July 7, 2016


Being Dubai based and working in the education sector is a privilege for us to have so close by the Headquarters of the Qatar Foundation and WISE . WISE being World Innovation Summit for Education. Qatar same as UAE have very strategic plans for their future. Both economies want to shift from oil based economies to knowledge based economies by unlocking human potential.

This translates in the efforts from both countries to offer education opportunities for all their citizens and to become key in many international initiatives to support the shift in the future.

Just recently, we received a letter from the CEO of WISE Mr Stavros Yiannouka. The letter explained about some changes happening at the very core of WISE. We thought they are worth sharing.

  • Dr Abdulla Bin Ali Al- Thani has stepped out as Chairman of WISE. He has been for more than 10 years behind this project and many others from the Qatar Foundation.
  • WISE will work now directly with the Office of the recently nominated CEO of the Qatar Foundation: HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al- Thani.
  • WISE will shift from annual to a biennial cycle, but will organize in between local and regional gatherings called WISE@. The first one is happening as we speak in Tunisia. The second one in Beijing on the 5th November 2016. The third one will happen in Europe but location and dates are still to be confirmed.
  • What is already confirmed and you can add to your agenda is that the next WISE- Global Summit will take place in Doha in November 2017.
UAE and Qatar economies want to shift from oil based economies to knowledge based economies by unlocking human potential.

What is happening at WISE@ TUNIS?

This first gathering of WISE@ brought together two amazing ladies. One being Dr Sakena Yacoobi- famous for her Afghan Institute of Learning. The other Mrs Ouidad Bouchamaoui- Part of the “Tunisian Quartet” and Nobel Peace Prize in 2015. WISE prides itself in bringing together great minds and top caliber people and this time it didn’t disappoint.

Let me share with you this video where I understood and fell in love with the passion, the perseverance and the sense of humor of Dr Sakena. She went more than the extra mile to protect the rights of children, women and eventually men in the most difficult situations.

Mrs Bouchamaoui is also an amazingly strong woman. Coming from a wealthy Tunisian family, she had her own cotton company employing more than 200 people when the Tunisian revolution started in 2011.

At that time she became the leader of the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA). She was representing the employers. Together with :

  • Houcine Abassi (Secretary General of the Tunisian Labour Party),
  • Abdessatta ben Moussa from the Tunisian Human Rights League and
  • Mohamed Fadhel Mahmoud representing the Tunisian Order of Lawyers.

They formed the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet to help transition Tunisia into democracy. Easier said than done, when there was so much tension not only within the country but in all the North African countries that went the same route: from dictatorships to democracy.

Two amazing women that were able to change things for the better, improved the lives of their nationals and inspired far beyond their own borders and even their own imagination.

Kudos to them!


StoneHill’s Team