Msheireb Museums Celebrates International Museums Day

Msheireb Museums are awarded the “Best Practices” Award by CECA

Doha, Qatar 15 May 2018: Msheireb Museums (MM), the new cultural destination at Msheireb Downtown Doha (MDD), celebrated International Museums Day 2018 under the theme ‘Hyperconnected Museums: New Approaches, New Publics’ that has been chosen by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and International Committee for Education and Cultural Action (CECA).

The celebrations took place at Bin Jelmood House located at MDD’s Heritage Quarter, in the presence of Hafiz Ali, Msheireb Museums Director, CECA President Milene Chiovatto, and representatives of cultural and educational institutions in Qatar. Activities during the festivities included a welcoming speech by Msheireb Museums, and presentations by CECA and UCL-Q representatives, the first Msheireb Museums Friends programme graduation and a panel discussion, followed by a special dinner.

The theme of the International Museum Day 2018 was chosen to explore today’s trend of a hyperconnected world. Hyperconnectivity is a term invented in 2001 to design the multiple means of communication between organisations and individuals, such as face-to-face contact, email, instant messaging, telephone or the Internet. This global network of connections becomes each day more complex, diverse and integrated.

Commenting on International Museums Day, Hafiz Ali, Director of Msheireb Museums, said: “It is a great pleasure to celebrate International Museums Day here at Msheireb Museums, a tradition we have followed in recent years. Marking this important date reiterates our commitment to supporting artistic development in Qatar, and reflects our passion to positively contribute to the flourishing global cultural scene.”

In his welcoming speech, he announced that Msheireb Museums was one of five entities to get the “Best Practices Award” by International Committee for Education and Cultural Action (CECA), accoupling the museums role in promoting educational initiatves and cultural events.

Milene Chiovatto, President of CECA conducted a presentation with the results of a two-day workshop for students, academics, and cultural leaders to commemorate this global event. During the interactive two-day workshop, participants had the chance to explore the possibility of seeing the transformation of ideas, and to go from a theoretical aspect to the practice through showing examples from around the world.

A panel discussion took place enabling participants to discuss ways in which museums and educational institutions can work together to support their curriculum and bridge the gap presented by language and culture.

The event also witnessed the graduation of Msheireb Museums Friends programme. Last year, Msheireb Museums Friends programme was launched aiming to create cultural ambassadors by training teachers and leaders from a wide range of educational, youth associations along with students, by developing leadership skills and to help highlight the historic cultural houses.

Mr. Hafiz Ali continued: “We are pleased to celebrate the Msheireb Museums Friends graduation, our programme that is designed to challenge the conventional approach to cultural education and enables us to create a knowledge ecosystem that delivers cultural, societal and educational wealth.”

In line with its mandate, Msheireb Museums has built strong connections and collaborations with academic institutions, including universities, colleges, research programmes and exhibitions to engage with the museums offering and content. In addition, visitors of the museums have access to the library’s valuable digital resources of Qatar National Library. To promote tourism to Qatar, Msheireb Museums also collaborated with Qatar Tourism Authority to provide tour guides with best practices and training to share with international visitors.

Msheireb Museums are a significant milestone for Msheireb Properties in realising the vision of Msheireb Downtown Doha, Qatar’s first sustainable and smart city regeneration project. The museums celebrate the history of four historic heritage houses in the heart of Qatar’s old town. Located within the oldest part of the capital, they form an important part of Qatar’s national history. These reconstructed buildings and gallery spaces allow the community to engage in the significant aspects of Qatar’s past and memories of life before the country’s rapid economic development.

International Museums Day has been acknowledged on May 18 since 1977, with more than 36,000 museums participating in 2017 across 147 countries. The objective of International Museums Day is to raise awareness that museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace.

Al Fai Restaurant Opens Its Doors Creating Premier Qatari Gastronomy

Doha, Qatar: May 7, 2018:

Al Fai Restaurant, created by SavyHospitality, opened its doors today for guests to experience true Qatari food, ambience and hospitality. Located at Company House, one of the four acclaimed Msheireb Museums, the new dining destination is the first restaurant to open at the project, as part of Msheireb Downtown Doha’s exciting programme of activations for 2018.

The menu at Al Fai specialises in highlighting authentic Qatari cuisine presented in a modern style – a Qatari fusion of food using a contemporary design. Every dish served at Al Fai has an artistic flair, including a selection of continental dishes made with exciting techniques served in an elegant setting. Al Fai is not just a restaurant, it is also a representation of culture, offering food for a variety of occasions, through a great dining experience that tells stories with its setting.

Mr. Ali Al Kuwari A/CEO at Msheireb Properties commented: “The opening of Al Fai Restaurant is a landmark for Msheireb Downtown Doha, as the first of many fine-dining options to open soon at Qatar’s new regeneration project in the heart of Doha. This year we will be announcing a programme of new openings and milestones as new retail, residential and commercial opportunities become available. Our staff is pressing ahead to complete the final works of construction on the way to the completion of the project. We encourage everyone to come and see for themselves the acclaimed Msheireb Museums and taste authentic Qatari cuisine at Al Fai.”

Sheikh Abdul Rehman bin Saoud Al-Thani, Savy Hospitality, commented, “Al Fai Restaurant, meaning the shadow. The restaurant is housed at Company House which was the first technical office of the oil exploration initiatives in Qatar. It is a great privilege and honour to be a part of Qatari history and tradition, and we are pleased to announce we have brought the famous Omani Celebrity Chef Mr. Issa Allemki to head this prestigious restaurant. In addition, we will offer signature dishes from renowned Qatari Chef Mrs. Noora Al-Khulaifi. We have presented this restaurant as a tribute to local talent and culture. Paintings were sourced from Qatari artists Tamador and MariamAhmad, and flower decorations from HINKS flowers, run by a group of Qatari creative entrepreneur

And decorating tables of HINKS flower coordinators run by a group of Qatari creative girls

Mr. Hafiz Ali, Director of Msheireb Museums said: “We are thrilled to announce the opening of Al Fai Restaurant that will add a new dynamic to the rich, cultural offering already available at Msheireb Museums. As we continue to move forward with plans to develop our programme of partnerships, workshops and exhibitions, it is fantastic we can now offer unique, authentic Qatari cuisine right on our doorstep. We look forward to welcoming visitors and residents of Qatar, and beyond.”

Yoonus Salim Vappattu, Managing Director, SAVY Hospitality said; “We extend our sincere gratitude to Msheireb Properties and Msheireb Museums for entrusting us with this unique concept. We have taken several months of research to successfully launch and present a contemporary Qatari restaurant combining authenticity, tradition, fashion and a gastronomic fusion. Alfai will be the place for experiencing warm Qatari hospitality and the tastes of Qatar, for residents and tourists at its strategic location in the heart of Doha, overlooking the symbol of Qatari culture – Souq Waqif.”

A fine dining restaurant set at the heart of Msheireb Downtown Doha, Al Fai stands exactly where the headquarters of Qatar’s first oil company stood in the early 1950s. This historic space retains many memories of the remarkable efforts of the Qatari pioneers of those times. Al Fai is an attempt in paying tribute to a bygone era by offering its guests the taste of authentic, traditional Qatari cuisine, in a contemporary setting. Where the menu is inspired by hundreds of stories from the golden period that ushered in a new beginning for the people of Qatar, curated by leading gastronomy experts from Qatar and Oman.

Savy Hospitality and Mshiereb Museums welcomes its guest to explore the gastronomy of Qatari cuisine and an immersion of Qatari culture. Al Fai Restaurant is open Saturday – Thursday from 11am to 11.30 pm and Friday from12:30pm to 11:30pm atCompany House, Msheireb Museums at Msheireb Downtown Doha.

Msheireb Museums and UCL Qatar presents Community Archives Symposium

The participants discuss the relevance of community archives to document the heritage of communities in the region

 Doha, Qatar, 5thMay 2018:

Msheireb Museums, the new cultural destination at Msheireb Downtown, hosted today the ‘Community Archives Symposium’ by UCL Qatar.

The symposium organized by the UCL Qatar’s Master in Library and Information Science programme, gathered scholars, archivists, and community members at Bin Jelmood House, where they discussedthe relevance of community archives to document the heritage of communities in the region. The participants also raised questions on the future of this community-based form of independent documentation in the region.

Aiming to examine the possibilities for and signs of community archives developing in the MENA region, community archives are “collections of materials gathered primarily by members of a given community” to document the commonalities of the group’s identity. They diversify our understanding of the past and help to address omissions in the historical record.

Mr. Hafiz Ali, Msheireb Museums Director said: “Msheireb Museums is pleased to host this cultural and community event that documents and preserves our history. We stay committed to our community through these collaborations with educational institutions, and maintain our identity for the next generations. Thissymposiumis one of many we host at the museums, we would like to thank UCL Qatar for this collaboration and a continued prosperous partnership.”

Following keynote remarks from Director Hafiz Ali, Msheireb Museums and Dr Andrew Flynn, UCL London, UK, the symposium included four main panels that discussed related topics. The first panel, ‘Documenting Everyday Life’, talked about their experiences in Palestine and the Arab World, as well as archiving Islamic history in UK. Additionally, Aisha Ali Al Kuwari and Mohammed AlYousuf, Msheireb Museums, experience in Oral History.

The second panel focused on building Gulf community archives and showcased different cases in Qatar and Kuwait, under the title ‘Building Gulf Community Archive’. Following this, attendees looked at the importance of collecting information and documenting oral histories through ‘Listening to Archives’ panel. While oral history has been a popular tool for community archives, collections can also include photographs, written documents, material artefacts, digital files and websites. Concluding the symposium was a panel exploring cases of ‘Communities Inside of Communities’ with an outlook on The Online Community Archive of Western Expats from 1950s Qatar.

Located in the Heritage Quarter, a historic area of Msheireb Downtown Doha, Bin Jelmood House is one of four heritage houses that have been restored to create a trusted cultural destination that enriches the community. Rooted in history, these reconstructed buildings and gallery spaces allow the community to engage with significant aspects of Qatar’s past and memories of life, before the country’s rapid economic development.

Since the inception of UCL Qatar in 2012, the students of the Master in Museum and Gallery Practice have collaborated with Qatari cultural institutions to create and develop temporary creative exhibitions.