May 18, 2016
Msheireb Properties, a subsidiary of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) and Qatar’s leading sustainable developer, celebrated the International Museum Day 2016 with interactive activities at Msheireb Museums that helped raise awareness of the importance of protecting and enhancing the cultural landscape in Qatar.
Located in the Heritage Quarter at Msheireb Downtown Doha, Msheireb Museums hosted students, academics, media and other invited guests from key local Ministries and educational establishments to mark the 2016 edition of the global event held under the theme ‘Museums and Cultural Landscapes’.
There were several elements to Msheireb Museums’ celebration of culture on International Museum Day 2016 that began with opening remarks from Hafiz Ali, Director of Msheireb Museums. The first of these was a lecture delivered by Dr. Robert Carter, Professor of Arabian and Middle Eastern Archaeology at UCL Qatar, who shared his insights into the development of Msheireb and Doha with evidence from archaeology, oral history, maps and aerial imagery. Dr. Carter specialises in the Archaeology of the Arab and Islamic World and has extensive knowledge into the origins of the Gulf towns.
The very insightful talk was followed by a panel discussion on the challenges in adapting the heritage houses used by Msheireb Museums to make them suitable for the 21st century, including the methods of restoration, protection and conservation used to create ‘living heritage’.
Guests were also invited to explore a photo gallery exhibit, which showcased the architecture of Msheireb’s Museums, beautifully combined with local poetry.
Eng. Ali Al-Kuwari, Chief Officer- Design and Delivery at Msheireb Properties, said: “Msheireb Museums is a cultural and heritage benchmark at Msheireb Downtown Doha, where visitors can experience the way of life in the past. The museums are equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual technology that allows the guest to have an in-depth understanding of major events that have shaped our history. On the occasion of the International Museums Day, it was our pleasure to host these events that enhance the cultural scene in Doha. We hope our guests have enjoyed this experience and have a better understanding of some of our heritage treasures.”
International Museum Day has been acknowledged on May 18 since 1977, with more than 35,000 museums participating in 2015 across 145 countries. The objective of International Museum Day is to raise awareness of the fact that museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.
Msheireb Museums mark a very significant milestone for Msheireb Properties in realising the vision of Msheireb Downtown Doha, Qatar’s first sustainable regeneration project. The Museums celebrate the history of four historic heritage houses in the heart of Msheireb Downtown Doha. Located within the oldest part of the capital, they form an important part of Qatar’s national history. They reveal unique aspects of Qatar’s cultural and social development in inspiring to create trusted environments in which the people of Qatar will engage, converse and exchange.
Msheireb Museums are an integral aspect of the inner city’s regeneration of the old commercial centre with its traditional community-based lifestyle. The restoration of the four heritage houses, Bin Jelmood House, Company House, Mohammed Bin Jassim House and Radwani House, into world-class museums forms a vital part of the Msheireb Downtown Doha development.