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    Media Centre

    Msheireb Museums Announces Participation in Major Grant Collaboration with HBKU on QRDI-Funded Digital Citizenship Project

    International Museums Day panel discussion explores the role of museums in academic research

    Doha, Qatar – 21 May 2024

    Msheireb Museums and Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) announced their partnership on a pioneering research project funded by the Qatar Research, Development and Innovation Council (QRDI) to champion responsible digital citizenship and constructive online community engagement. The collaboration was announced to mark this year’s International Museums Day in line with the “Museums for Education and Research” theme that encourages a more conscious, sustainable, and inclusive world.

    Msheireb Museums is joining the four-year “Future of Digital Citizenship in Qatar: A Socio-Technical Approach” project, supported by QRDI’s National Priorities Research Programme-Cluster (NPRP-C), as part of its commitment to preserve and promote cultural heritage while addressing the challenges and opportunities of the digital age.

    Abdulla Al Naama, General Manager of Msheireb Museums, said, “As a vanguard institution committed to documenting and advancing societal progress, Msheireb Museums is honoured to join forces with a consortium of leading researchers and innovators to showcase the wealth of knowledge museums have to offer. It is apt for our collaboration to come on the heels of International Museum Day as we rethink how knowledge and education can be shared – a topic explored by ICOM during this year’s International Museums Day.”

    The research project, titled ‘The Future of Digital Citizenship in Qatar: A Socio-Technical Approach,’ brings together 10 national and international entities from academia and industry, led by Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU). IT encompasses six sub-projects focused on synthesising social media discourse, developing web-based tools, creating educational resources, and investigating digital literacy and well-being, gender equality, social inclusion, and behavior-based approaches to online security. Final research findings will be used to enhance the digital experience for users in the Arab world and GCC area through a focus on diversity and inclusion.

    The six sub-projects are:
    − MARSAD Social Media Observatory, led by Dr. Wajdi Zaghouani, HBKU.
    − Digital Critical Literacy & Propaganda Detection, led by Dr. Firoj Alam, HBKU.
    − Digital Wellbeing, led by Dr. Raian Ali, HBKU.
    − Security and Safety as Behavior, led by Dr. Khaled Khan, Qatar University.
    − Gender Equality and Social Inclusion on Social Media, led by Dr. Osama Halabi, Qatar University.
    − Digital Citizenship Ambassador Program, led by Dr. Eddy Borges-Rey, Northwestern University in Qatar.

    Msheireb Museums’s Abdulla Al Naama added, “We are eager to facilitate the robust evolution of digital citizenship in Qatar and beyond by leaning into our expertise in cultural heritage, community outreach, and education. Msheireb Museums is offering the researchers access to our heritage houses, collections and exhibitions as a platform to investigate opportunities for public engagements on issues relating to digital citizenship.”

    Dr. Raian Ali, Professor in Information and Computing Technology at HBKU and one of the research leads, commented on Msheireb Museums joining the collaboration, “As we navigate the complexities of the digital age, it’s imperative to elevate our understanding and engagement with the concept of digital citizenship. We are grateful to Msheireb Museums for serving as platform for this important research cluster. As a narrative museum, filled with thoughtful digital exhibits, Msheireb Museums offers a dynamic backdrop for exploring this crucial topic.”

    Situated in Msheireb Downtown Doha and developed by Msheireb Properties, Msheireb Museums offer a compelling narrative of Qatar’s evolution in the context of the country’s oldest city center. Comprising Bin Jelmood House, Radwani House, Company House, and Mohammed Bin Jassim House, the museums serve as a repository of social history, documenting and promoting societal and cultural progress.

    Shedding light on common human heritage and cultural diversity has become the hallmark of Msheireb Museums. One of its heritage house sites, Bin Jelmood House, pays tribute to and acknowledges the social, cultural, and economic contribution of formerly enslaved people to the growth of human civilisations.

    “This year’s International Museums Day theme, ‘Museums for Education and Research,’ resonates deeply with the core mission of cultural institutions worldwide. It underscores the pivotal role museums play in supporting education through ongoing research and exploration. We whole-heartedly support a future where knowledge knows no bounds with the help of advancements in technology and research practices,” said Dr. Hafiz Al Abdulla, Senior Director of Corporate Communications at Msheireb Properties and ICOM Qatar Board Member.

    As Msheireb Museums continues to collaborate on groundbreaking research projects and engage with the community, it remains dedicated to its role as a social history museum that observes, documents, and encourages societal and cultural development in Qatar.