Experts: Museums of Qatar have strengthened Doha’s position in the world

30 June, 2021

A number of museum specialists confirmed that Qatar has become an important place in the regional cultural arena, with the great awakening in the field of museum work.

They considered that matter one of the many reasons why Doha deserved to be the cultural capital of the Islamic world, and they pointed out that museums contributed to highlighting Qatar’s position among the peoples of the world, and it helped to preserve the national identity.

They also presented a detailed monitoring showing the role of museums and their development until they reached professionalism, stressing that the accuracy that has encapsulated all efforts made in developing the state included working hard to preserve identity.

They added that since the dawn of the modern in Qatar, it has taken care of the issue of preserving the Islamic heritage, whether written or materialism through several steps and stages.

Dr. Mohammed Khalifa Al-Kuwari, from the Department of Humanities at Qatar University, said that the role of museums goes beyond being a mere preserver of the history of different civilizations and cultures, noting that any civilization needs to be documented.

In this context, he said that the preservation of history in the past required the preservation of antiquities and codification, but today the museums have become the custodians of these cultures of all kinds.

On the methods of preserving Islamic culture at present, he pointed out that its diversity resulting from the large number of races that entered under the rule of the Islamic caliphate for nearly fourteen centuries, including the continents of the world, made the matter necessitate the availability of various museums to be a custodian of this human heritage that is passed down through generations.

It was among the countries that paid great attention to the museums sector in order to highlight human culture in all its aspects, which made it abound with modern museums specializing in several fields. He pointed out that the Museums Authority is working to transfer this cultural heritage outside the walls of museums through its efforts to develop archaeological sites scattered on the territory of Qatar.

Qatar National Museum is another space in which the history of Qatar crystallizes from its inception to contemporary history, where every visitor can see the embodiment of this history within the walls of the museum, whose building constitutes a masterpiece in A natural intent from Qatar, noting that what confirms the great efforts made by this body is that the various museums are not limited to displaying cultural heritage within their walls, but rather their activities include lectures and events on various occasions in partnership with the community, which makes the role of museums greater than just a preserver of the history of different civilizations and cultures.

Dr. Ali Afifi Ali Ghazi, a researcher in history, stressed that there is no doubt that museums have a great role in documenting and highlighting the role of Islamic culture and civilization in human heritage. He added :” Since the beginning of Qatar’s relationship with museums with the opening of Qatar National Museum, on June 23, 1975, it has worked to benefit its visitors culturally, recreationally and educationally, and enlighten them with the Arab and Islamic past, which contributed in highlighting Qatar’s position among the peoples of the world, and helped in maintain the Qatari national identity, which is based On the Arabic language and Islamic civilization”.

He pointed out that the museum aims from the beginning to be a building block for an authentic Qatari culture based on creativity and innovation by celebrating Qatar’s past and foreseeing its future. It also plays an important role in promoting national belonging, through its evidence, antiquities, and aspects of Qatar’s heritage. It monitors the lives of ancestors, and documents the development that Qatar has witnessed throughout its history. It is distinguished by its unique and wonderful design, as an architectural style that combines the Qatari heritage and modernity.

He noted that the Museum of Islamic Art, which was opened on November 22, 2008, is also a service cultural institution that includes everything that is very advanced in terms of importance, knowing that its goal is to spread awareness of heritage and antiquities, Islamic civilization, and its multiple civilizational achievements.

For his part, Dr. Hossam Mohamed Abdel Muti, Professor of Modern and Contemporary History, said that Doha’s effective role in preserving Islamic heritage and civilization was one of the main factors in its selection as the capital of Islamic culture by the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCOC).

He added that since the dawn of the modern state in Qatar, it has taken care of the issue of preserving Islamic heritage, whether written or material, as hundreds of books dealing with Islamic civilization and culture have been printed at the expense of the State since the era of Sheikh Ali bin Abdullah Al Thani.

The Qatari National Library was also established, which turned into a center for preserving the written Arab and Islamic cultural heritage. Thousands of manuscripts and Islamic books were purchased and acquired, which contributed to transforming the House of Books into a center for cultural and intellectual radiation.

Qatar has also sought to preserve the immovable cultural heritage that expresses the Qatari Islamic civilization and character. It has preserved houses, castles and forts that express the phase of Islamic civilization in the Arabian Peninsula.

The writer Noor Ateeq Al-Muraikhi explained that the creation of exhibitions targeting children, and the provision of traditional museum spaces is important for interactive exhibitions and events.  She added that the activities now held by museums also enable children to share their creativity with other children around the world.

She noted that culture naturalizes the symbols of identity, also the cultural institutions are an integral part of creating identity, noting that museums are among the tools of formation for any society.

She said that the coronation of Doha as the capital of culture in the Islamic world confirms its creative capabilities, and reflects the development of its cultural infrastructure, which is this is most evident in museums.