Posted on October 29, 2014

UCL Qatar and Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) will host a public workshop titled: Heritage of Doha, Identity of Qatar, on 5 November in the Georgetown Building, Education City. The workshop will present the findings of UCL Qatar’s QNRF-funded Origins of Doha Project, including the results of the Joint Qatar Museums-UCL Qatar Old Doha Rescue Excavation. 

Archeological findings from the excavations will be used to explore the history and people of Doha, the transformation of the traditional town into a modern city, and the experience of its inhabitants through time. Leading the workshop, Dr. Robert Carter, Senior Lecturer in Archeology, UCL Qatar said, “Engagement with the public is a key part of the Origins of Doha Project.  We intend to bring together original archeological, historic and ethnographic research and present our findings to the public, as we want people to realise there is a much older Doha beneath and around them.”

UCL Qatar and QNRF to explore Qatari 2 [qatarisbooming.com].jpgSplit into morning and afternoon sessions, the workshop will begin by outlining the latest archeological discoveries from the Old Doha Rescue Excavation that took place from December 2013 to March 2014, including pearl divers’ weights, pearl merchants’ weights, anchors, pottery, keys and coins. Dr Carter and his collaborators will explore the historical and cultural value of these findings and consider the vulnerability of Doha’s archeological heritage given the intensive development that has characterised the city in recent history. 

The afternoon session will introduce preliminary analyses of the finds from the excavation, as well as results of historical mapping, building surveys and GIS work that capture the changes in Doha’s architecture and town plan over time. It will also present some of the Oral Histories gathered by the Origins of Doha. The Oral Histories are a collection of interviews with elderly Doha residents, supplemented with previous recordings by the Gulf Folklore Centre, the National Museum of Qatar and the National Archives. They are intended to connect with the public through the voices of longstanding residents with first-hand experience and personal insights of “Old Doha.”

UCL Qatar and QNRF to explore Qatari 3 [qatarisbooming.com].jpgThe new interviews conducted by the Origins of Doha Project differ from previous ethnographic work, as they focus on town dwelling, rather than mainly pearl fishing and Bedouin culture. The Origins of Doha Project team plan on raising awareness and linking Qatar with its past through further public workshops, posting resources and reports online, and a series of books. It is also hoped that many of the Project’s findings will eventually be displayed in the National Museum of Qatar.

The workshop will be held at UCL Qatar (Second Floor, Georgetown Building, Education City) from 9.00am to 4.00pm on Wednesday 5 November 2014. For further information about this workshop and to register please contact events.qatar@ucl.ac.uk

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