Mohammed Al Khanji, Homeland Security (SC) Executive Committee Specialist, has contributed to some of Qatar’s most important projects during his tenure and is now helping his country bring the first FIFA World Cup 2022 to the Middle East and the Arab world.
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With just months to go before the big game begins, Al Khanji is leading efforts with local and regional media to tell the story of the Qatar World Cup 2022. Here, we are talking to Al Khanji, a former Qatar Protection, and Social Rehabilitation Center and Dreama Orphans Care Center, about his role and aspirations before the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup.
Tell us about your work and how you ended up working for the media
I started my career in a completely different field. After graduating from the University of Qatar with a degree in business administration in 2003, I began working with stocks and real estate investments. But soon my love of football took over and I took on the role of public relations manager with the Qatar Stars League Umm Salal Sports Club.
There, I developed my skills and became an official spokesman for the group. Eventually, I became responsible for all media activities and relationships. I later became a member of the National Sports Media Committee, which is part of the Qatar Olympic Committee. Thus began my career in sports.
Why did you want to join SC?
I wanted to support the World Cup project. Having the opportunity to work in a field that combines my love of sports and love of storytelling and connecting people is a rare opportunity. I felt that my skills and knowledge would be valuable and I wanted to make sure I was part of this historic event.
What do you do every day at SC?
I am responsible for local and regional media as well as local influencers. I am in charge of the team whose mission is to disseminate SC news and media updates in Qatar and throughout the Arab world. In addition to establishing content and video sharing channels, I also make sure we provide speakers for their programs and interviews.
Organize media conferences to discuss our important messages and important steps, and provide much-needed access to journalists and local promoters in our stadiums. And tournaments. Effectively, my role is to ensure that more Qatari 2022 news reaches a large number of Qatari people and the region as a whole. For more to know about Qatar World Cup tickets Click here.
What do you like most about your job?
After working in the sports industry for more than 15 years, I wanted to work in an environment that would give me new challenges and knowledge, and that is exactly what Qatar Football World Cup 2022 offers. Every day, I work with a talented team to build new relationships with journalists in an ever-changing media environment.
As we approach the opening game of the tournament, the excitement grows, and that sometimes means more pressure. But in those days when you are busy at meetings and managing the operations of the media around the landmark, knowing that you are working on a project of this scale is very encouraging, which makes the extra work even more enjoyable. That’s exactly what I love most about my job.
What is your favorite achievement so far?
During the FIFA Arab Cup qualifiers in Qatar in the summer of 2021, we were able to produce more than 600 stories from local and regional sources. What made that number so successful was that the participating teams were in the medical arena as part of efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This meant that journalists and media outlets could not reach them if they spoke face-to-face.
Instead, our team had to establish real contacts and players and managers from one side as well as journalists and editors on the other. No matter how challenging that was, we were able to produce a great deal of content. It has shown me that if I work with a group of talented and dedicated people, anything can happen.
What is the most important message you want to send to the audience about Qatar World Cup 2022?
To the local audience, I want to repeat the message that everyone living in Qatar is a partner in the success of the tournament. That is why I have always been determined to include members of our communities in all our affairs. In the end, this is their competition, and I look forward to continuing to support them until the final whistle. Regionally, I want to constantly remind the audience that this Qatar World Cup belongs to all Arabs.
During the FIFA Arab Cup, for example, we provided broadcasting studios to non-privileged from all over the Arab world. The aim was to ensure that all media in our region could contribute to the success of the tournament. We want everyone to participate in Qatar World Cup 2022, whether he has the right to broadcast the games or his country is eligible or not. Ultimately, that will be a measure of how successful we are.
What do you expect most from the competition?
Working with SC has been a great addition to my life journey. It will be an experience I will share with my grandchildren in the years to come. Even before the tournament, the people I meet appreciate the work I do when they do not know I am part of SC. I look forward to bringing the trust that has been placed in me and enjoying the memorable tournament that will build on the FIFA Arab Cup. Action on the field, love on the field and a spirit of joy will attract the whole world.
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