(QNA) – Executive Director of Qatar America Institute for Culture Fatima Al Dosari highlighted the great development in the Qatari-US relations in the past three years thanks to the remarkable development in education levels and cultural growth in the State of Qatar, in addition to the presence of many American universities and scholarship programs available for Qatari students for the United States.
In an interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA), Al Dosari said that American and Qatari people share a deep appreciation for various forms of cultural expression that enjoy the support of all segments of society. The institute is in a unique position to encourage cultural diversity and valuable experiences that will build cultural bridges between the US, the State of Qatar, and the Arab and Islamic world.
To improve understanding between cultures, the Institute offers comprehensive experiences to highlight the similarities between humans and rejoice in the diversity of our differences. Ultimately, the Institute aims to become a reliable partner and catalyst for art and culture by raising awareness, creating harmony, and nurturing human creativity in society, she added.
Al Dosari pointed out that the institute works through a precise program consistent with Qatar National Vision 2030, which modernizes while preserving traditions in accordance with the needs of the current generation and future generations through a set of principles, including the protection of moral and religious values and traditions, contributing to development through four pillars, including developing a just and safe society, based on good morals and social care, capability of dealing and interacting with other societies, and playing an important role in the global partnership for development.
Over the last period, the institute has been able to bring about significant development in Qatari-US relations through joint activities, exchange of visits, and several important projects, such as the institutes contribution to Arabizing the White House application to make it easier for Arabs, which was well received by concerned American authorities, she added.
Regarding the Qatari-US cultural rapprochement, Al Dosari said that Qatar supports all cultural platforms that document identity and the convergence of different cultures through important events and performances in the country and abroad. This is reflected in Qatari investments in a number of museums and cultural activities, especially those that celebrate Arab creativity in America.
She added that Qatar is keen to be at the top of the list of donor countries that support culture, music, and arts in the US with the Qatari cultural institutions continuing their role in joint support and coordination enriched by the activities of the Year of Culture between Qatar and the US, which included important economic partnerships to support heritage preservation institutions.
She pointed out that the Arab American culture initiatives, which hosted many Arab and foreign students from the American community, aim to enhance rapprochement between various cultures by reviewing Qatari and Arab history and achievements, highlighting the most prominent scholars and researchers in various fields, and preparing scientific studies that highlight their contributions to human knowledge.
She said that Qatar contributed to supporting the unity of heritage in the United States in a number of Arab-American museums by presenting a variety of arts and creations, including traditional industries such as weaving, handicrafts, and ceramics. These museums display many dishes, and utensils with an Arab character that expresses creativity.
She stressed that the Qatari cultural contributions are greatly appreciated in the US as they enrich cultural contributions and preserve the Arab identity in designs with a distinctive character.
Fatima Al Dosari added that the important initiatives supported by Qatar are working hard to change the prevailing stereotypes about Arabs, Arab culture, and Islam in Western society to educate them.
Regarding the outcomes of the Years of Culture, Qatar – USA 2021, Al Dosari said that the State of Qatar has enjoyed friendly relations and alliance with the United States for more than 50 years. The main goal of the Year of Culture was to enhance cultural and artistic exchange and emphasize the two countries’ commitment to enhancing mutual understanding and dialogue between cultures. The official opening came after the signing of a cooperation agreement on Sep. 14, 2020, between the State of Qatar and the United States during the strategic dialogue in Washington, DC.
She noted that the activities of the Year of Culture deepened understanding between the two people by expressing common humanity and strengthening the long-standing ties between Qatar and the United States. Such activities led to raising the values of human dignity based on freedom, justice, and acceptance of others regardless of their color, religion, and race, and promoting knowledge.
The Cultural Year Program gave an exceptional framework through which the two countries were able to celebrate their long-standing relations and establish new relations through communication between the two communities.
Executive Director of Qatar America Institute for Culture Fatima Al Dosari said that the Qatar – USA 2021 program included a hybrid of virtual and live events that included exhibitions and installation works by Qatari and American artists, concerts, film and fashion shows in both countries, sporting events, etc.
She added that among the events that were organized was the “Calligrafitti” event, which continued throughout 2021. The event consisted of street art installations in a number of cities that combined Arabic and calligraphy. Additionally in Spring of 2021, chefs from both countries exchanged dessert recipes and went head-to-head to make traditional sweets from Qatar and the US. There was also the Pearls of Wonders exhibition, a residency at the Ferrer Art Gallery and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art in Washington, D.C., and an exhibition of exceptional textiles from the collection of the Museum of Islamic Art in Washington in fall 2021, in addition to outdoor film screenings about cultural exchange in the desert in fall 2021, as well as a car race in the desert in spring/fall 2021, the Made in Qatar cinematic event in November 2021.
The program was held across the United States throughout 2021. She explained that during the two countries’ celebrations of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between them, the institute organized many events despite the COVID-19 restrictions. The Years of Culture, Qatar – USA 2021 focused on the friendly diplomatic relations that have linked the two countries since 1972. Al Dosari revealed the most important activities that the institute will organize during the upcoming period, saying that the institute’s activities are usually concentrated during March and October, which coincides with the season of exhibitions and events. It is expected that the upcoming event will take place during October, an exhibition focusing on the intersection between technology and the arts.
She added that the exhibition, which will be inaugurated in October, will highlight the multifaceted relationship between technology and the arts. Qatar Academy for Culture and Arts’ upcoming shows will be organized in collaboration with Qatari and US cultural partners, including Qatar Museums and Virginia Commonwealth University of the Arts in Qatar, and include two new contemporary art galleries and an open call for artists to showcase their careers. Regarding Qatar’s organization of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, Executive Director of Qatar America Institute for Culture Fatima Al Dosari considered that the great legacy left by Qatar’s organization of the 2022 World Cup will leave a great impact that extends for many decades. This was reflected in the great demand for the institute during the past eight months that followed the completion of the tournament. There was a great demand for inquiries about Qatar, its civilization, and its heritage.
Through the institute, we were able to achieve a wide spread of Arab and American visitors who were interested in learning about Qatar after the great success it achieved in the World Cup, the positive image conveyed by the international media about the country, and the warm and generous reception of visitors. She pointed to the great demand for the Institute during the World Cup events, as the Institute hosted football fans through special events. The Institute was keen to showcase the Qatari, Arab, and Islamic heritage during those events, and it has already succeeded in transmitting the Qatari heritage, through exhibits, pictures and documentaries, Qatari cuisine, clothes, and perfumes. Qatar America Institute for Culture is an independent, non-profit organization that creates and implements programs and research that highlight all forms of art and culture in society.
The institute sponsors artistic expression and promotes cultural dialogue from the United States, the State of Qatar, and the Arab and Islamic world. It is also considered an essential institute for bringing together artists, museum curators, storytellers, creators, scholars, and academics and connecting them to a global network extending from its headquarters in Washington, D.C. to all parts of the world. The Institute provides interactive experiences in an inclusive environment to celebrate and appreciate art and culture through art exhibitions, educational programs, scientific research, and cultural partnerships. (QNA)