ICCROM was present on 10 December at an event organized by the Embassy of Qatar in Rome, as part of a programme of celebrations being held to honour Qatar National Day (also known as 'Founder's Day').
Qatar National Day provides an opportunity for Qataris to celebrate throughout a week of festivities throughout the country. This year, the holiday's motto is "Al Maali Kaydah" meaning, "the path of excellence is difficult".
Qatar is home to many cultural heritage assets, with many customs and traditions related to the country's littoral geography, such as the pearling and fishing industries. Tangible cultural heritage assets includes a UNESCO World Heritage listing in the form of the Al-Zubarah Archaeological Site, as well as the distinctly modern Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, which opened in 2008. The Museum houses one of the largest collection of Islamic art from around the globe and is a cultural icon in the country.
Qatar has been an ICCROM Member State since 2012, and has engaged in multiple activities since its listing to strengthen its relationship between the country and ICCROM. Last month on 21 November, HE The Ambassador of Qatar to Italy presented his credentials to ICCROM's Director-General Dr Webber Ndoro, to confirm his status as the Official Representative of the State of Qatar to ICCROM. This was preceded earlier in the year by a meeting between Dr Ndoro and the Qatari Minister of Culture and Sports, HE Salah bin Ghanem Al Ali. The meeting featured discussions intended to encourage the cooperation and development of cultural programmes and activities.
Most activity between ICCROM and Qatar takes place through its regional office, which is dedicated to the protection of cultural heritage in the Arab region and to broadening access, appreciation and understanding of its rich history.