Qatar Liaison Club

What is Qatar Liaison Club all about?

The Qatar Liaison Club (QLC) partners with the Admissions Office to strengthen the connection between medical students at Weill Cornell in New York City and those in Qatar. The group plans social events to welcome students from the Qatar campus staying in New York and to foster communication among students between the campuses.

QLC has hosted informal dinners and trips to explore New York City for groups of WCMC-Qatar students coming to NYC for their rotations and interviews. We have gone to restaurants near the Weill Cornell campus as well as in the downtown area depending on the students' availability.

Students in Times Square

What are our upcoming events?

If you are rotating through NYPresbyterian or staying in NYC for interviews, keep an eye out for an email from us! We will work with you to pick a date that is convenient for everyone to socialize and mingle with WCMC-NYC students over some tasty food.

Students eating pizza

Who is involved in QLC?

QLC is a group of MD and MD/PhD students who organize the dinners and social events. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, feedback for us, or just want to hang out!

Rachel Babij (Treasure) ( is a first year MD/PhD student originally from Livingston, NJ. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2011. Before beginning at WCMC, she spent two years doing research on the neuropathology of Essential Tremor, where she used human samples for biochemical and tissue morphology studies. She is interested in molecular neuroscience and neurodegenerative disease. She loves to cook, eat, run, do bikram yoga and explore NYC, and is excited to meet the students from WCMC-Qatar!

Brendan Barrett (Co-President) ( is a first year medical student at Weill Cornell. He is from Lansing, New York, a small Upstate town in the Finger Lakes region featuring one stoplight and only slightly more people than cows. He graduated from Princeton University in 2012 with a major in Religion and a minor in Near Eastern Studies. His Arabic is rusty, so please help him out! He has worked as an Emergency Medical Technician and an English teacher for pro-democracy activists in Myanmar, and is potentially interested in emergency medicine. He enjoys pickup soccer and basketball, playing the drums, and finding novel places to pitch his hammock.

Daanish Chawala (Co-President) ( is a first year medical student originally from New York. He graduated from New York University in 2013 with a B.S. in Neural Science. He is the founder and president of the Muslim Students Association of Weill (MSAW) and is Cultural Chair on the Class of 2017 Student Council. He is interested in learning more about ENT, cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, and radiology, though he is still further exploring his interests. He is interested in Islam, he plays the guitar, and loves watching movies and anime, playing board games, and exploring New York.

Pedro Duran (Former QLC Leader) ( is a second year medical student at Weill Cornell. Originally from New Jersey, he graduated from Columbia University in 2010 with a BA in Biological Sciences. At Columbia, Pedro managed a partnership between the undergraduate scholar body and an educational non-profit for gifted students in Harlem, in which high school students created civic service projects. Pedro was a research intern for three psychosocial clinical interventions within the Veteran Affairs Healthcare System, and through this work fostered an interest in psychosocioeconomic gaps in healthcare. After university, Pedro spent two years in Japan as an assistant English language teacher. Pedro is interested in global health, health disparities, social and cultural influences on health, as well as rugby, snowboarding, and Japanese culture.

Emily Grodinsky (Former QLC Leader) ( is a second year medical student at Weill Cornell Medical College originally from the Chicagoland area. She graduated in 2011 from Northwestern University where she first became interested in global and public health. This past summer, Emily interned at the Grassroots Research and Advocacy Movement (GRAAM) in Mysore, India where she assisted in data analysis from a community-based monitoring project of Primary Health Centers in rural Karnataka. She is interested in international and public health, anything related to the brain, and hopes to focus her career on working with underserved communities. She loves living in New York City, chocolate, slam poetry, finding street art and is excited to welcome more WCMC-Qatar students to the NY campus!

Gary Kocharian (Website Manager) ( is a first year medical student serving as the technology representative for the WCMC Medical School Executive Council. He is interested in surgery and non-communicable disease prevention. Before coming to medical school he helped to develop the Digital Health Scorecard app for Johnson & Johnson, which is available on most app stores and allows users to track and assess critical health factors. Gary graduated from Rutgers University where he majored in Cell Biology & Neuroscience and conducted cardiovascular physiology research. Gary's hometown is Princeton, NJ. He enjoys playing the cello, reading science fiction novels, and traveling around the world.

After graduating from Georgetown University, Chris Robinson (Founder of QLC) ( moved to NYC to start the MD/PhD program at Weill Cornell. In the lab, Chris works with induced pluripotent stem cells to model a form of diabetes. He started a club at Cornell called Chemistry for Kids, which is an outreach program for students from underprivileged backgrounds in order to bring fun, hands-on experiments to their schools in the hopes that it will help spark their interest in science and medicine. In his spare time, Chris likes to go for runs and explore New York City. He also enjoys traveling the world, experiencing new cultures and meeting people of various backgrounds. Chris has led the Qatar Liaison Club for the past few years and looks forward to welcoming new WCMC-Qatar students to NYC!

Who are some important faculty to know on the NYC campus?

This link provides you with some of your go-to faculty while you’re here:

Feel free to reach out to these faculty should you have difficulties with anything related to student life and adjusting to New York.

You can also reach out to Edie Spinelli (, the Director of Education Operations, should you need any assistance.

Additionally, should you need to reach any faculty in case of emergency, this link provides you with each faculty’s position and phone number, as well as general emergency numbers:

The phone number of any office or department you may need to contact on campus can be found here:

Students hanging out

Resources for your NYC experience:


Here is a list of nearby grocery stores and Halal restaurants in addition to those in your NYC Brochure from Carlene:

  • A Matter of Health (72nd and 1st Ave)
  • Melange Mediterranean Restaurant (69th and 1st Ave)
  • Ravagh Persian Grill (67th and 1st Ave)
  • Afghan Kebab House (71st and 2nd Ave)
  • Halal Food Truck (69th and York Ave)


If you don’t feel well but you’re not sick enough to head to the Emergency Department, you can make an appointment with Student Health Services by calling 212-746-1450. The office is open Monday-Friday from 8am-12pm, 1pm-4pm.

You can also schedule primary care, preventive health, mental health, and occupational medicine appointments.

For more information, visit

Getting around the city

Helpful websites:

Resources in Olin

To get a preview of Olin and its services, check out:

Did something break?

If you would like to make a request for maintenance or repairs, complete a service request form on line at http://maintenanceexpress from a WCMC computer. Be sure to be specific and to include your phone number on the service request. Maintenance workers will let themselves into your apartment/room to complete any requested repair work; appointments for service cannot be arranged.

Need some cash?

Here is a list of some more ATM machines in addition to those in your NYC Brochure from Carlene:

  • Capital One Bank (68th and 2nd Ave)
  • Santander ATM (72nd and 2nd Ave)
  • TD Bank (67th and 1st Ave)
  • HSBC Bank (68th and 3rd Ave)
Tips for your NYC experience:

Like any city, while walking around New York City you should make sure you’re alert and aware of all your personal belongings. While most people on the streets are friendly and helpful, it pays to make sure you’re not a target for the few people could cause trouble.

If you carry a purse, try to use one that snaps or zips closed at the top to make it harder for people to reach in. If you’re traveling late at night, try to travel with a group or take a taxi home instead of using public transportation. When crossing the streets, make sure you follow the traffic signals – those cabs zoom around quickly and people do get hit by cars if they’re not paying attention!

If you’re trying to hail a taxi and the weather is bad, you can bet that it’ll probably take you much longer than you anticipate! You can try using the smart phone application “Uber,” which allows you to order a taxi to your door.

The fruit and vegetable food carts (cash only) are a great way to get cheap produce, as long as you’re willing to eat it soon after purchase since it will be ripe when you buy it.

Many restaurants in NYC deliver food right to Olin. If you’d like to order food online from a variety of restaurants, try

If you want to go out and attend an event, art show, or anything cultural that seems interesting, there are probably thousands of other people in NYC who want to be there, too. Makes plans to arrive early, buy tickets ahead of time, or make reservations whenever possible. If you’re looking to get tickets for a movie or show, talk to Rachel Kalaf in Olin 110 to see if she can get you discounted tickets. Finally, is a great resource for finding good restaurants, venues, etc. around the city.

Finally, NYC is a fabulous place to “people watch.” If you’re looking to really get to know the city, wandering around different neighborhoods is a great way to explore and get to know different parts of the city. Make sure to venture outside of Manhattan into the other boroughs, too.

Useful links:

Link to a PDF of the handbook from Carlene

This is the link to the MSEC website, which has a frequently updating calendar of student events and general useful information for all students:

Want more information about the Academic Affairs and Student Affairs offices and staff?

WCMC-Q New York Office

WCMC-Q New York Office is located in Olin Hall, 445 East 69th Street, 4th floor, suite 432. The office is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. The NYO is "home" away from home for WCMC-Q students to address various inquiries.

The staff consists of the Operations Manager (Houry Tcheroyan) 646-962-4953, email, and the Financial Assistant (Sajida Hameer) 646-962-4950, email

WCMC-Q NYO has an office designated specifically for the Qatar students. The students are able to use the computers (3) and printer (1), as well as the phone. Please inquire about the room availability by visiting the NYO staff in OH 432.

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