Pope Francis received Sheikha Moza bint Nasser of Qatar at the Apostolic Palace on June 4.
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Moza is the second of the three wives of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who ruled Qatar from 1995 until 2013, when he handed over power to a son. Moza serves as president of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development.
Nearly 20% of Qatar’s 2.5 million people are Catholic; most Catholics there are foreign workers. The first parish in Qatar opened in 2008, on land donated by Moza’s husband.
Moza and the Pope discussed her work in education and social development. Moza gave the Pope an 18th-century Arabic manuscript of the Gospels, and the Pope gave Moza a medallion and a copy of his encyclical Laudato Si’.
Moza and officials of the Secretariat of State subsequently discussed the situation of Catholics in Qatar, and officials of the Apostolic Library and the Qatar National Library signed an agreement on the preservation and digitalization of resources.
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