Women in the Middle East have been historically viewed by the West as possessing very limited personal freedom, but this view is being contested in part by the rapid liberalization of some of the oil-rich Arab states of the Persian Gulf region. In the small state of Qatar, the rise of Education City, a “multi”-versity that features six American branch campuses, has given women in the region, for the first time in recent history, the opportunity to pursue a higher education. How is this new opportunity influencing how women in Qatar envision themselves and their futures?
VCUQatar, the first university to establish itself in Education City, is a branch campus of Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts in Richmond, Virginia. Since its inception in 1998, VCUQatar has been predominantly attended by Qatari women. The purpose of this research is to examine the perceptions of alumnae and current students of VCUQatar in order to assess the impact of Western-based higher education on their own perceptions of cultural and self-identity, self-determination and Western culture.
|Keywords:||Identity, Self, Gender, Culture, Qatar, Education, Cross-cultural|
Director of General Education, Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts, Qatar, Virginia Commonwealth University, Doha, Qatar
Assistant Professor, English Department, Virginia Commonwealth University, Doha, Qatar
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