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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Michelle Obama to make inaugural visit to Qatar next week

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Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama

The First Lady of the United States will take her first official trip to Qatar next week as part of a short Middle East tour to promote her global education initiative for girls.

Michelle Obama will also meet serving US military personnel at Qatar’s Al Udeid Air Base, the White House confirmed.

Obama will speak at Qatar Foundation‘s World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) on Nov. 4.

Sheikha Moza
Sheikha Moza

Her remarks will follow QF Chairperson Sheikha Moza bint Nasser’s launch of the annual international education conference, which runs until Nov. 5.

More than 1,000 education leaders from around the world gather at WISE each year to discuss ways to improve education globally, QF said in a statement.

The First Lady will speak about Let Girls Learn, which she and her husband US President Barack Obama formed to encourage world leaders to provide education opportunities to the estimated 62 million girls around the world who do not attend school.

Since it launched in March, Michelle Obama has traveled to the UK, Japan and Cambodia to raise the profile of the initiative and to establish partnerships.

Al Udeid visit

Obama will also visit US military service personnel at Al Udeid air base in southern Qatar, as part of her Joining Forces initiative.

Al Udeid Air Base
Al Udeid Air Base

This was set up by the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of US Vice President Joe Biden, in 2011 to support service members, veterans and their families through education, health and employment opportunities.

Al Udeid is the forward headquarters for the US Central Command and the United States Air Force Central Command and is one of America’s largest outposts in the Middle East, with thousands of personnel based there.

The White House has not formally issued Obama’s schedule for her Qatar visit, but added that she will also take part in unspecified official meetings while here.

In what will be her first solo visit to the Middle East, Obama will also visit Amman in Jordan.

US First Lady Michelle Obama in Cambodia
US First Lady Michelle Obama in Cambodia

There, she will visit a school constructed with funding and technical support provided by US Agency for International Development (USAID).

She will also meet teenage girls attending the school, deliver remarks and commend Jordan for its generosity and commitment to educating all children living within its ‎borders.

Finally, the First Lady will visit the archaeological site of Petra, where she will highlight Jordan’s rich history and cultural heritage, the White House added.

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