A museum is where I believe a community can come and immerse themselves into the hardships and glory together and experience the past, present and future. This is exactly what I felt when I visited the National Museum of Qatar in the winter of 2018.
Qatar, previously called 'Beth Qatraye', is a small country that was founded in 1971, is big in its feats, culture and hospitality. It’s name “Katar” literally means “a small piece of the peninsula extending into the sea”. The drama that would’ve involved this country because of its location and resources is already unimaginable. But this museum, not only helps you imagine just Qatar, but also experience it’s place on earth in the universe.
Utilising available modern tech and brilliant minds, the whole interaction was spectacularly designed to feel than just learn. Engaging activities vary from those for kids, adults and even people with visual or mobility impairments. The museum was divided into different eras in the timeline, and showed its parallels with occurrences in other parts of the world. So that way for me personally, when an event that happened in India was mentioned it helped me connect to an event that was also happening in Qatar at the same time.
For example, as a result of India’s fresh independence in the year 1947, the iconic Pearl trade that was predominant in the Gulf had slumped causing a severe fall in its economy.
Deriving such linkages helped Qatar connect with those of other countries. A splendid global village of history. I even found my little sister who despises reading of any sort draw water from an interactive well of old Qatari houses, hypnotically reading it’s purpose and customs that systematically appeared on the screen.
Every piece in the museum had a purpose and was placed intentionally. From its architecture to the upholstery on the seating area, everything was designed with meaning. It was a brilliant memory of an experience I had there navigating through with my family. I hope to go there again this winter to see the remaining exhibits of the future that were under construction when I went there last 🤍