Posted on November 29, 2017

Qatar University College of Engineering (QU-CENG) yesterday hosted a panel discussion and a weeklong exhibition on “The Streets of Doha” aimed to highlight the transformation of the built environment in Qatar and its impact on the country’s architectural identity, lifestyle and public space.

Organized in collaboration with the British Council and University College London (UCL) Qatar, the event is part of the Qatar British Festival 2017. It engaged over 120 attendees including CENG Dean Dr Khalifa Al-Khalifa, British Council Qatar Director Dr Frank Fitzpatrick, and UCL Qatar Professorial Research Fellow Prof Robert Carter, as well as QU officials and CENG faculty, staff and students.

The panel discussion was delivered by Dr Fodil Fadli, Head of Department of Architecture and Urban Planning at Qatar University; Mr Ibrahim Mohamed, CEO of Jaidah Group and Chief Architect at Arab Engineering Bureau; and Mr Mohammed Ali Abdullah, Private Engineering Office of the Amiri Diwan. They discussed the character of Doha’s architecture and streets character and impact on urban life and its quality. The event saw the honoring of the winners of the Unlimited Doha Design Prize -- Architect Deena Al Terawi, Architect Gizem Kahraman, Architect Cherng-Min Teong, Archaeologist Ömer Can Aksoy, and  Architect Alex Scott-Whitby.

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This was followed by an exhibition, in which the winners showcased their designs. The exhibition is available for the public from November 30 to December 4 at QU, Building C07. In his remarks, Dr Khalifa Al-Khalifa said: “I would like to stress the importance of this event in enhancing the quality of life in the city of Doha and the life of its citizens in coordination with partners to come up with outputs that help support the development and progress of Qatar. I am inviting today all CENG students to be a part of such events to make use of content and communicate with experts and speakers to support knowledge and experience, in order to make a valuable addition to the academic curriculum.”

Dr Frank Fitzpatrick said: “The British Council is delighted to be organizing the British Festival, Qatar, now in its fourth year. By organizing discussions such as the “Streets of Doha”, we can focus on opportunities available to young people through education, in a field that supports and empowers women. Both the United Kingdom and Qatar are well-known for their remarkable architecture and we hope to strengthen our relationship with Qatar by creating opportunities for further collaboration and the exchange of knowledge and ideas.”

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Dr Fodil Fadli emphasized the importance of such events in raising awareness among students in particular and the community and society in general on streets in Doha. He described the liveability of streets and urban spaces as an important sustainability and happiness indicator in our everyday life and its quality.

Prof Rob Carter said: “UCL Qatar is honored to participate in this year’s British Festival as the British Council educational partners. We are proud to be the first British institution in Qatar to offer high quality UK Education, and  of the outstanding outcomes we have achieved in developing research and capacity-building in cultural heritage in this country. I am particularly delighted to be involved in this event and exploration of Qatar’s rich urban heritage, which is often underestimated in academic circles and public debate. We wish to thank Qatar University for hosting this exhibition, which demonstrates how all cultural and educational institutions in Qatar strive to work in great synergy.”

The Qatar British Festival 2017 is organized by the British Council, in partnership with the British Embassy. The event runs from November 26 to December 8. It features a variety of activities including public art and architecture, films and musical performances, with a special emphasis on appealing to women and children.