Written by: Hiba Naveed and Masah Barakat
As Eid celebrations continue in full swing in Qatar, the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha brings a new temporary exhibition to town: “Muhammad Ali: Tribute to a Legend”. True to its name, the exhibit displays some of the most monumental and wonderful artefacts from the late American boxer’s lifetime.
The collection is located on the fourth-floor eastern gallery of the Museum of Islamic Art building. The first notable element about the exhibition is the layout of various quotes on the walls, featuring many of Muhammad Ali’s sayings about strength, perseverance and modesty.
Another item on the walls of the exhibit is a banner, listing numerous competitions Ali took part in between the years 1960 and 1981. If you took a moment to count, you’ll find that out of all the 61 matches listed, the legendary boxer lost only five.
The museum holds the boxing gloves Ali and opponent Sonny Liston wore in the famous May 25, 1965 “Phantom Punch” bout, which is one of the most controversial sports events in history, as the exhibit says.
The display also showcases the ring Ali received when he won the World Heavyweight Boxing title for the third time in his career, becoming the first- ever fighter to do so - one of the most impressive achievements in Ali’s life. He is the only three-time lineal world heavyweight champion to this day.
Many other important pieces of the legend’s life are featured in the tribute, such as the letter he sent regarding exemption from the Vietnam War and more. The exposition also brings ito light the visits Ali made to Qatar in his life as well as a short clip of the match he had at Doha Stadium in 1971. In the video, Ali mentions how he felt to see so many of his fans in the country.
All of the artefacts and items from this tribute are quite rare and indeed reflect the magnificence of Muhammad Ali’s life and career. The exhibition is a wonderful tribute to one of the most influential boxers, a civil rights activist and humanitarian, and is definitely worth a visit.
Planning to visit this unique exhibition? Tell us what you felt about it.
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