Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Msheireb Properties, officially inaugurated a new permanent exhibition titled ‘A Journey to the Heart of Life’, located at Bin Jelmood House at Msheireb Museums.
In line with Her Highness’s vision, the exhibition is a collaboration between Msheireb Museums and biomedical research institutions including Qatar Genome Programme, Qatar Biobank, Sidra Medical Research Center and Weill Cornell Medical College.
The exhibition focuses on DNA and includes six sections that give visitors an opportunity to explore genetic inheritance and prehistoric human migrations. It aims to further guests’ understanding of the advances in modern medicine and genomics, and its capacity to help with early detection of disease, as well as creation of personalised medicine.
Visitors use interactive and audiovisual displays to understand how leveraging genetics, genomics, and observations from the past, can uncover Qatar’s rich cultural and historic heritage.
The exhibition looks at the process of understanding genetics and genomics, and how that is reflected in the history of humanity. It tells a story of migration and integration across the earth, revealing the scientific underpinnings of our common humanity by advances in genetic research, and how this knowledge is being used to make us healthier as a society.
Mr. Abdulla Hassan Al-Mehshadi, CEO of Msheireb Properties said: “Msheireb Properties is committed to supporting our community’s development and contributing towards the goals of QNV 2030. Through this exhibit, we support innovations in education and showcase Qatar’s leading position in scientific research to benefit humanity. We would like to extend our great thanks to all those involved in creating this fascinating exhibition, particularly Her Highness for her continuous support and wise vision.”
Mr. Hafiz Ali, Msheireb Museums Director said: “‘A Journey to the Heart of Life’ is the latest addition in our internationally acclaimed exhibits at Msheireb Museums. It completes the four-heritage house permanent collections, designed to tell the history of our land and people, and the journey to modern-day Qatar. In this scientific and historical exhibit, visitors will enjoy the unique, dynamic and interactive exhibition experiences visitors have come to love at our exhibits. This opening is intended to help our nation understand the origins of our people and how the mapping of human development can help its citizens today, and in the future.”
Dr. Asma Al Thani, Chair of the National Genome Committee, Vice Chairperson of the Qatar Biobank for Medical Research Board of Trustees and Dean of the college of Health Science at Qatar University said: “This exhibition was created to showcase the cultural and social diversity of Qatar and how this affects genetic traits. Genetic diversity is a gateway for science to understand societal differences, and as such Qatar Biobank and Qatar Genome Programme is focused on research to develop personalised medicine. This will ultimately help create healthier lifestyles in the future to decrease serious diseases and potential hereditary medical issues. This exhibition launch is part of a common vision shared with Msheireb Properties to create a better future for our country.”
Dr. Lotfi Chouchane, professor of genetic medicine, microbiology and immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College, said: “’A Journey to the Heart of Life’ is original and unique, not just for Qatar but around the world as it combines seamlessly both culture and science. The science presented in the exhibition is complemented by historical and cultural factors that define human migration to Qatar. It also highlights local excellence in medical research, the importance of healthcare based on human diversity, and how this can be used to implement precision medicine locally.”
Dr. Rashid Al Ali, Deputy Chief Research Officer and Division Chief – Biomedical Informatics at Sidra Medical and Research Center said: “I feel privileged and honoured to be part of this landmark project. It has been captivating to look at the roles of DNA and human migration, and its effect on Qatar’s population. The exhibition is as unique as DNA itself and it gives me great pride Qatar is leading the way with such initiatives. As an exciting, stimulating and challenging undertaking, the true triumph of finalising this exhibition is taking a highly complex subject and presenting it into a language we can all understand.”
Dr. Ena Wang, Research Chief, Division of Translational Medicine at Sidra Medical and Research Center commented: “DNA is the origin of all living creatures. Genomes are the most organized of DNA that are inherited from our parents, so its study is critical to understanding their role in health and pathophysiologic conditions. This exhibition is Her Highness’s vision and is designed to provide knowledge that leads to scientific interest, paving the way for implementing genome guided (precision) medicine in Qatar.”
Major advances in the fields of genetics and genomics have not only corroborated what we can observe from history – the diversity of Qatar’s origins – but have also opened a path to a hopeful future in prevention and cure of many genetic diseases.
‘A Journey to the Heart of Life’ is presented by Msheireb Museums in Bin Jelmood House in the heritage Quarter of Msheireb Downtown Doha. The exhibit opens its doors from Monday to Thursday from 9am to 5pm, Friday from 3pm to 9pm, and Saturday from 9am to 9pm. For more information about this exciting new exhibit or Msheireb Museums, please visit: www.msheireb.com.