Qatar Becomes Middle East Art Capital

  • 16 years ago
  • Uncategorized

Doha, Qatar is becoming known as the art capital of the Middle East. It has recently seen the opening of the Museum of Islamic Art, designed by I.M. Pei, which houses the largest collection of Islamic art and artifacts anywhere in the world. There are also a number of art galleries, the recently revived Souq Waqif and a brand new national symphony orchestra. Additionally, the small nation announced the coming of the Tribeca Film Festival Qatar, which will occur in November.


The Tribeca Film Festival is due in large part to the efforts of Sheikha al Mayassa, the daughter of emir Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani. A recent graduate of DukeUniversity in the US, the Sheikha worked for Tribeca Productions before presenting the idea of a film festival in Qatar. Nancy Schafer, a co-executive director of the Tribeca Film Festival, said it was an obvious location for a Middle East festival. “Doha is much less flashy and more substantive than some of its Arab counterparts,” said Ms. Schafer in an interview with the New York Times. “They are developing culture.”


Some designers and developers are hailing Doha’s urban master plan as a progressive model for the 21st century. There are several other major museums in the works for Qatar, including an addition to the National Museum of Qatar that is being designed by French architect Jean Nouvel.


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