Doha, the most populated city in the Qatar, grew out of, and now contains the Al Bidda neighborhood in the east. Mentions of Al Bidda date back to the 17th century, but it rose to prominence in the 19th century. Doha was officially established in 1820. It became the capital city in 1971 when Qatar became independent.
It quickly became one of the main financial centers of the region. In 1996 the Al Jazeera satellite networks were established in Doha. A year later Education City was established by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development. With an area of 14 square kilometers, the area houses educational facilities the serve students from school age through graduate school. Virginia Commonwelth University was the first of 8-10 foreign universities to establish branch campuses in Education City. It also houses a number of Qatari schools and research institutions.
Located within Qatar’s Education City, Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service provides educational facilities including 14 classrooms and lecture halls, an auditorium and library (one of the largest libraries within Education City). Since the campus is focused on foreign service studies, the architects have attempted bring cultures together through their design: all parts of the building are connected to a core space, called the Common Area, where students are encouraged to engage in free and open dialogue. Despite its 40,000m2, the building is broken down into smaller departments on a more human scale, and has plenty of courtyards and outdoor space.