was born in Sudan and spent part of her childhood in Abu Dhabi, Jordan and her home country before moving to Qatar with her parents. Ayat is no stranger to living in a multicultural setting or in the field of education. She attended Qatar University and graduated with a degree in Education before jumping right into her first job: a short stint as a high school teacher at a local girls’ school. But Ayat considers working for Qatar Academy (QA) as her first real job.
“When I started here, the school was in a small compound near Hamad Hospital. There was a total of 22 students in years 7, 8 and 9,” she explains. “I was hired as the personal assistant to the director, but I was also the school’s translator and admissions secretary.” Apart from the teachers, the original staff consisted of Ayat, the director, a school secretary and a finance officer.
After a couple of years in the Al Ali location, QA moved to its current location in Education City. Here, Ayat picked up more responsibilities and saw the school grow into a sprawling campus encompassing nearly 1600 students and 300 staff. Over the course of that time, she also started her own family and gave birth to a daughter who is now in Grade 4 and twin boys, now in Grade 2.
Ayat has not only watched her own children grow up at Qatar Academy, she sees students who attended QA now bringing their children to be enrolled at QA. “I’ve always had a good connection to this school and have a good memory for the names of students, parents and nannies and drivers”. She laughingly adds, “Even my own children can’t believe I’ve worked here since before they were born!”
As she reflects on how quickly the last fifteen years went by, she also looks forward to many more fruitful years at Qatar Foundation. “I am so connected to Qatar Academy and I have been fortunate to be part of its success. I look at my children and I see them thriving and enjoying their classes, there’s a sense of pride in me knowing that I was with QA from the very start and to see it where it is now –providing so many opportunities to its students and my own children.