How Many Have Died In Qatar For World Cup Some Pearls Shine in the Shallow Waters of Qatar’s Sea of Culture

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Some Pearls Shine in the Shallow Waters of Qatar’s Sea of Culture

Qatar is gaining ground in the Gulf Nations’ race to become the ultimate cultural destination.

Doha is no ordinary cultural destination; pretty much the only reasons people are allowed to visit Doha are business or stopovers between flights to more exotic destinations, although curiosity must be growing with all the fuss about winning the apparent mystery of a World Cup bid 2022.

Along with all the other Gulf countries, Doha is participating in the race to gain cultural credibility. Abu Dhabi, for example, is gaining ground with its magnificent museum projects (including the Solomon Guggenheim and even a branch of the Louvre), but Doha is moving very quickly and with a precise strategy.

In search of popularity, Doha decided to walk the different path of preserving and enriching its own culture by cultivating Arabic art, which means showing the world that Arabic culture and art are not separate worlds, but have always been to combine with her. western and far eastern cultures.

With this objective in mind, this former pearl fishing village got itself two absolute gems in the Islamic Art Museum and the Mathaf, but there is even more on the way.

Before diving in to discover Arabic arts, you might want to stop first at the Islamic Cultural Center, to get a glimpse of what the Islamic culture is all about.

The building shaped like the tower of Babel houses a cultural center that aims to introduce people to Islamic culture. Walking in you will be approached by a friendly official who will offer you tea and give you booklets (in your own language) about Islam and Arab culture. You will then enter the main room downstairs and look at the large graphic on the walls that shows the interaction between the history of the Arabic world and the rest of the world, and the interaction of the religion of Islam with other religions. If you spend a few minutes reading the brief descriptions of Islamic customs and behavior you will be well prepared to enjoy the rest of your visit to Doha with a deeper awareness.

The Museum of Islamic Art alone is worth a visit to Doha. Designed by IM Pei, the legendary architect of the Louvre Pyramid, the building looks like a combination of superimposed geometric shapes, ending with a parallel pipe that almost reminds you of the face of a traditionally veiled Qatari woman by the hijab but which reveals her eyes, and protects the city. with his gaze.

When you walk in, you will be drawn to the wide windows that look out over the water with the West Bay skyline in the background. While sitting and having a coffee and enjoying the view, look around you and discover, at a glance, the many aspects of the gravity – challenging architecture.

The collections include a selection of masterpieces from the 10th century to the present day, arranged in a precise journey through the discovery of Islamic art, but the museum also hosts an average of two major exhibitions a year in including the masterpieces of western masters.

The Mathaf (Museum of Modern Arab Art) is the real surprise. Created to showcase the extensive art collection of HE Sheikh Hassan bin Mohamed bin Ali Al Thani (The Emir of Qatar) to the public, it opened its doors on 30 December 2010.

A practical note: if you’re new to town you’d better have clear directions to get there, as the taxi drivers won’t be of any help and you’ll need to get to the edge of the city.

The museum is located in an anonymous white building; you will probably be the only visitor, and at first you will think that there is not much more than the theatrical “Animals’ arch” installations in front of the building.

However, when you wander around the many rooms, you will realize just how huge and valuable HE Emir’s collection is. So huge that it cannot be displayed all together at the same time, it must be arranged in themed temporary exhibitions, providing extensive descriptions to enhance visitors’ enjoyment of these works of art. You will discover that most modern Arab artists have trained themselves by looking at western art, and you will easily recognize here and there some Miro and Picasso influences, or an Impressionist flare. You won’t be surprised when you read the labels that most of the artists are dead or currently living in a western country.

Qatar’s ambition to become a cultural destination has not yet been satisfied, and will reach its peak with the New National Museum project, designed by none other than Jean Nouvel (Torre Agbar, Barcelona). The building will feature the petal shapes of the desert rose stone formations found beneath the desert sand, acknowledging Qatar’s Bedouin desert cultures. It is set to become the most iconic building in Doha, and the first thing tourists will see upon landing at the airport. But that is still in the future, we will talk about it in a few years.

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