I have been to Guest Leader Panels in the past but wow...I cannot even begin to describe this one! First and foremost, the leaders' who were a part of the panel Sheikha Aisha bint Faleh Al-Thani (a princess who is very educated and serves on Qatar's Supreme Education Council amongst other things), Ibrahim Mohamed Jaidah (a well-known architect in this region), and Ibrahim Al Hijji (a hematologist) had styles and provided answers and comments that completely complemented the LeaderShape curriculumn -- we could not have asked for better comments from them! The students asked great questions and the entire program was a great way to finish out the day.
The unreal part was the red carpet you walked on to get into the panel (see Gerard as a model in the picture above), the incredible facilities (I know I have already said that), and the dinner afterwards. I am adjusting to eating much later (last night it was between 8 and 9 p.m. but it is totally worth the wait--especially last night. I have included some pictures of the banquet table -- there were so many choices and what I tried was delicious (I am not always sure what I am eating). We also had a fabulous reception prior to the start of the panel where they offered us amazing fresh juices and all types of appetizers to enjoy.
The entire day was a great event and I am looking forward to today as well. We started the morning with the Zander video and as always the enthusiasm is quite contageous. Tonight is the starpower simulation so as usual we expect emotions to run high.
All-in-all the LeaderShape experience is very similiar to others I have been a part of but there are some slight differences.
1. The students are more global mined because many of the them are from other countries (Iran, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, Bangldesh, Syria, India, and so many more). This brings up incredibly rich conversations and really makes me stay on my toes with georgraphy, world issues, and current events.
2. The students are still late to sessions (although this can be more of a Arab cultural trademark too). Also manuals and nametags are routinely left behind -- similar to the states!
3. The visions are amazing and really cover the scope of topics. There are many more on health and wellness as many countries in this region do not widely discuss what occurs with the human body very much. We had a great discussion about how the Education City institutions handled the swine flu outbreak here.
Today promises to be a great day as well.