A Leader’s Legacy’ at Katara …

An ongoing exhibition on one of Qatar’s pioneers ‘Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim al-Thani: A Leader’s Legacy’ at Katara has received “great feedback” from the public, a senior official told Gulf Times.

“The exhibition has been widely accepted by the community and we have received great feedback through our visitor’s book,” said Dr Abdulla al-Sulaiti, Deputy Director of Research & Collection Qatar National Museum, who is also the co-curator of the exhibition.

“We hope that this exhibit will benefit the younger and future generations of Qatar, and we invite the participation of students from all age groups,” he added.

The senior official said that the exhibition was focused on one of Qatar’s most influential leaders, which highlighted the beginnings of the modern history of the State of Qatar.

The exhibition explores the era of Sheikh Abdullah which oversaw the advent of Qatar’s petroleum industry, education and hospitals, infrastructure and the transformation of Doha.

“Featuring historic artifacts, photographs, oral history interviews, and original films, the exhibit presents new insights into Sheikh Abdullah’s life and legacy to Qatar’s people,” he said.

The exhibition began on December 16 and is expected to continue until January 30. It is organised by the National Museum of Qatar and sponsored by ExxonMobil, which aims to shed light on the history of Qatar as a whole and the contributions of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim to the development of the nation in specific.

At anytime of the day or evening, many people, including tourists and  Qatari citizens can be seen visiting the exhibition space that also features many audio/visual interactive elements.

Just by pressing a few buttons, visitors can see the phenomenal growth Qatar has witnessed over the decades on a 3D map. There are also specially made documentary shorts that recall the country’s transition from a pearl diving industry to oil.

For those interested in historical maps and documents, there is a treasure trove of information on display.

In particular, a copy of the 1916 treaty between Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim al-Thani and  the British government is quite interesting. The treaty demonstrates the diplomatic genius of the Qatari leader who was able to secure “immunities, privileges and advantages that are conferred on friendly Shaikhs, their subjects and their vassals” for himself and his subjects from the British government.

According to the document, he was also granted permission to purchase and import up to 500 weapons annually from the ‘Maskat Arms Warehouse’.

Also, there are two letters from the then Office of Britain’s Political Resident in the Persian  Gulf  dated April 1935 and May 1935 that addressed the then Qatari ruler regarding the granting of the oil concession.

In one of the letters, the ‘Office of the Political Resident in the Persian Gulf’ addresses the ‘Ruler of Qatar’ and conveys that “protection will be afforded  you on the condition…that you give the Oil Concession about which the Anglo-Persian Oil Company have been negotiating …..”

It further stated that “Protection would be provided against serious and unprovoked attacks which may be made on your territory from outside your frontier. This protection…naturally refers to serious incursions and not to small raids…With regard to the methods with which His Majesty’s government propose to assist you. They propose to carry out this object through the Royal Air Force.”

Apart from the letters, there are also many interesting artifacts on display such as daggers, swords and guns used during that time in Qatar. Source: Gulf Times

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