Ibrahim Jaidah Recognises VCUarts Qatar Students for Creativity

Two senior students from Qatar Foundation (QF) partner university Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar’s (VCUarts Qatar) Graphic and Interior design departments received the Arab Engineering Bureau (AEB) Awards for Design Excellence, for 2024 from Ibrahim Jaidah, AEB’s GCEO and Chief Architect. Two junior students were honoured with AEB’s award for Creative Achievement and Potential.

Educational institutions strives for industry partnership and support as that is the final validation for students who move on to become career professionals. Thus, the partnership with Arab Engineering Bureau pioneered by Qatar’s star architect Ibrahim Mohamed Jaidah is a valuable asset for Qatar Foundation (QF) partner university Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar’s (VCUarts Qatar) and the new generation of creators from this instituition.

At this year’s ceremony, the 18th in a row, AEB’s GCEO and Chief Architect, Ibrahim Mohamed Jaidah, presented the AEB Award for Design Excellence in Graphic Design to Selma Fejzullaj. Doaa Elamin Rahma Emam was the recipient of the AEB Award for Design Excellence in Interior Design. Both Emam and Fejzullaj were the recipients of the Creative Achievement and Potential Award during their junior year.

Design Excellence award recipient Emam, who hails from Sudan, said, “Receiving the AEB award twice in my time at VCUarts Qatar has made me believe that success is an echo of your efforts. As an interior designer, I truly learned to appreciate the smallest details of my daily life and the designed world around me, most importantly, how my designs can create experiences, evoke emotions, and share messages. In fact, when I graduate, I am keen to specialize in Exhibition Design. During my time at VCUarts Qatar, I was introduced to Exhibition Design through a university course, which positively inspired me to take part in design installations, participate in competitions and display my work around Qatar,”

For Fejzullaj, who calls Albania home, the experience of studying at VCUarts Qatar has been a journey of growth and discovery.

She said, “Receiving the AEB award for the second time is an incredible honour, as it further motivates me to strive for excellence as a designer. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Ibrahim Jaidah and the AEB team for their unwavering support of emerging designers and creatives as we embark on our professional journeys.

“Since joining VCUarts Qatar, I’ve undergone significant growth, refining my skills not only in design principles but also in grasping the cultural and societal influences that shape them. Looking forward, my passion lies at the intersection of research and design, particularly in exploring metaphysical themes spanning religion, history, and language, alongside delving into the realm of data visualisation.”

Jaidah addressed the gathering with the words: “I extend my warmest congratulations to the winners of the 2024 cycle of the AEB awards. It is always a pleasure to visit VCUarts Qatar and support the next generation of creatives. In this context, I’d like to add that I’ve even had the pleasure of working with some of the past winners when they joined AEB as designers.

“As an architect myself, I know that there is not a single industry that does not require designers. Design plays a key role in the services provided by these industries, be it transport, healthcare, construction, museums, education or hospitality. Hence, awards such as this go a long way in supporting talented students whose creativity will one day contribute to various industries across the region and beyond. To that effect, I see the awards as a bridge between the academic and professional worlds.”

Welcoming the gathering, Dean Berbić said, “Ibrahim Jaidah has been a longtime friend and valued supporter of VCUarts Qatar since 2007, when the AEB first contributed two awards to our School. Since then, the two awards have been given to graduating seniors who exhibited consistent achievement in professionalism, leadership, work ethic, conceptual ability, realisation, innovation, and presentation – precisely the same attributes that Ibrahim Jaidah himself and AEB are renowned for.

“We appreciate this support immensely. By nurturing young talent, industry leaders not only contribute to the development of future professionals but also foster innovation and drive progress in the creative fields. By investing in young talent, industry leaders like AEB ensure a continuous cycle of expertise and excellence, ultimately benefiting the entire system. Ibrahim Jaidah and AEB’s generosity has been an important part of the lives of the talented students who are out there in the world making their mark in design industries.”

Junior Talent

The Design Excellence awards were instituted in 2007 by Ibrahim Jaidah to encourage and assist outstanding graduating students from VCUarts Qatar’s graphic design and interior design departments, as they start their lives as designers and contribute to the community’s art and design landscape.

The more recently instituted AEB Awards for Creative Achievement and Potential for junior students were presented to Minatuallah Al-Aswad (Graphic Design) and Fatima Karamshahi (Interior Design). These awards aim to help junior students recognise their true potential, create leadership and encourage them to continue developing their skills through their senior year.

Besides the awards, AEB and Ibrahim Jaidah continue to partner with VCUarts Qatar through their participation at VCUarts Qatar’s biennial international design conference Tasmeem Doha, as well as by providing internship opportunities for VCUarts Qatar students, according to VCUarts Qatar professionals.