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Qatar National Library Explores Cultures Beyond Books

Cultural activities and 'Letters of Faith' exhibition to commemorate Qatar Indonesia 2023 Year of Culture

Qatar National Library will commemorate Qatar Indonesia 2023 Year of Culture through a series of events focused on storytelling, cultural games, workshops, and exploration opportunities.

On 31 October, Qatar National Library will inaugurate ‘Letters of Faith: The Arabic Script in Indonesia’ exhibition in partnership with Indonesian and local cultural institutions. The exhibit will highlight the Library's unique collection, while showcasing Indonesia's rich Islamic heritage through the pages of beautifully adorned Qur’anic manuscripts. The exhibition will also be showcasing loans from two prestigious institutions from Indonesia, artefacts that are displayed here in Qatar for the very first time. The exhibition will open to the public on 1 November.

Tan Huism, Executive Director of Qatar National Library, said: "Indonesiais renowned for its remarkable cultural diversity, rich spectrum of ethnicities, languages, and religions. With the world’s largest Muslim population, its port cities have, from the late 13th century, been vibrant conduits for trade, diplomacy, and faith. Today, we're delighted to welcome all to explore exquisite Qur’anic manuscripts and other artefacts like maps and batik textile which are over a hundred years old. Through this exhibition, we aim to spotlight the deep cultural interactions between our regions."

The series of events will commence on 2 November with a storytelling session by HE Ridwan Hassan, the Ambassador of Indonesia to Qatar as he shares tales from the Land of a Thousand Islands. For those who appreciate handcrafts, the library is organizing a Batik-making workshop—a technique of decorating cloth using wax in the color dyeing process.

On 3 November, Qatar National Library, in collaboration with Aljazeera Documentary, will host a film screening for the film 'Indoenesia and Discovering the Unknown,' followed by a Q&A session the producer. This offers visitors an opportunity to broaden their horizons and appreciate the fusion of cultures in an engaging setting.

On the same day, there will be an in-depth discussion with Indonesian author Andrea Hirata, who will guide us through the themes and emphasize the role of cross-cultural dialogue in fostering understanding. For the second day, the Library will host another Batik-making workshop.

On 4 November, the final day of the Qatar-Indonesia Year of Culture series of events, a storytelling session led by Madame Lita Hassan, wife of HE Ridwan Hassan, the Ambassador of Indonesia to Qatar, will kick off the day's activities. Visitors will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the tales that intertwine the cultural narratives of Qatar and Indonesia. The Library is also organizing a session on the craft of writing with award-winning Indonesian novelist Andrea Hirata.

Later that day, the Library, in partnership with Earthna, is hosting an outdoor exploration adventure at the Mangroves in AlKhour. Participants will set out on an enlightening journey to understand the role of mangroves in mitigating coastal pollution. Prior to the trip, there will be an interactive session at the Library where Dr. Aspassia D. Chatziefthimiou, a renowned expert in desert ecosystems, will share insights about mangroves in Qatar. Subsequently, Dr. Charlie Heatubun, a specialist in biodiversity and conservation, will highlight the significance of mangroves in Indonesia.

Visitors are encouraged to mark their calendars for these enriching events. For more information on the full program calendar and to register to attend, please visit the Library’s website at or the QNL mobile app, which is free and available to download from the App Store or Google Play.


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