Saturday, 23 September 2023 11:56 GMT

Volunteering Reflects On National Identity, Islamic Values: QF Official

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) The Peninsula

DOHA: Faisal Al Mohanadi, Procurement and Compliance Manager at Qatar Foundation, has always felt compelled to give back to his country, and when presented with the opportunity to volunteer at the FIFA Arab Cup 2021, he jumped at the chance, inspiring his family to also participate in community service activities.

“My family played an important role in encouraging me to volunteer,” Al Mohanadi said.“We saw in this an opportunity to pay back a small portion of what our country has given us over the years. We discussed how it could influence our children, allowing them the opportunity to witness firsthand this unique experience. And this is exactly what happened when I became an official volunteer for the FIFA Arab Cup 2021.”

Soon Al-Mohanadi's seven-year-old son began following in his father's footsteps, becoming a member of the academic accreditation team for volunteering for the FIFA Arab Cup 2021.

This experience inspired the young boy to continue to give back, including helping to prepare meals during Ramadan and distributing them to those fasting, as well as participating in beach cleanups with his father.

“I have always been interested in helping my children fully understand the nature of volunteering,” he said.“For example, for the beach cleanup campaign, we discussed why we were doing it, we talked about how the beach is part of our country, and that by cleaning it we contribute to preserving the environment in Qatar. We even watched videos together explaining how pollution can lead to destruction and loss of resources. And this had a huge impact on my child's realization of the value of the work he does.

“I could see how happy my son was collecting the garbage on the beach, overcoming his feelings of exhaustion. This is the essence of volunteering. I've always aspired to plant these moral values and positive concepts in my children – values that our religion encourages and praises.”

Al Mohanadi learned a great deal from his first volunteering experience, and he intends on taking these lessons with him as he joins the Ruwaad Pioneer Volunteer Program, where he is conducting interviews with candidates interested in helping support the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Within this role, he is helping to assign people to different positions – based on their strengths and interests.

“Some of the youth in Qatar think that volunteering is a hardship,” he said.“But there are countless positive takeaways. Through my experience, I have been able to meet people of different nationalities and backgrounds – from Europe, Asia, the Americas, and other Arab countries – and learn about their cultures.

“In addition, volunteering enhances your ability to connect with others. Even if you do not share a common language, you always find a way to communicate. You can end up forming friendships that do not end once the event ends, but that continue for years.

“Volunteers are like ambassadors, they represent their country through direct interaction and are able to refute any negative messages that may exist.”

In addition to what Al Mohanadi has learned from volunteering – such as patience and problem solving – he has enjoyed teaching others, as well as learning how to communicate with volunteers with different abilities.

“Despite knowing nearly nothing about sign language, we found ways to communicate – whether through writing or by simple gestures. And this encouraged volunteers with different abilities and made them feel welcome, from their first day of volunteering to their last.”

Al Mohanadi believes that volunteering is a source of inspiration to others, encouraging those around him to learn more about the work he is doing.“Volunteering helps to create a sense of community within society, because it is a practice by us, for us. And it requires cultural awareness.”

Through his role as a volunteer for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, Al Mohanadi hopes to help dispel some of the negative stereotypes that exist about the region, while emphasizing his pride in the local culture and the development and prosperity that Qatar continues to work towards.

“Fans from all over the world will be amazed to see what our country has been able to achieve in a few years,” he said.“I look forward to introducing visitors from all over the world to the great hospitality and kindness of our people.”


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