/Qatar Hero

Qatar Hero

Rachael Krafft

Staff writer

Imagine getting to sit in on a rare personal speech made in English by one of the more important diplomats currently in the world. Not only is this diplomat a mover and shaker in the world, but he is also an SC4 Alumnus.

Monday, Sept. 27, Al-attiyah, Minister of Energy and Industry of Qatar, and Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council which is an economic alliance between Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, gave an economic presentation.

Al-attiyah was a student at SC4 in the ‘60s. He was one of 8 students from Qatar who began their western education here at SC4.

Photo by Twana Pinskey

President of SC4 Dr. Kevin Pollock says “SC4 is proud to have someone of the stature of his Excellency visit our campus and speak to our community.”

David P. Goetze, Director of College Advancement, and Alumni relations said the speech was very informative and enlightening, and that SC4 is fortunate to have an alumni member like Al-attiyah willing to come back to the campus and speak.

Dr. Nicholas J. DeGrazia gave an overview of the country Qatar and SC4’s history with students such as Al-Attiyah who came from the small Middle Eastern country.

al-Attiyah delivers his speech. Photo by Twana Pinskey

“Four of those students are cousins who have since risen to great power in the world,” Dr. DeGrazia said.

Jim Leader, who became the Foreign Student’s Advisor during the ‘60s and ‘70s, said that when the first batch of students from Qatar came to SC4, the college did not have a program for foreign students.

Al-attiyah recalled that in 1969, when he and his Qatari colleagues came to Port Huron “there weren’t procedures for foreign students.” He had to find his own way to access the services that made his life easier as a foreign student.

Al-attiyah recalls managing to “blend in with the college community” and adapting to the social and cultural atmosphere in Port Huron.

Dr. Pollock says Al-attiyah’s return to SC4 is a testament to the education the faculty at SC4 provides to students. Four decades after attending SC4 as a student, Al-attiyah continues to have strong ties with the college.

photo by Twana Pinskey

Speaking for SC4, Dr. Pollock states, “We are proud that he celebrates the strong start SC4 provided him for a career as an international leader.”

Those who attended the speech ranged from community leaders, state leaders and SC4 retirees to economic students.

James A. Relken, CEO of The Common Cents Group in Port Huron said, “It is an honor to be here.”

photo by Twana Pinskey

Michigan representative, Phil Pavlov, said that he has learned from Al-attiyah the importance of International Corporation.

Pavlov would like to see Michigan take a cue from Qatar and the Gulf Cooperation Council and work with Canada to establish closer unity economically. Another country that Pavlov would like to see Michigan host educationally is China.