The Embassy of Finland, in cooperation with Qatar-Finland International School in Doha, organized its main Finland 100 event in Qatar on Sunday, 29 October 2017. The themes of the event were education and healthcare.
The event started with the national anthems of Finland and Qatar, after which Ambassador Riitta Swan opened the event with her speech about 100-year-old Finland and the history and development of Finnish healthcare and education. The keynote speaker of the event was Dr. Pekka Puska, a Finnish Doctor and a Member of Parliament of Finland. In addition to Dr. Puska’s illustrative speech on public health, School Principal Juha Repo spoke about the success of Finnish education and how to prepare for the future in the education sector. Between the speeches the secondary students played "Sandstrom" by the Finnish artistDarude with harps and later gave a dance performance with the music of the famous Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. The school's teachers' choir was also seen on the stage singing Finlandia which perfectly fit the theme of the event. The event was very successful, nearly 100 Finnish guests and local policymakers as well as representatives from other companies in Qatar joined to celebrate the 100-year-old Finland. The guests continued the evening with the delicious food at the reception after the official programme.
Qatar-Finland International School, situated in Doha, was founded some years ago by EduCluster Finland and with the support of the ruling family in Qatar. The number of students has substantially grown from 80 students in 2014 to 750 this year. The school is planning to expand its operations due to the growing number of enrollees annually. Qatari students comprise around 35% of the 750, which represent about 70 different nationalities.