Qatar, April 4, 2017
An exhibition that interprets the vibrancy of Qatar’s historic Msheireb district as a centre of commerce opened yesterday at Msheireb Museums in Msheireb Downtown Doha.
Entitled ‘Back to Msheireb: Shared Streets — Shared Stories’, the exhibition is organised by students of UCL Qatar, as part of their yearly UCL Qurates initiative of the Masters in Museum and Gallery Practice programme. The exhibition will remain open until July 27 at Mohammed Bin Jassim House in Msheireb Museums.
“This student-led project is a crucial, assessed component of the master’s programme, which seeks to bridge the gap between museum theory and practice,” said Dr Sam Evans, director of UCL Qatar.
Located within the Heritage Quarter, a historic area of Msheireb Downtown Doha, Mohammed Bin Jassim House is one of four restored heritage houses. Rooted in history, these reconstructed buildings and gallery spaces allow the community to engage with the significant aspects of Qatar’s past and memories of life before the country’s rapid economic development.
Hafiz Ali, director of Msheireb Museums said: “We are delighted to include such a carefully curated exhibition which documents the city’s history and progression, and allows us to preserve and share these stories with the community.”
In a joint statement from Msherieb Properties and UCL Qatar, it was recalled that “the increase in economic wealth and employment opportunities in Qatar led to a growth in foreign populations from countries such as India, Pakistan, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, and the Philippines from the 1970s.
“Msheireb became the popular destination for shopping and a hub for small local community between the 1980s and 2000s – long before the wider “mall culture” spread throughout the country – and allowed the meeting of diverse cultures, tastes, languages, and traditions.”
‘Back to Msheireb’ presents a selection of found objects and oral histories of personal memories of this former commercial neighbourhood through an installation of pop-up stores inspired by the eclectic and often quirky character of this part of Doha.
Dr Serena Iervolino, programme co-ordinator at UCL Qatar said: “Together with the other Museum Studies faculty, Dr Catharina Hendrick, I have had the pleasure of seeing a particularly skilful group of students blossoming throughout the project. Working in a mature and collaborative manner, the students have developed and delivered an exhibition of professional standards.” Since the inception of UCL Qatar in 2012, the students of Masters in Museum and Gallery Practice programme have collaborated with Qatari cultural institutions to create and develop temporary creative exhibitions. Visitors are encouraged to share their photos of the exhibition on social media using #UCLQurates #BacktoMsheireb. Museum hours and more information could be had from www.uclqurates.squarespace.com and @UCLQurates on Facebook.