Northwestern University in Qatar [NUQ] together with the Qatar National Research Fund have come under heavy criticism for awarding hundreds of thousands of dollars in research funding to a controversial American professor.
The fact that the Qatar National Research Fund could find any Qatari women to lead the project has been a source of some of the criticism, particularly considering that Doha has invested so much in female empowerment over the years, with several Arab and Qatari women currently at the forefront of academia.
One Twitter user said “interesting that the topic concern the local community and no one local is leading the show!”
Associate Editor and Director of Projects at Migrant Right Vani Saraswathi tweeted “they couldn’t find a Qatari woman (of whom there are innumerable highly educated ones) to carry out this research?”
But the criticism has not only been centred on the ethnicity of the professors. More worryingly is the case of Professor Jocelyn Mitchell, a lecturer in Political Science at NUQ. Mitchell has a history of offensive comments towards Qatari women as well as other non-white ethnicities.
In 2008 she wrote a list entitled “You know you’re in Qatar if”. According to Mitchell, among the so-called telltale signs of life here is “the ratio of ugly women to not so ugly women is 9:1,” she went on to explain that the only murders to take place in Qatar are when “an Indian construction worker sleeps with a Phillipino [sic] construction worker’s wife. The [sic] usually slap each other to death in a cat-fight resembling manner.”
In 2019 a student protest movement broke out on campus, with NUQ pupils demanding university authorities to take action against Professor Mitchell for her offensive and racist comments. The University failed to discipline the academic, and now that she has been awarded this grant, students and alumni are further enraged.
Anger has spread throughout the community with citizens and residents expressing their outrage on social media.
Ironically, in Mitchell’s racist post of 2008, she wrote that Qatar “is great to work in for six months and then get the hell out.” Almost thirteen years on and not only is Mitchell still living in the country “where your English gets progressively worse because complete sentences are simply too advanced for the locals” but she is now being awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars to research the very same people she once ridiculed.
On 4 February 2021, the 17th edition of the FIFA Club World Cup™ officially kicked off in Qatar, with…22 Views | the publication reaches you by | Qatar Today
Do you have information you want to reach our readers?