Posted on April 22, 2019

The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) hosted the closing ceremony of its popular MIA Ambassadors’ Programme. For its third edition, the programme invited secondary schools in Qatar to participate in a creative competition themed around Syria – inspired by the Syria Matters exhibition which opened last year to mark MIA’s 10th Anniversary. The initiative comes as part of Qatar Museums’ (QM) vision of becoming a cultural instigator for a new generation of artists and creators.

As part of the competition, students were tasked with exploring the museum and selecting artefacts or historical figures related to Syria. They were then asked to use their chosen artefacts and characters as inspiration for a theater performance. Participating schools included: Ebla international School, Amna bint Wahab Scool, Hassan bin Thabet School, Hind bint Abe soufyan School, Qatar Banking Studies And Business Administration School, Jordanian School, Al Wakra School, Syrian Community School, Al bayan School, Rabaa Al Adawiya School, Palestinian School and Al Seliya School.

“Inspired by the Syria Matters exhibition, this year’s edition focused on Syria because we wanted to introduce students to the country’s rich heritage and its impact on humanity at large. This, we hope, allowed them to get a better understanding of the relationship between art, heritage and our society,” said Salem al-Aswad, deputy director, Learning & Outreach at MIA. “The students have been working for months to create these incredible performances. We were delighted to see the result of their hard work and hope that this was an eye-opening experience that will remain with them for a long time.”

Mr Ahmad Al Namla, Acting CEO of Qatar Museums, Dr. Julia Gonnella, Director of MIA and Dr. Ibrahim Al Naimi, Undersecretary for the Ministry of Education in Qatar all attended the performances. A judging panel made up of representatives from the Ministry of Education and MIA then chose the winners.

The panel included:

  1. Mr. Ahmad Al Haddad – Theater Arts Instructor at the Ministry of Education
  2. Mr. Mohamed Al Maleki – Ministry of Education
  3. Mr. Qassim Al Shammari – Ministry of Education
  4. Mrs. Noura Al Moadadi – Ministry of Education
  5. Mr. Mahmoud Mohamed Dari – MIA

Winners included:

  1. First Place: Al Wakra Independent Secondary School for Girls
  2. Second Place: Jordanian School
  3. Third Place: Qatar Banking Studies & Business Administration Secondary School for Girls

MIA Ambassadors aims to create an awareness about the role of museums as centers of culture, education and entertainment.  At the same time, it aims to improve the students’ sense of responsibility and encourage them to research, observe and work practically via activities associated with the project. It’s part of a wider portfolio of educational initiatives that MIA presents to audiences in the country.