(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Qatar hosts many cultural, artistic, literary and scientific events, organises festivals, symposia, lectures, and specialised art exhibitions. These activities are held throughout the year according to their seasons and special occasions.
As a centre of openness to cultures and peoples in the world and through preserving the values of originality of the Qatari society, Doha has become one of the capitals of Arab culture that attracts various forms of cultural creativity and has also become a prominent feature in the Arab cultural scene by providing advanced and unique programmes:
In 2015, the Cultural Village Foundation-Katara announced the launch of the Prophets Poet festival.
The festival includes different activities such as seminars, lectures, and exhibitions .
The Arab World reacted favourably to the launch of the festival by submitting 828 poems. Poems were submitted across the Arab World and beyond - from Oman to North Africa. Most participants hailed from Iraq and the wider Levant region, as 250 poems were submitted from these nations, while Egypt and Sudan joined the effort with 236 poems. The remaining North African Arab states provided 184 poems, 145 poems came from the GCC and Yemen, while 13 poems arrived from non-Arab states. Of the submissions 60 were contributed by women.
The festival sought to encourage people to preserve poetry. Poetry helps to instil Islamic values in the minds of many, preserving heritage across generations. Poetry may also be utilised to exhibit the peaceful message of Islam whilst defending it against the vicious calls of those adamant to distort the true image of the religion.
Furthermore, the festival aimed to create a profound love for the Prophet Muhammad amongst the youth who are surrounded with ideologies which seek to divide them from the right path. Poetry has long had a strong impact on the youth and their emotions. Therefore, another aim of this festival was to sharpen the talents of the youth and walk them through this process by using their poetry for the service of Islam.
lMathaf: The Arab Museum of Modern Art
Mathaf: The Arab Museum of Modern Art was founded in 2010 and is located in Education City on the campus of the Qatar Foundation. It was housed in a former school building that was restored and is part of the Qatar Museums. The museum dates back to the first collection of works acquired by HE Sheikh Hassan bin Mohamed bin Ali al-Thani.
Mathaf organises a wide variety of exhibitions, as well as extensive educational programmes that play an important role in making the museum a centre for dialogue, research and a source of creativity. It also hosts solo and group exhibitions by artists from around the world, as well as activities of modern and contemporary art.
In the early 1990s, HE Sheikh Hassan bin Mohamed bin Ali al-Thani began work on the acquisition of a group of modern and contemporary art, focusing in particular on the region and cultural links from North Africa to Asia, Turkey and Iran. The museum's artistic space consisted of two buildings in Doha, inspired by how the Arab Museum of Modern Art will look, a centre of intense artistic radiation in the region.
The museum has continued to develop as an inspiring space for dialogue and research in the field of modern and contemporary art, with the presence of artists residing in Doha, as well as a place to produce and display works of art. The exhibition focuses on presenting its collection of permanent works and organising large exhibitions focusing on newly executed works.
The Art Collection is the largest and most modern collection of contemporary art in the region. It contains thousands of pieces of art that have been collected over more than 25 years. It has now grown to more than 9,000 works from the Arab world and other regions historically linked to the Arabian Peninsula, such as Iran, Turkey and India.
l ‘Diwan Al Arab'
Ministry of Culture and Sports officially launched the Qatar Centre for Poetry ‘Diwan Al Arab' reflecting Qatar's keenness to promote various arts and literature, including Arabic poetry, which had a great interest in the Arabian Peninsula, especially Qatar, since ancient times.
The centre's mission is aimed at achieving its main objectives out of the belief of the Ministry of Culture and Sports in the role of literature, including poetry, for the advancement of society.
The centre disseminates the culture of poetry to create a generation of poets in the State and a perfect environment for the country's poets as well as to take care of young Qatari talents through sponsorship, support and guidance.
The Qatar Centre for Poetry ‘Diwan Al Arab' was established under the Ministerial Decree No 94 of 2016 and aimed at promoting literary renaissance relating to poetry in all its literary forms and methods.
lMathaf Encyclopedia of Modern Art and Arab World
A collaborative project between Qatar Museums, Qatar Foundation and Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, the Mathaf Encyclopedia of Modern Art and the Arab World provides a major resource on artists from the Arab world and their histories.
The research team at Mathaf, under the direction of Professor Nada Shabout, former founding consulting director of research at Mathaf, initiated the process to commission scholars and independent researchers to author encyclopedia entries.
Mathaf Encyclopedia is an online, bilingual and peer-reviewed resource that provides free access to basic facts and in-depth information on modern art of the Arab world. The Encyclopedia aims to standardise the data on Arab artists and to encourage multiple perspectives on modernism in the Arab world while providing a comprehensive view on its development.
The users of the Mathaf Encyclopedia include art historians, researchers, scholars, university students, art professionals and translators seeking information on Arab modern artists, their styles, techniques, artwork, contributions, concepts, Arab art glossary and terminologies, as well as areas of specialisation related to modern art in the Arab world and modernism in general. In addition to textual information, Mathaf Encyclopedia features artworks from Mathaf's permanent collection and other collections and archives, artists' signatures, audio-visual material, personal photographs and documents, publications and news media.
The Encyclopedia is a work in progress and will continue to develop to include all artists from Mathaf's permanent collection, and in subsequent phases will include Arab artists beyond the collection, as well as historically contextualising and thematic essays on their work. Mathaf Encyclopedia is a platform that supports knowledge exchange and network between researchers and scholars around the world.
lQatar Museums Galleries .. Art spaces for Exploration and Creativity
Art galleries are spaces to discover creative experiences and to enrich the cultural landscape in Qatar. Qatar Museums has been keen to spread distinguished spaces in different places in Qatar to spread art among local and international artists.
These galleries showcase artists of different calibre, as well as experimental art and upcoming personalities. From the vast space of Al Riwaq to the more intimate setting of Building 10 Katara, to the experimental Garage at the Fire Station, the venues host shows that get people talking and offer additional workshops and opportunities around the exhibitions.
QM has equipped these galleries with all the latest technologies for displaying and celebrating outstanding artistic experiences such as: QM Gallery KATARA, QM Gallery Alriwaq, Fire Station Artist in Residence and Garage Gallery.
lQM Gallery KATARA
The QM Gallery is an intimate venue for public art projects in Katara Cultural Village. With theatres, concert halls and restaurants, Katara bustles with activity and invites people from different backgrounds to interact.
Nestled amongst other buildings, the QM gallery is a casual place that lends itself to weekend browsing. The art is always a talking point, but location and atmosphere are as important.
It is also a platform for Qatars emerging museums to present their collections and projects.
lQM Gallery Alriwaq
This venue in front of MIA Park hosts exhibitions that get people talking.
With a diverse schedule of exhibitions and a vast space, Al Riwaq always surprises its visitors. The space also hosts temporary exhibitions by museums.
The Msheireb Museums is Msheireb Properties' flagship project, a cutting-edge development located in the heart of Doha, which was inaugurated in 20 October 2015.
The museums consist of four restored historical buildings which are part of the wider regeneration of the inner city to revive the old commercial centre.
Msheireb Museums celebrate the history of four historic heritage houses in the heart of Msheireb Downtown Doha - Bin Jelmood House , Company House, Mohamed Bin Jassim House and Radwani House. 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 thoughts about both their past and their future.
Msheireb Museums are an integral aspect of the inner city's regeneration of the old commercial centre with its traditional community-based lifestyle.
lQatar Scientific Club
Qatar Scientific Club is one of the leading scientific institutions in the region and internationally, which offers high quality scientific activities aimed at sharpening the talents and abilities of creative and talented people of all ages and support them over the path of creativity and innovation.
It also offers training programmes, workshops, and activities in a number of scientific fields.
The organisation's mission is to create a suitable atmosphere for the practices of scientific hobbies; encourage scientific activities among the younger population; and increase their interest in the sciences.
The club consists of a number of departments including astronomy, aviation, engineering and others. There is a dedicated Young Scientists department where children can join and participate in different scientific experiments and activities.
The Club launched the Fab Lab Qatar Centre as the first digital manufacturing plant accredited by the World Organisation of the Fab Lab. It aims to encourage the community to create and innovate in a supportive environment where all programmes that enable young people to complete their projects.
*The cultural report was prepared by Qatar News Agency (QNA) as part of a joint project between the Federation of Arab News Agencies (FANA) and the 'Cultural File.
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