Who would have thought that coming to Doha would give us the opportunity to see Hilary Clinton?! Not me, that’s for sure!
The whole thing happened pretty quickly. We found out the Thursday before that she would be in Education City on Sunday, and that she would be at our university. We were warned to come in early on that day, since there would be heavy security with metal detectors. There was a limited supply of tickets for each university, and although we were not lucky enough to get tickets, we were told we could watch from the upper level.
Then over the weekend, Bill Clinton was hospitalized and Hilary delayed her trip by a day. We weren’t sure if she would still come, but luckily she did! So the morning of, we arrived bright and early, and made it easily through security. Hilary was scheduled to speak about 10 AM, so around 9 we headed out to the second floor balcony to see what was happening.
We watched as students, faculty and staff from all the universities of Education City filed in, and many colleagues joined us on the balcony to watch. As it got closer to 10, we were surprised to see a lot of empty seats. The assistant dean saw us up top, and flagged us to come down. So we ran as fast as we could, to grab some seats before the town hall meeting started. It was pretty exciting 🙂
And then, right around 10 AM, Hilary came out in a sharp blue suit and headed to the stage. She looked great, and I was just excited to be in the same room with her. Check her out!
The town hall meeting was being hosted by Al Jazeera, and so the interviewer spoke in both Arabic and then would repeat him self in English. There were also devices available that were translating the Arabic part, but we were late, so we were not able to request one.
It all went pretty quick – many students asked about Iran, and it seemed that a lot of the focus was on that. There were a few other questions that dealt with a few other issues, and then it was over. She had a quick trip to Doha, and we were lucky that she still had time to come to us!
Check out the gigapan of her visit 🙂 You can see me, Dave, and my friends Jeff and Kira. We all look sort of perplexed, like we are deep in thought about what Hilary is saying! (We are in one of the very last rows on the right-ish side!)
It was a pretty exciting day! After that, Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy also came to speak to Education City! I am curious to see who will come to speak in the future 🙂