Posted on October 09, 2017

The Libraries of Virginia Commonwealth University, School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar) will officially open the 2017 ‘Modern Prayer Rug’ exhibition on October 12, 2017 at Company House, part of Msheireb Museums in Msheireb Downtown Doha.

The ‘Modern Prayer Rugs’ exhibit represents a culmination of the design journey of six finalists who entered the VCUarts Qatar Materials Library Modern Prayer Design Competition. The exhibition is open to the public and will run from October 12 - November 14, 2017.

This year’s exhibition was inspired by the creative vision of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. The six rugs on exhibit represent the finalists of a Modern Prayer Rug Design Competition hosted by the Materials Library of VCUarts Qatar. The competition challenged students from across Qatar to submit concept designs that reimagined the Islamic prayer rug using traditional or unconventional materials, while honoring the richness and the values of Islamic culture and heritage. The six finalists, selected on the overall strength of their concepts, had the opportunity to work with the professional staff and collections of the VCUarts Qatar Materials Library to produce the six rug prototypes on exhibit.

The Libraries of VCUarts Qatar open 2 [].jpgThe 2017 ‘Modern Prayer Rug’ exhibition will feature six beautiful and creative prayer rugs that demonstrate innovative uses of materials and functional design elements. Designers include: Aaqifa Altaf, Ahmed Al Nowfal, Hossain Mohammad Yasin Arafat. Massa Jamili, Maryam Al Semaitt, May Makia, Nawar Al Mutlaq, Neihan Yaqoob, Sidra Sohail, and Sultana Jesmine. The exhibit demonstrates VCUarts Qatar and Msheireb Properties’ joint commitment to offering unique platforms that provide the community the opportunity to create original works of art and to have their pieces presented to the public. The exhibition will serve as both inspirational and educational for promising local designers and artists. 

‘Modern Prayer Rug’ runs at Company House, Msheireb Downtown Doha October 12 – November 14, 2017, with an opening reception October 12 at 6:00 pm. For more information, please visit, or email VCUQatar Library Director, Amy Andres, at

Company House is in the heart of Doha’s new mixed-use regeneration project and is part of four historic heritage houses that form and celebrate important parts of the Qatar’s national history. They reveal unique aspects of Qatar’s cultural and social development and inspire to create trusted environments where people an engage, converse and exchange thoughts about both their past and their future. 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.