Msheireb Museums (MM), the cultural destination at Msheireb Downtown Doha (MDD), won the ‘Best Educational Practice Program’ award by the International Committee for Education and Cultural Action (CECA) during the CECA conference and awards, held in Tbilisi, Georgia.
The Committee for Education and Cultural Action (CECA) is one of the oldest International Committees of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), and with over 1,000 members from 85 countries, CECA is also one of its largest. Members are professionals working in different sectors of the museum field or institutions related to museums; as educators, curators, professors, communication agents or interpreters, interested in education and cultural action applied to a particular sort of heritage.
The ‘Best Educational Practice Program’ award explores a range of creative practices in museums that support CECA’s main message of enriching educational and cultural applied actions. It is an award granted to 5 participants with 5 different practical projects that explore their own individual heritage.
Msheireb Museums’ winning project, Bin Jelmood educational programme, introduces the story of Bin Jelmood house in an effective and engaging way, using innovative methods to reach a young target audience. The Bin Jamood House, which tells the story of slavery and how it has evolved into modern forms of human exploitation, is one of four historic heritage houses that make up Msheireb Museums.
Hafiz Ali, Museum Director said: “We are proud that our museums education initiatives are being recognized globally, and look forward to continuing to deliver high-quality, engaging and immersive learning experiences for the public.”
Commenting on Msheireb’s participation, Milene Chiovatto- President of CECA said: “Congratulations to Msheireb Museums for being a star in our award ceremonies for best practices in CECA. We are honoured to have them represented this year.”
Commenting on the Award, Sheikha Moza Al-Thani, Education Officer at Msheireb Museums said: “This year, I am honoured to have been one of the awarded participants for the Bin Jelmood House educational programme and activity collateral. The booklet that was recognized by ICOM jury members, introduces students aged 8-12 to the history of slavery in Qatar. It took a lot of hard work to produce, and I am very proud that it has been recognized by such an esteemed organization.”
In addition to the winning educational programme, Msheireb Museums, in collaboration with the University College of London – Qatar (UCL-Q), presented at the conference, a research paper titled “When a University and Museum Work Together”, which outlined the successful series of UCL-Q Masters in Museum Studies students’ exhibitions hosted in Msheireb Museums.
“We always look forward to working with UCL-Q and various educational institutions to develop community led exhibitions that offer an exciting and insightful perspective on Qatar’s heritage and social history”, added Fahad Al-Turky, Exhibitions Manager at Msheireb Museums.
Since Msheireb Museums opened in 2015, it has a record of hosting exhibitions and conferences that raise awareness on various cultural topics that support the cultural scene in Qatar. The aim of the UCL-Q exhibitions is to ensure the academic engagement of students through a museum’s learning experience, in which students are given the opportunity to experience creating a full museum exhibition.
Last year, Msheireb Museums hosted the ‘Back to Msheireb’ Exhibition in Mohammed bin Jassim house, which documented Msheireb’ s transformation into a centre of commercial activity and an intercultural crossroads for people of diverse origins between the years 1980 and 2009.
Earlier this year, the Museums hosted the ‘We are the daughters of Qatar’ Exhibition, which aimed to raise awareness on the role of women during the pre-oil era of discovery and what kind of social and economic changes were made through history to enable womens’ empowerment.
Aisha Al Kuwari, Education Manager at Msheireb Museums said, “The ‘We are the daughters of Qatar’ Exhibition is aligned with stories of Qatari pioneers in the main office of the oil company house located in the inner neighborhood of Msheireb in the 1930s.”
Additionally, this year Msheireb Museums celebrated International Museum Day by hosting workshops, presentations and a panel discussion in collaboration with CECA.
Msheireb Museums education initiatives are intended to deliver high-quality learning experiences to the local community, endeavor to create a variety of opportunities to encourage the understanding of Msheireb Museums’ narrative, and to encourage immersive learning experiences that are intellectually stimulating and enjoyable for the target audience.
These programs act as a platform to support the teaching of Qatari history and related subjects. Msheireb Museums education initiatives aim to be influential in engaging young people in Qatar to better understand and appreciate their history and to inspire future generations. This leads to a continuation of research in the future and ongoing learning about Qatari culture, history and heritage.
In line with its mandate, Msheireb Museums has built strong connections and collaborations with academic institutions – including universities, colleges, and research programmes – to ensure better engagement with the museum’s offering and content. In addition, visitors of the museums have access to the valuable digital resources of Qatar National Library.
Msheireb Museums represent a significant milestone for Msheireb Properties in realising the vision of Msheireb Downtown Doha, Qatar’s first sustainable and smart city regeneration project. The museums celebrate the history of four historic heritage houses in the heart of Qatar’s old town. Located within the oldest part of the capital, they form an important part of Qatar’s national history. These reconstructed buildings and gallery spaces allow the community to engage in some of the most significant aspects of Qatar’s past and memories of a life before the country’s rapid economic development.