Today, more than two hundred students and alumni from Qatar Foundation and Qatar University participated in a lively and thoughtful discussion at Georgetown University about the future of cultural industries in the country and the educational programmes, resources, professional development and career opportunities available through Qatar Museums. The unique, one-off event was organised under the patronage of H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums.
H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa was joined at the event by members of the senior leadership team from Qatar Museums who participated in a 45-minute panel discussion and answered questions from the students on a wide variety of topics. These included the organisation’s mission, recent developments including the opening of the Fire Station “Artists Residency” programme, how students can support the aims of Qatar Museums and the role for museums in supporting and preserving national identity, culture and traditions.
Opening the event, Qatar Museum’s CEO Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al Mahmoud highlighted the enormous growth and popularity of museums around the world, growing from 23,000 in 1994 to 55,000 worldwide in 2014. He also illustrated such institutions’ importance in supporting the economic, educational and diplomatic aims of a country and in enhancing the quality of life of its citizens and visitors.
H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani has long believed art can be a valuable bridge between cultures. In support of this aim, Qatar Museum’s mission focuses on enriching the lives of residents and visitors to the country, as well as on inspiring and fostering an indigenous culture of creativity and innovation.
Dedicated to instigating and nurturing Qatar’s artistic and cultural life, Qatar Museums has made significant progress during the last ten years in connecting promising young talent with the nation’s cultural institutions and enabling them to flourish. As a result, Qatar’s arts and culture scene has developed considerably, its creative community is maturing and the country is increasingly seen as a progressive, artistic hub.
To encourage a tradition of critical and artistic appreciation, Qatar Museums supports a wide range of programmes and events designed to preserve the country’s cultural and artistic heritage through supporting education and fostering creativity and innovation. These include numerous learning opportunities for families, university students and adults at museums including Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art at Qatar Foundation and the Museum of Islamic Art, as well as at the Fire Station “Artist in Residence” programme, and heritage sites across Qatar. They also include professional development programmes in art history, museum studies, archaeology, traditional architecture, conservation and related fields through the QM Academy.
The event also supports Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar’s mission of promoting intellectual, ethical and spiritual understanding through serious and sustained discourse among people of different faiths, cultures and beliefs.
Commenting on the event, Dr. Gerd Nonneman, Dean of Georgetown University in Qatar, noted: "We are thrilled to host H.E. Sheikha Al-Mayassa Bint Hamad Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums and her team of experts to share their insights about the role of museums in Qatar in the field of culture and history, and about the rich potential for collaboration not only amongst our two organisations, but also the Universities of Education City. Both our research and our teaching touches on many of the same issues QM is concerned with. This is shown in our majors or certificates, from International History to Culture & Politics, Arab and Regional Studies, in our wide-ranging research and publications, and in our world-leading programme in Arabic for learners of Arab heritage. We look forward to working with QM to further strengthen our relationship."
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