We were delighted to welcome to the Academy Dr. Mahmoud Al-Batal, who heads up the Arabic Flagship Programme at the University of Texas and is the representative of the Qatar Foundation International. He was the guest of honour at a recent meeting to evaluate the recent work that has been going on here in Northern Ireland with the introduction of the Arabic language for business and with the exploration by our students of the culture and art of the Middle East. This project has been funded by The Qatar Foundation and The British Council. Belfast Royal Academy is a hub school for this venture and representatives from Methodist College, one of our partner schools, were also in attendance. Dr. Al-Batal was delighted to meet teachers and pupils of Arabic and was impressed by the proficiency of the pupils who had chosen the language as an enrichment subject.
Also present was Noel Johnston from Invest NI, who is currently working with the schools and pupils to showcase the future business opportunities that exist in Arabic speaking counties for students who are able to speak the language and comprehend the culture of business. He will meet representatives from The Qatar Foundation in the next few days to present his findings. He stated that he was most impressed by what he saw and heard whilst here with us.