The rich history of the Middle East is captured in different forms of art and exhibited across the world. Modern and contemporary art however is still in its nascent from not in terms of those who create it but arenas where it can be displayed. The Arab Museum of Modern Art opened in December 2010 reduced this void greatly by becoming a place that encourages creativity and artists of the modern time by functioning not only as a museum but also a forum where ideas can be exchanged.
Known as the Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, the building spans across 5,500 square metres and houses overs 6000 works of art. The oldest work belongs to the 1840s and newer pieces of modern drawings are added frequently to ensure that the collection is up to date. The museum was the brainchild of Sheikh Hassan bin Mohamed bin Ali Al Thani who envisioned such a place and began his private collection over 20 years ago which he then donated all of it to the Qatar Foundation.
At its opening the museum showcased 3 exhibitions, each belonging to a different category. ‘Sajjil’ meaning ‘act of recording’ showcased a wide array of Arab art from the past 100 years or so. ‘Interventions’ was an exhibition of paintings commissioned to and created by 5 important modern artists of Arab origin. The 3rd, ‘told/untold/retold’ was work created by 23 contemporary Arab artists.
The premise also has a strong focus on fostering young talent. From December 2012 to January 2013 the museum hosted an exclusive student art exhibition by the name of ‘Transform’. Over 500 students participated and unleashed their creative prowess. They were also bestowed with various awards such as best of show, bravest use of material, best outside the box concept and most inspiring.
It is not merely the pieces of art at the museum but the building itself that is admired by many a tourist to the area. Another architecturally attractive building is the Copthorne Hotel Doha which is one of the most famous hotels in Doha that is located in the heart of the city. The best hotels Doha has to offer are located near the airport with many other tourist attractions to visit.