Join 18 interactive discussions covering a wide range of topics on marriage
Hear from 61 renowned thought leaders and public figures from around the world
Engage with subject matter experts in the “Ask the Expert” sessions
Book a private consultation with a counselor in our “Safe Space”
Network and debate with peers in the virtual lounge during the “Coffee Conversation”
The family is considered the basic social unit and the core constituent of society, and it begins its formation through marriage. It is the start of a covenant partnership, which goes beyond the rights and duties of each party and highlights the pastoral, protectionist, and educational role that parents undertake for future generations. In fact, these roles are also supported by the extended families, who play an important role in the formation, stability, and dissolution of any marriage. Given the importance of marriage, and the consequent branching of patterns and the structural challenges it faces, research interest in marriage has grown and policies and programs across the region have addressed various aspects of it.
This conference aims to draw an integrated picture of the phenomenon of marriage in the world, with a particular focus in the Arab regular. The conference will delve into multiple faces of marriage by addressing: the socio-economic factors affecting marriage; reasons behind declining rates and delay of marriage; increases in the material costs of marriage; impact of work and family balance on marriage; factors influencing the stability of marital relations; as well as marriage in times of immigration, wars, and conflicts.
Doha International Family Institute (DIFI) is a global policy and advocacy Institute working to advance knowledge on Arab families and promote evidence-based polices. Learn more
The contest is open to all cartoonists over the age of 18 from anywhere in the world.
As Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation (QF), Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani spearheads its mission to support the economic and social development of Qatar, through initiatives and programs in three core areas: education, science and research, and community development.
Her Excellency embodies the cycle of education that QF has created, having graduated from Qatar Academy – the first school to be established by QF – and later continuing her own academic journey at HEC Paris in Qatar, a QF partner university. She is a passionate believer in the power of education to shape lives, strengthen societies, and build a better world. As a leader, active global citizen, and mother, she exemplifies how women are at the forefront of Qatar’s transformative journey.
In her role at QF, Her Excellency leads a diverse, multicultural organization with a 5,000-strong workforce, comprising member organizations spanning the spectrum of: pre-university and higher education; research, development, and innovation; health and wellbeing; social engagement; sustainability; art and music; cultural heritage; community development; and global initiatives.
Her Excellency also serves on the boards of several education and cultural institutes, including Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar National Library, HEC Paris (as a member of its International Board) and Teach for Qatar, an organization that, in alignment with QF’s vision and mission, aims to develop the quality of education in Qatar.
From 2008-2013, Her Excellency served as Director of the Office of His Highness the Father Amir of Qatar and Chairperson of both the Joint Oversight Board and the Executive Committee of the College of the North Atlantic - Qatar. Her previous roles have also included Vice Chairperson and Chairperson of the Executive Committee of Qatar’s Supreme Education Council (now the Ministry of Education and Higher Education).
Her Excellency holds an Executive MBA from HEC Paris in Qatar, a Master of Arts degree in Human Rights from University College London in the UK, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University in the US.
Before becoming United Nations Deputy Secretary-General in early 2017, Amina J. Mohammed was the Minister of Environment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Prior to this, she supported the UN Secretary-General as Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning where she was instrumental in bringing about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Amina J. Mohammed has held several high level responsibilities, including working with three successive Presidents in Nigeria as Senior Special Assistant on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), coordinating poverty reduction interventions with debt relief gains of $1bn per annum. Some of her awards include: the distinguished Order of the Federal Republic (OFR); 2017 Diplomat of the Year by Foreign Policy magazine; Apolitical 2019’s 100 Most Influential People on Gender Policy; and Africa Report’s 2019 100 Most Influential Africans. She was also profiled by Vogue as one of the 13 female Climate Warriors on the frontline, Fortune named her amongst the World’s Greatest Leaders, and she is also listed in the Nigerian Women’s Hall of Fame.
Her Excellency Sumeyye Erdogan Bayraktar was born in Istanbul in 1985. After studying at Imam Hatip High School, she went on to complete her undergraduate studies at the Department of Political Studies in Indiana University. She has also learned Arabic at Jordan University and completed her master’s degree on NGOs and Development at the London School of Economics, Department of Social Policy. She worked as an expert in the Statistical, Economic and Social Training and Research Center (SESRIC) affiliated to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Ankara. Bayraktar voluntarily worked as political counsellor to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey, who was the Prime Minister at that period. She was among the founders of Women and Democracy Association and Foundation (KADEM), established in 2013. Currently, she works as the Vice-President of KADEM.
Luay Shabaneh is the current Arab States Regional Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, assuming his duties since May 2016. A native of Palestine, he held a number of high-profile national and international public service positions over the last two decades - within the UN System, in government, and in the multilateral arena - in the areas of official statistics, population census, population and development, monitoring and evaluation, program management, and advocacy.
Dr. Ghuloum is a Senior Consultant Psychiatrist at Hamad Medical Corporation and an Associate Professor at Weill Cornell Medicine, Qatar. She has national and international involvements in mental health, including with the GCC and WHO. She was a key member in drafting the Qatar Mental Health Strategy and Law. She is Chair of the Middle East Division of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and zonal representative for the Middle East at World Psychiatric Association. Dr. Ghuloum has several research projects and publications, in addition to presentations at regional and international conferences.
Charafeddine is a father of children with disabilities and a doctor specializing in developmental disabilities. He serves in numerous professional roles, such as: President of the Lebanese Handicapped Association, President of the National Federation of Mental Disability, founder and lifelong honorary member of the Middle East and North Africa region of the Inclusive Inclusion Organization, member of the Executive Office of the International Alliance for Social Protection, and as an expert at United Nations organizations in the field of disability.
Yafa Shanneik is Lecturer in Islamic Studies at the University of Birmingham. She researches the dynamics and trajectories of gender in Islam within the context of contemporary diasporic and transnational Muslim women’s spaces. Currently, she is working on a project which explores women’s narratives of transnational marriage practices performed by Iraqi and Syrian women who have settled in Europe and other countries in the Middle East since the 1980s. She has published several articles on gender and Islam and migrant identities in Europe and their marriage practices.
Dr. Sharifa Khalfan al-Yahyai is a former Minister of Social Development in Oman. As a researcher, writer, and motivational speaker, Dr. Al Yahyai is an academic expert in gender equality in both the Sultanate of Oman and GCC. Dr. Al Yahyai holds a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Leeds and an MA in Modern Arabic Literature from Sultan Qaboos University. She presented a number of papers on women’s empowerment, leadership, and examining legislation and practice in Oman in national and international conferences. As Minister of Social Development since 2004, Dr. Al Yahyai has been participating actively in a number of national and international conventions related to women’s empowerment, children’s rights, civil society, and the overall social development in Oman.
Dr. Raian Ali holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Trento, Italy. He joined Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Qatar as a Professor in the College of Science and Engineering. Before that, he was a Professor in Computing at Bournemouth University in the UK where he founded and led the Engineering and Social Informatics Research Group (ESOTICS), focusing on the interrelation between technology and social requirements such as motivation, transparency, and wellbeing. Dr. Raian is in the editorial board as well as organizing and program committees of leading conferences and journals in the area of information systems and social informatics. He has authored over a hundred scientific articles and led multiple projects on the theme of making digital media and online gaming and gambling fairer through data-driven real-time transparency.
Sheni Hamed serves as a senior adviser (Presidential and Ministerial) for International Governments, a political strategist, peace and political activist, a leading representative for international NGOs, and as a media consultant. Previous, Hamed was a senior executive at the UNDP.
Rosa Pich was born in Barcelona just a little more than 50 years ago (yes, I’ve lived more than half a century) and I’m the eighth of 16 children. In 1989, I married my most faithful companion, Chema Postigo. He was the seventh of 14 children.
Our dream was to have a large family and had 18 children. The first three kids died due to heart problems and the doctors recommended that we stop trying to have kids—we had 15 more. My husband went to heaven on March 6, 2017. Now he’s watching over us from above.
I would describe myself as a person of faith. I am optimistic, happy, in love with my family, a friend to my friends, and much more. In 2013, I wrote a book entitled “Rosa, What’s Your Secret? Raising a Large Family with Love”, originally entitled in Spanish, “Cómo Ser Feliz con 1, 2, 3… hijos?". It’s currently in its 7th edition and is being translated into many different languages. Together with my husband, we traveled all over Spain and half of the world presenting my book and giving conference talks about family.
When I finished my high school at 17 years old, I began working as a print designer for a textile company. When I was pregnant with my twins, I completed the Executive Development Program (PDD) at IESE Business School. Currently, I work part-time for an event planning company. In my spare time, I enjoy playing paddle.
Aisha was born into an atheist family but became Muslim after hearing the azan for the first time, whilst in Turkey. Since then she met her husband on Muzmatch and is on the road to taking an alimiyyah course in London.
Dr. Robinson Mose Ocharo is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Social Work, at the University of Nairobi. He has over 15 years of work experience including teaching, workshop and seminar facilitation, research, and community work. Dr. Ocharo is an experienced researcher with over 15 publications to his credit. His key competencies include:
Raymond Mutura has a Masters in Applied Philosophy and Ethics from Strathmore University, a Masters in Information Technology from Charles Sturt University in Australia, a Graduate Diploma in ICT from the University of Greenwich, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Marriage Education and Marriage from the Institute of Advanced Family Studies, Open University of Cataluña, Barcelona. He is presently gathering ideas and concepts to enable him to do his PhD on Entrepreneurship.
He has recently (since 2019) joined Strathmore University Business School to concentrate on his area of passion and research interest: social and political philosophy with the lenses of the Aristotelian-Thomistic philosophical tradition. He aims to appreciate the role of business and society in general from its core DNA of politics. He is currently a Director of the Centre for Research on Organization Work and Family, an Executive Research and Project Assistant to the Executive Dean, a Course Leader for Family Business Executive Course, a Digital/ICT consultant and a Chairman and President of the Program for Family Development (undertakes case based courses on work-family balance for unmarried professionals, as well as married and parenting professionals). His passions have also led him to engage in the following roles: a national consultant for the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Member of the Technical Work Group on the development of Kenya’s National Family Promotion and Protection Policy, and Chair of the Technical Working Group for the development of a Family Law in Kenya. Recently he has been appointed to the Technical Working Group for the development of a National Parenting Manual, a project of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection and sponsored by UNICEF. He is a Vice President and Board Member for the International Federation for Family Development. He is also a board member for the World Youth Alliance – a policy think-tank on youth matters in the international arena. He is also a moderator, using case studies for courses on work-family and his special interest topics are: anthropology of marriage, work-family balance, family life, family businesses, character education etc.
Bouchra Tawfiq has a PhD in social economy and solidarity. She serves as the Director of the National Institute for Social Work in Morocco, Ministry of Solidarity, Social Development, Equality and Family. She is also an expert in social development, gender, and social and solidarity economy.
Dr. Amal Mohammed Al-Malki is the Founding Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Hamad bin Khalifa University, a member of Qatar Foundation. Dr. Al-Malki holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of London-SOAS, where she also earned a Master Degree in English-Arabic Applied Linguistics and Translation. Dr. Al-Malki’s research interests include the negotiation of identity between East and West, media representations of Arab women, and postcolonial literature. She has published numerous articles in academic journals in the United States and UK. Her book, Arab Women in Arab News: Old Stereotypes and New Media (2012) is published by Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation and Bloomsbury Academic, UK. It was lauded as the first comprehensive study of the topic in the world.
Nada Al-Ahdal turned from a victim to a human rights activist, beginning in 2013 when she was just 11 years old. She refused to be a victim of child marriage and told her story to the world. Although she faced many struggles and disappointments, she has never surrendered. Nada’s determination to keep fighting for children’s rights won her the admiration of many and garnered international support for her cause.
Azza O. Abdelmoneium has a PhD in Social Science and currently works as the director of the research department at the Doha International Family Institute – a member of Qatar Foundation in Qatar. She has more than fifteen years of experience at the academic, research, and civil society field. She worked in the academic field in the Netherlands and Sudan, teaching and supervising undergraduate and graduate students. She has worked with international organizations, the United Nations, and IOM on issues related to children, displacement, and families. She has also published scientific articles and presented conference papers on children, disability, elderly care, and family issues. Her research interest include family, children, parenting, rights, gender, elderly care, and civil society.
Dr. Susan L. Karamanian is Dean of the College of Law at the Hamad Bin Khalifa University. She was previously Associate Dean for International and Comparative Legal Studies and Burnett Family Professorial Lecturer in International and Comparative Law and Policy at the George Washington University Law School and a Partner at Locke Lord LLP in Dallas. Susan has lectured at law faculties around the world and at the OAS Academy of International Law and the Hague Academy of International Law (Director of English Studies). She is a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law (ASIL) and was previously ASIL Vice President. She is a Trustee of the Center for American and International Law (CAIL) and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Council on Germany, the American Bar Foundation, and the Texas Bar Foundation. Susan is a graduate of the University of Texas (J.D.), Oxford University (B.A. Hons.) where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and Auburn University (B.S.).
Dr. Mohamed Y. Mattar is a Clinical Professor of Law and Head of the Legal Skills Department at Qatar University’s College of Law. Dr. Mattar’s professional expertise is in comparative and international law. Recognized as an international expert on anti-trafficking legislation, Dr. Mattar has worked for over 15 years in more than 75 countries to promote state compliance with international human rights standards and to advise governments on drafting and enforcing human rights laws. Dr. Mattar has testified in the United States on the status of human trafficking around the world at various Congressional hearings. He also testified before the Russian Duma, the Mexican Senate, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, and the Egyptian Parliament. Dr. Mattar teaches courses on: International Trafficking in Persons; Labor Law; Corporate Social Responsibility; International Contract Law; Investment and Trade Laws of the Middle East; Islamic Law; Introduction to the American Legal System; International Business and Human Rights; and Legal Ethics. Dr. Mattar was an Adjunct Professor at the American University Washington College of Law, Georgetown Law Center, and at Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies. He is also a visiting professor at the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasburg, France, the International Institute of Legislative Drafting in Louisiana, US and at the Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights in Italy. Mohamed Mattar received his Doctorate of Juridical Sciences (S.J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M) from Tulane University, his Master of Comparative Law (M.C.L.) from the University of Miami, and his License en Droit (LL.B.) from Alexandria University where he still serves as a non-resident distinguished Professor of Law.
Hitmi Khalifa Alhitmi received his Bachelors in International Business and Economics from Ohio University where he lived for 5 years. He later got his Masters and PhD degrees from the College of Business in Edinburgh University, while he lived in Scotland for 3 years. He is a social media influencer with over 100,000 followers on his Instagram page, which is regarded as the largest science focused personal account in the GCC. He has published multiple books such as: Online Shopping: a Change in Consumer Behaviour; The Universe in your Hands; and 11 Most Dangerous Planets in the Universe. He also has a number of academic publications in Aesthetics Surgery Journal, Psychology and Education, and Energies, among others. Hitmi has lived in three different countries – Qatar, United States, and the United Kingdom – which gives him a broad perception in family education and marriage differences between cultures.
Dan Anderberg is Professor of Economics at Royal Holloway, University of London. He holds a PhD from Lund University in Sweden and he is further affiliated with the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London and CESifo in Munich. His research focuses mainly on family and public policy where he has made key contributions in relation to marriage choices, marital stability, intra-household conflict, and child development. He has published in leading international journals including inter alia the Journal of Public Economics, the European Economic Review, the Economic Journal, and the Journal of Population Economics.
Khalid Al-Naama is a public figure who presents for Al-Rayyan TV channel on topics such as general wellbeing and mental health. He worked with Center for Disease Control at the Ministry of Public Health focusing on policies related to Family Welfare and Sexual Health. During his time at QatarGas, he was involved in the development of the policy and procedure for crisis communication and helped set the strategic plan for the employees’ technical competencies. Khalid was involved in developing family programs by liaising with the HR and Facility Management Committee for employees and their families who were moved to the Al-Khor community, and provided consultation for parents and their children who found difficulties living in such a diverse community. Khalid has a post-graduate qualification in Applied Psychology, he is pursuing his PhD in the field of psychology, and has completed other professional training programs focusing on family wellbeing and mental health.
Dr Parveen Ali works as Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of Research and Innovation in Health Sciences School at the University of Sheffield. She is a public health researcher with 20 years of experience in the field of nursing, health care teaching and research. She is interested in understanding and exploring gender based violence, health, inequalities in health care experiences and health outcomes, consanguinity and genetics. She is particularly interested in understanding and tackling health inequalities relating to gender and ethnicity. She is Editor of Nursing Open
Dana is a social media blogger who hopes to raise belief in the youth so they can follow their hearts. As a family woman, she believes that a good and healthy marriage is sustainable if you are willing to consider a few important things no matter where your spouse is from. “Compatibility comes from understanding.”
Reem is a 26 years old lady, who holds two degrees one is Bsc in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Leeds and the other is MSc in Logistics & Supply Chain Management from Hamad Bin Khalifa University. Right after her BSc, Reem worked in the oil and gas industry for a year. In 2018, Reem decided to leave her job as it was not bringing her more into life and it was not serving her purpose as a being. Reem has her passion growing at a very young age in learning about self-awareness and psychology; what it is to be self-aware? what does it take to be self-aware? And how does that affect our relationships with ourselves and with others? Reem kept digging deeper in the field to have a better understanding and knowing of her own being. Reem felt a deep calling to teach people how to see their lives through the lens of awareness, and to be a portal and a channel through which people learn how to understand themselves and how to be compassionate to oneself and to others. In 2018, Reem got Certified as a Life & Relationships Coach from Dr. John Gray who is the author of the most well-known and trusted relationship book of all time, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. Hence, Reem decided to provide a change catalyst through creating the best environment to enhance the life of others through raising their awareness, and bettering their connection with themselves & with others. From 2018 onwards Reem met a lot of people from the community in Qatar as clients for one-on-one sessions, workshops, seminars, women circles and as collaborations. In 2020, Reem worked with a group of coaches on founding the “Juthoor” 3-days program. By which people can come and go through an intensive changing process.
The National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN), Malaysia is a government statutory body under the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development. It was established in 1966 under the Population and Family Development Act 1966 (Act 352). The Ministry has mandated that LPPKN to be the lead agency in the areas of population, family development and reproductive health. Towards realization of its vision as the centre of excellence on population and family development activities, more focuses are targeted to researches implementation, family life education development, training of trainers and family impact assessment as well as engaging strategic cooperation at national and international level.
Hairil Fadzly Bin Md. Akir is currently serving the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN), Malaysia as Deputy Director General of LPPKN. He managed the execution of LPPKN‘s thematic programs on population, family development and reproductive health services as well as national population and family policies. He has 20 years of experiences on developing family life education programs, implementing social researches and execution of family friendly policies in Malaysia. He is married and a proud father of five young children.
Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne LRAM ARCM is a Peer of the Realm and a member of the House of Lords where she takes the Conservative Whip. She serves as the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iraq and Turkmenistan. She is a former Member of Parliament, Member of the European Parliament, Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and of the Western European Union. In her private capacity she is founder chair of the AMAR International Charitable Foundation, a charity she founded in 1991 to provide health and education to historically underserved populations under continuing stress working in partnership with WHO, UNESCO and other international institutions including the World Bank. She is Patron of the Caine Prize for African Writing, President of the Iraq Britain Business Council and of the British Council’s ‘Creative Spark’ programme. She has been awarded seven Honorary Doctorates, has written two books and published various papers. Her early training was in music and IT.
An Entrepreneur at his core Hamad has worked on many projects in different capacities as a partner, founder, consultant, or just a member of the family. His passion though lies in storytelling which gives him his unique approach to content creation, problem-solving and overall management.
Known to produce a few short films, TVC’s and a plethora of social media campaigns. Has been sharing side-splitting stories on stage since 2011
Still believes his scribbles will one day become a book
Mohammad Jalal Abbasi-Shavazi is Professor of Demography, University of Tehran, Iran; and Honorary Professor, University of Melbourne, Australia. He served as the Director of the Iran National Institute of Population Research, 2014-2020. Abbasi-Shavazi has published widely on fertility transition and family change in Iran, Muslim demography, immigrant fertility in Australia, and refugee migration. His publications include two co-authored Springer books on The Fertility Transition in Iran: Revolution and Reproduction (2009) AND Demography of Refugee and Forced Migration (2018). He served as a member of Editorial Board of Asian Population Studies, International Migration Review, International Migration, Migration and Development, Journal of the Population Association of Iran, Iranian Population Studies and Demographia. Abbasi-Shavazi is a founding member of the Asian Population Association, and served as the Vice-President (2009-2010) and President (2011-2012) of the association. He has received several scientific prizes including the 2011 United Nations Population Award.
Mohammed Al-Hayder is a people empowerment expert and positive psychologist. He is a catalyst who facilitates people related transformation process on individual or organizational levels.
Mohammed is the first Qatari to hold a Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP). He is an ICF Certified Coach, world-class Facilitator, Trainer and public Speaker, with more than 13 years of experience in people development and engagement. He has completed 500+ hours of coaching, and have a track record of delivering workshops, speeches and sessions in 40+ organizations to 15,000+ people in 10 countries such as: Tunisia, Palestine, Oman, Kuwait, Maldives, Indonesia and the United Kingdom.
Nada Al Saadi graduated from VCUQ in 2009, with a major in Graphic Design. She joined the VCUQ staff one month after graduation as a member of the design studio in the Marketing and Communication department. In 2011 Al Saadi moved to Al Jazeera Arabic Channel where her work involved collaborating with an interior designer to develop Aljazeera’s brand identity, transforming it into forms and shapes that could be utilized in the channel interiors and TV studios. Al Saadi wanted to take part in the preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, so she moved into the Brand division as well as Community Engagement unit at the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC). Having gained diverse experience in communications, branding, stakeholder engagement, events and project management, she took a position at the SC’s Josoor Institute, where she served as the Partnership Manager and acting as Communication Manager. Throughout her career, Al Saadi has had a passion for self-mastery and human development. As she started her own journey of self-discovery and self-awareness, which led her to her purpose. Al Saadi decided to dedicate her time to her purpose for now and became a Life Coach and she takes great joy in supporting individuals in navigating through challenges and changing the quality of their lives for the better.
Consultant Psychologist, Behavioral Healthcare Center. Expert of Arab office of Drugs Control. He has many Books, research and studies in psychology and sociology. He has lectures and training courses in psychology and sociology. And he has many programs radio and television
Dr. Mostafa Attia is a disabled (blind) researcher, international consultant and activist from the Global South. He completed his MA and PhD at the University of Leeds in disability studies. The title of his PhD thesis is 'Revolution, Global Development and Disability Politics in Egypt'. He has acted as a consultant for the UNDP, UNESCWA and the European Disability Forum among others, exploring topics ranging from the impact of Covid-19 on disability to the inclusion of disabled people in higher education and the workplace. For example, he has published an inclusive employment strategy in Kuwait. He has also published several papers on disability and inclusion, including on an examination of the participatory approach to disability, the work-family balance for people with disabilities in the Gulf region and the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in post-revolutionary Egypt. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Trustees of Disability Rights UK and runs his own YouTube channel that advocates for the rights of disabled people. https://linktr.ee/mostafaattia