Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) has announced a forthcoming exhibition, entitled Mal Awwal, to be held in the Al Riwaq gallery near the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha.
The Arabic words Mal Awwal, which translate as ‘rare and precious’ in English, is the title of a unique exhibition; the first of its kind to be held in Qatar. Members of the public are being asked to lend items for display: either collections or simply a few objects.
The exhibition will be held from September 12 until October 12, 2012. Details are being announced well in advance to give people plenty of time to consider lending objects for exhibition.
Mohamed Jassim al-Khulaifi, a museums consultant with QMA, explained that by ‘rare and precious’ the organisers meant objects with a connection to the past, whether fifty or five hundred years old. An object might well be termed ‘precious’ not in the sense of having a high commercial value but in its associations with the past and its value to the owner. He said, “The oldest objects on display will be from archaeological sites in Qatar.”
A committee of experts will be appointed to review any objects submitted by the public and make a final selection. A team from the National Museum of Qatar will then prepare the exhibition. Cash prizes will be awarded to those participants who in the view of the selection committee have lent the best and most interesting objects. The Al Riwaq gallery covers 5,000 square metres, of which 80% will be devoted to objects on loan from members of the public and 20% to exhibiting the work of Qatari artists.
Faisal al-Hitmi, deputy director of the National Museum, said, “Our aim is to offer support to Qatari artists, and showcase the work of three generations. Participation in the main section of the exhibition is open to all, whether Qatari or expatriates resident in this country. Objects do not have to originate in Qatar, they can come from other countries as well.”
The ambition of the QMA in arranging such an exhibition is to create a space in which the public can learn about these unique objects. The objects on display may well trigger memories, even emotions.
Commenting on Mal Awwal, Abdulla al-Najjar, CEO of the QMA, said, “This exhibition will be the first of its kind in Qatar to highlight the progression of civilization and art, and embodies QMA’s commitment to its role in the development and preservation of art and world heritage.”
Anyone interested in submitting their precious objects for consideration for inclusion in the Mal Awwal exhibition should contact Nasser al-Hammadi on 44525955 or 33118850 to obtain the necessary documents.
Entrants must enclose photographs of the objects along with their CV and application form. These can be emailed to
The final date for submission is July 20, 2012.
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