Culture and Society
Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.
Culture and Society
People with Special Needs
Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage
In 1966, newly created administrative units namely Doha Cultural Center and Folklore Censorship, and the Theater Section were all affiliated to the Broadcasting Department of the Ministry of Information. The establishment of these new units presented a prelude to the creation of Culture and Arts Department in 1975. In fact, the existing units and other newly founded sections such as the Fine Arts, the Exhibitions, the Studies and Research as well as the Administrative and Financial Affairs presented the origins of the first entity of the cultural work in Qatar.
From 1975 to 2008, the year in which the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage was established, the cultural work went through several stages:
Culture in subordination to the Ministry of Information:
Given the close relationship between media and culture, and the existence of a ministry fostering the media work in the country, Culture and Arts Department was appended to the Ministry of Information. Thus, all efforts were concentrated on elaborating a suitable ground to boost the cultural work through the incitement of all its resources and the preparation for the department’s first cultural season in (1398 AH – 1978 AD).
While suitable elements were being selected to administrate Culture Department, several folklore ensembles, theater groups as well as authors, poets and artists were contacted. They were all invited to introduce their artistic works and theatrical shows as well as their intellectual and cultural productions.
In November 1981, Culture and Arts Department prepared the new administrative regulatory plan of the department.
Culture in subordination to the Ministry of Information and Culture
After the promulgation of the Emiri Decree No (3 /1989), in July 18
, 1989 issuing the creation of the Ministry of Information and Culture and the nomination of, HE, Sheikh Hamad Bin Saheem Al Thani Minister of Information and Culture, the word “Culture” emerged for the first time in combination with the name of a ministry. That was the first official emanation of culture after thirteen years of dependence to the Ministry of Information and was also an acknowledgment of the need for a vital governmental organism that would sustain it.
The Decree by Law No (20 / 1990) was issued to organize the structure of the Ministry of Information and Culture and set up its functions.
In 1992, HE, Dr. Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari was appointed Minister of Information and Culture. He created the new position “Ministry Under-Secretary Assistant for Common Services”, which was assigned to Mr. Moosa Zaynal Moosa, who will supervise the Culture and Arts Department, the Public Libraries, the Museums and the Archeology Department.
Culture in subordination to the Ministry of Education
On the 5
of June 1996, the promulgation of the reverend Ministerial Council’s decision, in their meeting No (20 / 1996) led to the repeal of the Ministry of Information and Culture. As a matter of fact, the affairs of Culture and Arts Department and Public Libraries Department were relegated to the Ministry of Education, which became the Ministry of Education and Culture. There was also the establishment of a special authority – Qatar Radio and Television General Authority – to manage media affairs. This authority retained Museums and Archeology Department among its various departments.
Dr. Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari was the Minister of Information and Culture, while the promulgation of this decision, which aimed at freeing Qatar’s media from any dependence to a ministry constraining it through numerous legislations and laws from going forward to wider horizons, especially at a time witnessing a noticeable spread of satellite channels. During his session as Minister of Information and Culture which lasted from 1992 until 1996, Dr. Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari took several valiant and powerful measures; HE abolished press and records censorship, freed media and formalized the whole media speech. Therefore, we must shed light on the great role played by those people who were keen to improve the cultural work, and to establish an independent cultural institution or a special authority that protects the cultural achievements realized since the establishment of Culture and Arts Department.
The establishment of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Heritage
Culture had its first independent entity by the promulgation of the Decree by Law No (16 /1998) issued on the 3
of October 1998 to establish the National Council for Culture, Arts and Heritage.
Despite the fact that the cultural work was affiliated to several distinct ministerial bodies, the achievements realized during that period maintained Qatar cultural work flame glowing until the establishment of the council.
From 1998 to 2008, several Emiri decisions were taken appointing the Chairman, the Deputy Chairman and the members of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Heritage. Other decisions were also taken appointing the Secretary-General and the Secretary-General Assistant of the Council.
The establishment of the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage
The Emiri Decree No (1 / 2008) was promulgated on the 1
of July, 2008 to restructure the Ministerial Council, enroll among its ministries the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage and appoint HE, Dr. Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari, Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage. Thus, culture in Qatar had for the first time a Ministry represented at the meetings of the reverend Ministerial Council. On the 23
of June, 2009, there was the promulgation of the Emiri Decision No (37 / 2009) designing the organizational structure of the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage, as it was mentioned in its first article.
In general, the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage is in charge of:
Organizing cultural festivals and taking part in festivals organized in Qatar and in brotherly and friendly countries;
Organizing cultural events and activities such as symposia, lectures and poetry recitals;
Producing and presenting theater and folklore shows and music and lyric concerts;
Organizing Qatari weeks abroad and hosting cultural weeks of brotherly and friendly countries;
Organizing arts (plastic arts, photography) and heritage exhibitions;
Publishing and distributing books and compilations in relation with culture, translating outstanding intellectual and literary works into Arabic and vice-versa;
Documenting and archiving popular heritage, organizing and animating heritage events and celebrations;
Organizing the yearly Doha Book Fair and participating in Arab and foreign book fairs;
Discovering young talents and organizing cultural, scientific and religious symposia and contests.
While organizing and supervising such events, the Ministry of Culture acts in its quality of a central ministry that lays down cultural programs and implements them according to the promulgated laws; its activities in this field should be regarded as the main activity of cultural policy of the State.
Qatar Cultural Portal
The Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage is aware of the importance of communication with all its different forms. For this reason, the Ministry was keen to develop its website and include all what is new and useful in order to serve the researchers and the public in general. The resounding success made by the Ministry during the celebration of Doha, Capital of Arab Culture, its active role in implementing and following-up the National Strategic Plan in the cultural and youth sector, as well as the various events and activities celebrated from time to time were incentives to develop the website of the Ministry. Thus, it would cover properly these achievements and events and allow researchers and the public to know about everything related to the cultural and artistic scene in the State of Qatar.
Specialists working in the Information Systems Department have made good efforts to introduce the website in its actual form, and we hope they continue renovating it whenever needed to keep pace with the technological development and have room for all activities organized by the Ministry.
To conclude, we hope that everybody benefits from this website.
My best wishes for success.
Dr. Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-kuwari
Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage
His Excellency, Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage
Dr. Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari
Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari
Married and a father of a daughter and two sons.
Arabic, French and English.
of Political Sciences from “Stony Brook” New York University in 1990.
of Political Philosophy from Paris “Sorbonne” in 1980.
High Degree Diploma
from “Jesuit University,” in Beirut. 1977 - 1980.
of Arabic and Islamic Studies from “Cairo University- Faculty of Dar Al Oloum,” in 1970.
Chargé d’affaires in Lebanon from 1972 to 1974.
Ambassador of Qatar in Syria from 1974 to 1979.
Ambassador of Qatar in France, and non-resident Ambassador in Italy, Greece, Switzerland, as well as Delegate of Qatar to UNESCO from 1979 to 1984.
Delegate of Qatar to the United Nations (New York) and non-resident Ambassador in Argentina, Canada and Brazil from 1984 - 1990.
During this period, he was appointed Deputy Chairman of the General Assembly of the United Nations at its fortieth session and Chairman of the Special Political Committee at its forty second session. In 1998, he was elected Vice President of the Committee Against Apartheid and Member of the Trustee Board of Directors of the “Dag Hammarskjöld” Commemoration. He has also represented his country at the conferences of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Ambassador of Qatar in the United States of America and non-resident Ambassador in Mexico and Venezuela from 1984 to 1990.
Minister of Information and Culture in Qatar from 1992 to 1997.
On the 1st of July, 2008, he was appointed Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage in Qatar.
Deputy Chairman of Al-Jazeera Channel Administrative Council: Managing Director.
Member of the Consultative Authority for the High Council of GCC.
Member of the Board of Directors of Rand Qatar Policy Institute.
Founder and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Doha Center for Media Freedom.
President of Higher Committee for Doha Capital of Arab Culture 2010.
Head of the committee of State Awards.
Head of the committee of Qatar Award for Child Literature.
President of the 17th Conference of Arab Ministers of Culture 2010.
President of UNCTAD XIII 2012.
Badges of Honor:
Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Republic
Decorated with the French “L
gion d’Honneur” in 1984
Presented with Badges of Honor by France, Italy, Spain, Syria and Jordan
Decorated with a medal from the Queen of Holland
Decorated with a medal from the Republic of Poland
Dialectics of Conflicts and Settlements
( Jadal Al-Maarik Wa Al-Teswiyat)
: Cairo: Dar Al-Moustaqbal Al-Arabi, 2001
The Deficient Knowledge
: Beirut: Reyadh Al-Rayes,2005
Dr. Al-Kuwari wrote also political, social and cultural essays in several Arab journals. He lectured and participated in various symposia and conferences
Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage - State of Qatar – All Rights Reserved
Last Update: 3/25/2015