The Qatar Norwegian School was incepted on October 13th 1971 and they completed a milestone 40 years this year. A new era and financial support for the school came in 2007 while constructing Qatalum – the aluminium smelter with the capacity to produce 585,000 metric tons aluminium per year. At peak, around 450 Norwegians lived in Qatar.
The school marked this great milestone with a celebration that included Norwegian students & teachers in Qatar. The Norwegian minister of Education, Kristin Halvorsen was also present at the event. Having been a pupil at the school in early 70s, she was honouring the special bond that she shared with the school. On this visit to Qatar, Ms. Halvorsen conducted high-level meetings with the Qatar State Authorities, Supreme Education Counsel and the Qatar Foundation.
The group of Norwegian dignitaries including H.E. Ms. Ase Bjerke, The Norwegian Ambassador for Qatar, Ms. Sylvi Bratten, Political Advisor, Ms. Heidi Dybesland and Ms. Bjorg Olstad, Directors at the Ministry of Education, Norway and Ms. Hilde Aasheim, Vice Chairman Qatalum BoD toured the Qatalum’s premises. They visited the Potlines and the Casthouse amongst other parts of Qatalum.
The Norwegian Minister of Education, Kristin Halvorsen in the centre flanked by Qatalum's Deputy Chief Executive Officer Khalid Mohamed Laram on the right and Qatalum CEO Tom Petter Johansen on her left. H.E. Ms. Ase Bjerke, The Norwegian Ambassador for Qatar, second from the left with other high level dignitaries from Norway in front of the Qatalum Plant.
The Norwegian minister of Education, Kristin Halvorsen said: "I have visited Qatar University, where I met with professor Sheika Abdulla Al-Misnad and I have also met with Mr Saad Bin Ibrahim bin Saad Al-Mahmoud, Minister of Education. I am impressed by the educational focus I now see in Qatar, 40 years after I was a pupil in Mesaieed at Qatar Norwegian School."
"The tour at Qatalum was also educational for me, and gave a good insight into the production of aluminium. I am glad to see the good cooperation between Qatar University and NTNU of Norway in the field of material science, building on the strong partnership between Qatalum, Qatar Petroleum and Hydro." She added.
About the visit, Qatalum CEO Tom Petter Johansen said, “It’s an honour for us to receive the Minister for a tour of what is a key knowledge based industry in Qatar.
The Norwegian school was one of the key factors in attracting staff to the project from Norway and will continue to be so for the future. Additionally, it remains a positive representation of the constructive relationship between the two Nations, both with knowledge and education at the forefront of their future development.”
Speaking on this poignant occasion, DCEO Mr. Khalid Laram said “I would like to congratulate the Qatar Norwegian School on achieving 40 years of undeterred success and it gives Qatalum great pride to be associated with QNS. The school has, for the past 40 years, been an important part in the Norwegian society in Qatar, and in the partnership between Qatar Petroleum and Hydro, as well as between Qatar and Norway.”