Identity and what it means to young people in Qatar is the theme of a new interactive display on show at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Library from January 11th. Working with Qatar Museums Family Programmes, students from Qatar Academy Doha (QAD) have produced the display, and the result is a new project called ‘My Museum’.
The ‘My Museum’ project involves more than 12 in-depth workshops, activity sessions and museum visits over a three-month period during school hours, after school and at weekends. Qatar Museums Family Programmes will hold a launch event on January 10th at MIA for parents, QAD students and staff.
Huda Al Yafai, Head of Libraries at Qatar Museums Family Programmes, commented, “It is fascinating to note the views and ideas that children hold about Qatar and their place within it. In one section of the display a visitor can express their future dreams for Qatar by writing a wish on to a leaf and attaching it to a Sidra tree.”
The museum visits provided the students with a strong sense of local history. Mohammed Abu Moza, aged 11, remarked, “I have enjoyed going to the museums, seeing old Qatari artefacts and learning about what they did in the old days.”
During the ‘My Museum’ project the children developed their creative thinking, problem solving, self-motivation and independence.
Nasira Sheikh-Miller, Head of Learning Projects at Qatar Museums Family Programmes, said, “Throughout ‘My Museum’, the students have shown tremendous dedication and application to produce this display but we have also enjoyed developing very positive partnerships with MIA and QAD.”
The rich and varied collections of MIA and those of the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum, were explored by the QAD students, while MIA’s staff also offered a rare glimpse to see ‘behind the scenes’ of a museum in order to find out how such an institution is run. A highlight was a talk given by the curator of The Tiger’s Dream: Tipu Sultan exhibition.
Susan Allenspach, PYP Coordinator at QAD, stated, “This collaboration with museum staff has been phenomenal. It has broadened the perspectives of the students and enabled them to make powerful and meaningful learning connections with the wider community. We look forward to more collaborative projects with Qatar Museums in the future.”