Posted on May 18, 2017

Msheireb Museums, an integral aspect of Msheireb Downtown Doha (MDD), and a subsidiary of Qatar Foundation, celebrated International Museums Day 2017 with an interactive forum that brought educators together to drive the cultural development of Qatar.

Hosted at Bin Jelmood House, located at MDD’s Heritage Quarter, the forum invited students, academics, cultural leaders and media to commemorate this global event, whose theme this year was‘Museums and contested histories: Saying the unspeakable in museums’. This theme highlights the importance of museums in society as they work to promote peaceful relationships between people, and present contested history, which is the first step in envisioning a shared future.

The interactive day brought to light a new peer-led volunteer programme, which Mshiereb Museums has implemented with the help of academic and educational institutions and youth centres. Entitled ‘Msheireb Museums Friends’, this mutually-beneficial volunteer programme empowers teachers and educational leaders to become tour guides in the museums and enhance their skills to lead student tours. The program will also enable students to enhance their leadership skills while introducing the community to the country’s rich culture.

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Following the presentation, a panel discussion and workshop took place, enabling participants to discuss ways in which museums and educational institutions can work together to support their curriculum and bridge the gap presented by language and culture.

Commenting on the celebration of International Museums Day and the launch of Msheireb Museums Friends, Hafiz Ali, Director of Msheireb Museums, said:“It is a great pleasure support International Museums Day. Events such as these enable us to recognise the important role that museums play in society.” Mr. Hafiz continued: “Msheireb Museums Friends, our new initiative, which was under discussion at today’s event, is a pioneering new programme which challenges the conventional approach to cultural education and enables us to create a knowledge ecosystem that delivers cultural, societal and educational wealth.” (Click here to read full speech)

Established to create cultural ambassadors, Msheireb Museums Friends will train a number of teachers and leaders from a wide range of educational, youth associations along with students, helping to develop their leadership skills and get the most out of the historic cultural houses. 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.

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Located within the oldest part of the capital, they form an important part of Qatar’s national history. These reconstructed buildings and gallery spaces allow the community to engage in the significant aspects of Qatar’s past and memories of life before the country’s rapid economic development. International Museum Day has been acknowledged on May 18 since 1977, with more than 35,000 museums participating in 2016 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.

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