Qatar will host the event of “Doha Capital of Culture in the Islamic World” throughout 2021

Doha hosts 70 various activities within the celebration throughout the year

In appreciation of women efforts, the launch of the celebration is in conjunction with the International Women’s Day

The State of Qatar highlighted the crucial role of women in strengthening the role of social organizations


Minister of Culture and Sports:

Culture expresses what really characterizes nations related to their perceptions of life.

Doha is a rich cultural space and a mirror of diversity and dialogue with others.

Director General of “ISESCO”:

The Qatari government exerted great efforts to prepare and install cultural equipment.

Choosing Doha embodies a recognition of Doha’s heritage and deep rootedness.


 Under the kind patronage of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the country, the event of “Doha, Capital of Culture in the Islamic World” started yesterday, Monday, March 8th, 2021. The State of Qatar hosts this event under the slogan “Our Culture is Enlightenment”. The event lasts for the whole year with the direct supervision of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. It is worthy to mention that the event comes in conjunction with the International Women’s Day. Other parties are involved in this event as cooperators, namely, the Islamic World Organization for Education, Science and Culture “ISESCO”, the Qatar National Committee for Education, Culture and Science and the strategic partners in the country which are the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs, Qatar Museums, Katara Cultural Village Qatar, and Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development and many other bodies from the state. Indeed, the event is sponsored by the Social and Sport contribution Fund, and Qatar Charity (as Golden Sponsors).

The inauguration ceremony was held yesterday by broadcasting a special episode on local and Arab satellite channels, namely, Qatar TV (the media partner), Al Rayyan satellite channel, Alaraby TV, Al Jazeera Mubasher, and on the event’s website, at 7:30 pm (Doha time). The episode took place in the Museum of Islamic and Katara Cultural Village Qatar, due to their cultural and Islamic dimensions, taking into consideration the application of precautionary measures to limit the spread of the new Corona virus.

The episode had been opened with the recitation of verses from the Noble Quran, followed by the reader / Mohammed Al-Jassem. After that a speech was delivered by His Excellency the Minister of Culture and Sports of the State of Qatar followed by another speech by the Director of ISESCO. The episode also featured many different cultural paragraphs and reports.

Speech of His Excellency the Minister of Culture and Sports

At the beginning, His Excellency Mr. Salah bin Ghanem Al-Ali, Minister of Culture and Sports, announced the launch of the activities in his speech which invoked the words of Allah “O mankind, We have created you male and female, and appointed you races and tribes, that you may know one another”

He explained, “This increases our belief that true culture is about knowing each other, and this requires faith in science to create knowledge and arts to be our products through which we get to know each other and through which we get distinguished”. This acquaintance also requires respect for others and constant dialogue, because we need dialogue as much as we need human relationships. Indeed, man is civil by nature, and variety is a universal norm in all fields”.

His Excellency affirmed that culture expresses what really characterizes nations related to their perceptions of life, it determines the relationship between communities and existence and between each other. In fact, these communities need culture as much they need their identity components, as culture is an enriched source to form the identity of the community. Moreover, culture achieves the differentiation of this community and traces its role in civilization at the same time. This differentiation is due to the high respect for science, keenness on creativity and innovation, and a belief in interaction with others, so that culture becomes a safety valve for society and a tributary of civilizational contribution thanks to what all cultural lines seek in terms of strengthening human dignity.

The Qatari Minister of Culture and Sports added: “The history of our culture in the Islamic world attests to the civilizational role in which generations of scholars, thinkers, writers, and artists have contributed. For instance, many scientific books in various sciences, arts and literature had been transferred to Europe and were translated into other languages, ​​so that they became basic references in the European universities and as a source for enriching European and human thought in general. The Islamic civilization did not stop, since its inception and formation, interacting with other civilizations, sometimes taking and in other times giving, sometimes influencing and also being influenced”.

His Excellency continued saying: “If our culture was, all along our Islamic history, based on the contributions of scholars who become notables of civilization, then we realize that we have benefited from the cultures of other nations, so that the cultural diversity is built through the interaction with others. Accordingly, diversity has become a feature of our culture and a value worthy of attention and development. Today, we seek to renew our energies in all fields of culture, so that we can resume our civilized contribution. This year, Doha will be a cultural space rich of potentials for cultural action and a mirror of diversity and dialogue with others, it also bears witness to the richness of the local culture and the role of Qatar in promoting culture in the Islamic world”.

He explained, “So let us work for future generations to enjoy more human dignity, more breadth of creativity, and more acquaintance, so that culture could be a horizon for dialogue and common action for the sake of “building minds”  and building a new awareness of the future of humanity”.

Speech of the director of the organization

Dr. Salem bin Muhammad al-Malik, Director General of the Islamic World Organization for Education, Science and Culture (ISESCO) started his speech by congratulating the State of Qatar, represented by the Ministry of Culture and Sports, for hosting this event, which represents a recognition of the heritage and history of Doha.

He also expressed his hope that this celebration will culminate in uniqueness and distinction within the program of the capitals of culture, indicating the great efforts made by the Qatari government in preparing and setting up cultural equipment and unleashing the energies of cultural creativity among young and creative people.

The Director-General of the organization added, “Directing the compass of our attention towards making our cities cultural capitals is a shift in our minds and also an awareness of the importance of cultural equity. Choosing a cultural capital aims to expand the borders of each of our countries to represent all of us”.

He also indicated that since ISESCO launched the program of capitals of culture in the Islamic world in 2005, the cultural events had been celebrated in fifty (50) cultural capitals, through which the rich cultures of the member states of the organization have been identified, and the sense of belonging to the great Islamic civilization has been experienced.

He added: “Within this human horizon, this year’s convoy of culture landed in Doha, in recognition of its cultural and civilizational contribution, as well as a testament of its deep rootedness and genuineness of its people. From this cultural memory, Doha derives the secret of its existence and the continuation of its generosity, extending its branches towards the future. On this occasion, the organization intends to participate in the implementation of the general program the celebration.

During yesterday’s inauguration episode, the Omani poet / Jamal Al-Mulla, who received the prize of “Poet of the Messenger,” may Allah bless him and grant him peace, recited a poem which embodies the meaning of “Our Culture is Enlightenment”.  Moreover, the Qatari artist / Fahad Al-Kubaisi participated by singing “Ohebuki ya Quds,” which was written by the poet/ Harun Hashem Rasheed and composed by the late Qatari musician/ Abdul-Aziz Nasser.

Al-Kubaisi also sang the poem “Jadaka al-Ghaith,” which is an Andalusian terza rima written by the scholar and poet / Lisan al-Din Ibn al-Khatib and was arranged according to the terza rima of Ibn Sahl, the poet of Seville and Sabtah after it.

For his part, Mr. Salem Abdullah Al-Aswad, Deputy Director of the Museum of Islamic Art and Director of Education and Community Awareness said: “The choice of Doha as the capital of Islamic culture is a testament to Qatar Museums’ continuous efforts to transform Qatar into the cultural capital of the Middle East. In fact, Qatar Museums offer authentic and inspiring cultural experiences and unique educational programs through a growing network of museums, archaeological and heritage sites, festivals and of general art works.

He added that the Museum of Islamic Art is considered a fundamental contributor to achieving these goals by undertaking the mission of shedding light on civilization, collecting and protecting Islamic art collections, and presenting them in exceptional exhibitions, in addition to organizing educational activities to introduce all community age groups to its group.

He also mentioned that a rich program has been prepared for the whole year in order to celebrate the Doha as the capital of Islamic culture.  The program includes school events, promotions, art workshops, cultural and artistic trips, webinars, and art competitions aimed at introducing and celebrating the Islamic heritage.

# International Women’s Day (March 8, 2021)

In the context of celebrating “Doha Capital of culture in the Islamic world”, and ISESCO declaration that 2021 is the year of women, and in line with the efforts of the State of Qatar to empower women and provide an environment that would enhance their cultural, social and economic rights, ISESCO announced that it will devote the year 2021 to celebrate women, under the slogan “Women and the future” entitled (raising awareness of the role of women in creating a sustainable future). It is worthy to mention that women have occupied a prominent role in the State of Qatar, where they reached the highest administrative and scientific positions and have made an effective efforts through their contribution in various fields within and outside the Qatari society, under the generous direction of His Highness, the Emir of the country.

The State of Qatar also highlighted the obvious role of women by strengthening the role of social organizations that deal with their affairs, expressing the deep belief in the position of Qatari women and their ability to occupy the highest positions and perform the roles assigned to them with vitality, effectiveness and responsibility.

Choosing Doha

As a result of Doha’s long history and legacy together with the numerous cultural characteristics and Islamic landmarks in the State of Qatar, the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization “ISESCO” has granted Doha to host this event. Doha’s hosting of the Islamic event strengthens the bonds of friendship and respect that bind the State of Qatar with the world, especially the Islamic world countries. Indeed, Doha is a land of dialogue and a meeting place of cultures and openness to civilizations. The events of Doha, Capital of Culture in the Islamic World 2021, represent an opportunity to highlight the cultural diversity, the historical monuments, and the human values ​​of Qatar’s culture and ancient history.

Our culture is enlightenment

The slogan “Our Culture is Enlightenment” has been chosen to be a symbol of “Doha, Capital of Culture in the Islamic World”, believing that every nation has a culture that distinguishes it from others. Indeed, the Islamic culture has an inherent value that has its uniqueness within the world’s cultures. It is vibrant as long as it is inspired by the eternal Islamic values ​​that brought humanity out of darkness into light and gave man knowledge and dignity.

The Islamic culture has traveled through the centuries in growth and development, interacting with others, influencing and being influenced to set up reason and conscience in order to achieve urbanization. If culture is prosperous, then it results in prosperity of the nation, and if it is in retreat, it quickly leads to its decline and its failure to participate in the universal creativity.

Therefore, Islamic culture expresses the arts, literature and cultural heritage of the nation as the lever of values ​​and a constant bet for all Muslim generations who work to preserve their original values ​​and seek to renew their cultural creativity. Just as Islamic culture succeeded in the past in assimilating different cultures through the ages and to form from its diversity an authentic unity harmonizing with the main sources of this culture, it is now time for it to regain their valuable motives to innovate again, and to think about the future as much as it thinks about the past and the present in order to reach the essence of its eternal message.

Program of hosting

The hosting program includes more than 70 various events to reflect the great perceptions of hosting and the perceptions of the country in general. Hosting this event in such circumstances shows Qatar’s ability to carry challenges in order to fulfill the promises.

Hosting the event of “Doha, Capital of Culture in the Islamic World” aims at promoting eternal Islamic values, especially those based on science and human dignity. In fact, this event seeks to reinforce Islamic cultural heritage in an interconnected digital world and also to encourage creativity and innovation as civilized values ​​that enrich Islamic civilization. Furthermore, it drives at inspiring Muslim generations to enrich the cultural scene through a productive and effective role at the global level and focusing on cultural diversity as an added value for Islamic countries and Islamic culture in general. Last but not least, the hosting of “Doha, Capital of Culture in the Islamic World” intends to introduce the cultural experience of the State of Qatar, and the efforts made to promote Islamic culture.

Since its launch in 2005, ISESCO’s Program for Cultural Capitals in the Islamic World aims to celebrate cultural cities that have a prominent cultural history, perpetuate their cultural and civilizational glories, enhance cultural and civilizational dialogue, and consolidate the values ​​of coexistence and understanding between peoples. In fact, three cities are chosen every year, and each of them represents one of the three geographical regions of the OIC member states (the Arab region – the African region – the Asian region).