The Qatar Foundation International, or QFI, a nonprofit group financed by the government of Qatar, last year gave Harlem’s Hamilton Heights, a K-5 public school, a $250,000 grant to support the Arabic program for three years. The school’s Arabic language program was reportedly developed by QFI and the Global Language Project.
In addition to the Harlem school, QFI just awarded “Curriculum Grants” to seven U.S. schools and language organizations to “develop comprehensive and innovative curricula and teaching materials to be used in any Arabic language classroom.”
QFI, based in Washington, D.C., is the U.S. branch of the Qatar Foundation, founded in 1995 by Qatari ruling emir Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Al Jazeera founder. Thani is still the group’s vice-chairman, while his wife, Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, chairs the organization’s board.
In January 2012, the foundation launched the Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics under the guidance of Tariq Ramadan, who serves as the center’s director. Ramadan is the grandson of the notorious founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al Banna. Ramadan was banned from the U.S. until 2010 when the Obama administration issued him a visa to give a lecture at a New York school.
The Qatar Foundation named several institutions after Qaradawi, one of the top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. The foundation even instituted the Shei Yusuf Al Qaradawi Scholarships and in 2009 established a research center named the Qaradawi Center for Islamic Moderation and Renewal.