A master plan for the proposed Qur’anic Botanic Garden in Qatar was yesterday handed over to Qatar Foundation at Unesco Doha’s office.
Supported by Maersk Oil Qatar, the plan was catalysed by Unesco.
“The initiation of the garden network is a remarkable achievement of Unesco and its partners,” Unesco’s Doha office director Hamed al-Hammami said as he handed a copy of the master plan to QF vice president Dr Saif al-Hajri on behalf of organisation’s director general Koichiro Matsuura.
Other places that have shown interest in the Unesco proposal include Sharjah, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, and Pakistan, and are expected to form a network of global Qur’anic Botanic Gardens for researchers and visitors alike.
A copy of the master plan will be presented to QF chairperson HH Sheikha Mozah Nasser al-Misnad who happens to be the Unesco Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education also.
The Qatar garden was inaugurated by her on September 17, 2008 in the vicinity of Education City by planting the very first tree of Sidr (ziziphus spina-christi).
“Qatar Foundation (QF) will now consider more detailed topographic, technical and design criteria as it pins down the exact location and size for the unique project that will bring together all the plant species mentioned in the Holy Qur’an and in the Sunnah (the sayings of the Prophet PBUH),” Dr al-Hajri said.
Work on the master plan was carried out by Ralph Oliver of London after Unesco appointed the landscape architecture and interior design firm in March last year.
The design incorporates a contemporary Islamic design based on symbolism, geometric forms and numbers mentioned in the Qur’an.
The estimated cost of the project has not yet been established since it is expected to undergo some changes. However Maersk Oil Qatar said the company was helping to promote Qatar’s educational and environmental activities.
“We consider the garden project to be a strong way of showing knowledge and building bridges between Islamic and modern scientific cultures,” deputy managing director Saad al-Mohannadi said.
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