Qatar-Indonesia begins yearlong creative exchange via Year of Culture 

Qatar Museums’ Chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and Indonesian Ambassador to Qatar HE Ridwan Hassan during the Qatar-Indonesia Year of Culture launch at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) on March 12, 2023.

DOHA: The Qatar-Indonesia Year of Culture has formally launched today, March 12, at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA). The yearlong programme under Qatar Museums is an international cultural exchange in Qatar that deepens understanding between nations and their people.

The programme includes a variety of cultural events that will take place in both countries throughout 2023, including residency and volunteer opportunities, and sporting and culinary events, and art exhibitions.

Qatar Museums Chairperson H E Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani said in her speech that: “This year for Qatar Years of Culture we turn our eyes east toward Indonesia, a vast nation whose vivid, multilayered culture has been born of many centuries of global crosscurrents.”

“There is much that our two nations can recognise in one another, including our role in the Muslim world, and much that we share. We look forward to an exciting year of cultural exchanges, in which we both continue to develop our burgeoning creative and cultural industries.” 

Indonesian Ambassador to Qatar, H E Ridwan Hassan meanwhile said that both Indonesia and Qatar enjoy excellent relations that are built on shared values and objectives. He also emphasised the importance of celebrating cultural programmes to strengthen bilateral ties.

From left: Minister of Justice HE Masoud bin Mohammed Al Amri; Indonesia’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology Advisor, Prof. Muhammad Adlin Sila; Qatar Museums’ Chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani; and Minister of Social Development and Family HE Maryam bint Ali bin Nasser Al Misnad at the Qatar-Indonesia Year of Culture launch at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) on March 12, 2023.

“Today, our world needs such multilateral cooperation more than ever and it begins with empowering our people to interact, learn and celebrate each other. This is why Years of Culture programmes are crucial to strengthening ties between nations. Indonesia welcomes the opportunity to celebrate our robust partnership with Qatar through the Qatar-Indonesia 2023 Year of Culture.” The envoy moreover stressed that the programme will not only give conducive environments for cultural exchange at individual, social and entrepreneurial levels but also foster positive sentiment among the people from both countries.

Meanwhile, the new Southeast Asia Galleries at MIA, which holds a stunning collection of Indonesian artefacts was opened as part of the opening ceremony yesterday. Among them on display are beautiful Indonesian gold jewellery and textiles.

Indonesia is also the guest of honour at the ongoing Qatar International Food Festival wherein cooking demonstrations by Indonesian chefs and live cultural performances will take place. And over the course of summer, two Qatari and Indonesian chefs will travel across Indonesia to collaborate around their shared passion for food.

There will also be special cooking demonstrations in Indonesia and Qatar as the holy month of Ramadan draws closer. Indonesian chefs will infuse traditional ingredients into the menus of several restaurants in Qatar during Ramadan, and at the same time, Qatari cuisine and traditional celebrations like Garangao will make their way to Indonesia.

The Qatar-Indonesia Year of Culture also features a special theatrical production of Hayati (Tree of Life): Searching for the Essence of Love; a cycling tour to Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world; the Photography Journey, will be organised with the support of the Jakarta International Photography Festival; and volunteer trip of young people from Qatar to work with school children in Indonesia will be held.

A three-month residency programme pairing Qatari and Indonesian designers will take place to foster the creative and cultural industries, and some works by Qatar’s contemporary artists will participate in the ARTJOG 2023 festival. All of these events will take place in the fall of 2023.

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