Time to get über excited for a year of festivities!
The Qatar-Germany Year of Culture has begun! It's a celebration of the good diplomatic relations between the State of Qatar and the German Republic since 1973. Germany's Year of Culture with Qatar follows after Japan in 2012, the UK in 2013, Brazil in 2014, Turkey in 2015, and China last year, 2016.
Mohammed Al Othman, Public and International Relations Director at Qatar Museums, highlighted that culture is one of the most effective tools to bring people together.
Official logo for Qatar-Germany Year of Culture
Qatar’s Years of Culture promote mutual understandings of culture between nations, strengthen existing ties and enhance a dialogue among peoples from all over the world. This is done through an exchange of art, culture, heritage and sports.
Qatar Museums and HE Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani facilitated the cultural space for these bilateral celebrations. The Qatari Ministry of Culture and Sports as well as the Strategic Cultural Relations Offices, the Goethe-Insitut Gulf Region and the German Embassy Doha helped to develop this vision. Additionally, the Qatar National Library, Doha Film Institute, Katara Cultural Village, and the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra actively support the year of culture.
Qatar Embassy in Berlin, Germany: Image by Botschaft-katar.de
A year of culture in Qatar is truly special and marked by clusters of programs consisting of exhibitions, concerts, heritage events, contests and festivals. Each year this promotional campaign seeks to build a bridge between Qatar and other nations. Similarities and differences in social life, culture, heritage and norms are explored and appreciated!
For 44 years, political, economic and cultural relations have flourished and evolved continuously between the two states. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, the father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and several prime ministers -- both foreign and local -- such as Westerwelle, Steinmeier, and Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah have visited the two countries to maintain strong political relations. Cars, machinery and other products have contributed to a bilateral trade worth of EUR 2.54 billion. Qatar is Germany’s largest investor from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region!
Image by Zimbio.com
There is also great headway between Qatar and Germany in the realms of research and education.
German companies have a significant presence in Qatar’s Science and Technology Park (QSTP). The German School has progressed and evolved into the German-Qatari International School that will soon offer the German Bilingual International Baccalaureate. Qataris can attend the integrated kindergarten as well as the school. You can even learn German as an optional subject in some public schools!
There are even burgeoning collaborations in the medical sector. Hamad Medical Corporation and the University Clinic of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt are in cooperation, as is the National Center for Cancer Care & Research (NCCR) with the University of Heidelberg.
Image by Wikimapia.org
Qatar and Germany are also mighty sporty! In January, German football team Bayern Munich was in Doha for their annual winter training camp. It’s their seventh year in Qatar! German staff and coaches can also be found in Qatar’s Sports Academy Aspire and at Qatar University.
Creativity and art are an important cultural aspect of both Qatar and Germany. Qatar Museums has worked with the Dresden State Art Collections and other leading museums in Germany on exhibits together. Cooperation also exists between Qatar and the German Archeological Institute since 2012, which allows exciting exploratory missions to be carried out!
The deets for 2017’s Year of Culture
The opening ceremony – not to be missed – will take place today, February 1, at the Katara Opera House, with a concert by the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO). David Niemann, a German conductor, and German pianist Gerhard Oppitz will bring melodies to life at the performance.
Image by En-mosaik.de
There are two exhibitions to look forward to this coming autumn at Al Riwaq and at the Doha Fire Station. For design and car enthusiasts, look forward to an all-German design exhibit featuring Porsche icons, furniture, and other designed art objects from the 1950’s to the future. This is organized by Qatar Museums together with Volkswagen AG and Vitra Design Museum.
Painting by Gerhard Richter: Image by Tate.org.uk
A collection to capture the development of art and Germany’s history will be displayed with the help of the Deutsche Bank AG. It will give you the unique opportunity to see works of some of Germany’s most influential and captivating artists including Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Neo Rauch, Katharina Grosse and Annette Kelm.
Photography by Gerhard Richter Image by Ndlr.eu
What else can’t you miss? Literature and art workshops, concerts and live performances, film screenings with thought-provoking discussions, sports events and trade shows are all on the agenda for 2017. Watch out for them and follow social media accounts of the Year of Culture to stay tuned!
There will also be a German film week hosted by the DFI. A glimpse at Qatar-Germany 2017's instagram account might reveil some film options for the festival (Run Lola Run).
Run Lola Run: Image by Wordpress.com
Through the Year of Culture 2017, cultures will be connected and bridges will be built. Its aim is also to develop and promote business opportunities and joined ventures. This celebration should help remove some issues associated with differences in culture!
Let 2017 be the year we celebrate common values, explore differences, break down barriers and open our minds!
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