Qatar Foundation (QF) has launched the restoration and preservation of a historic house situated in the Education City.
QF is restoring Al Khater House as a location for sustainable, inclusive cultural heritage activities and experiences for people of all ages, while retaining its authenticity and historical value. The first of this will take place within the house during QF’s upcoming D’reesha Performing Arts Festival.
The launch event took place Saturday in the presence of HE Dr Hamad bin Abdelaziz al-Kawari, Minister of State and President of Qatar National Library, Fahad al-Khater, head of the Al Khater family, Nasser al-Khater, CEO of Qatar 2022, several members of the Al Khater family and senior officials of QF among others.
Together with representatives from QF member, Qur’anic Botanic Garden, Al- Khater family members planted a variety of Qatari plants at Al Khater House as a symbol of its revival. As the plans for the restoration of the building move forward, Qatar National Library’s Heritage Programme will undertake a project to document the oral history of the house, those who lived there, and their lifestyles.
Dr al-Kawari, welcomed QF’s plans for preserving historic buildings at Education City, which he described as an important part of Qatar’s heritage. He explained: “They provide important evidence of the history of urban civilisation in the region. We are keen to transfer this heritage to a new generation, and are pleased to announce today that Al Khater House is the first of the heritage structures to be activated, highlighting Qatar Foundation’s vision for preserving heritage sites at Education City.”
Speaking to Gulf Times, Nasser al-Khater said: “This is my grandfather’s house. We are very happy that Qatar Foundation has put in the efforts to preserve our heritage and traditions as a whole and specially the Al Khater family heritage. We appreciate the care and efforts in preserving the house and its traditions.”
“It is a house that many of the Al Khater family members have lived in. I believe that this house was built around 1910. It is more than 100 years old and that is what I have heard about the house,” he added.
Nur Alah Abdelzayed Valdeolmillos, senior architect at QF told Gulf Times: " The Al Khater House with its history and authenticity occupies a strategic location in the heart of Education City, and Qatar Foundation has envisioned to restore the house preserving its authenticity and historical value as a space for cultural exchange, presenting live and permanent practices of the local cultural heritage with the aim of providing a sustainable and inclusive experience for all generations. We plan to complete the restoration project at the earliest possible."
Rashid al-Khater, a member of the family whose name Al Khater House bears, said: “I was born in this house and lived my childhood here, and I have beautiful memories of it. I feel very happy when I see the efforts of Qatar Foundation in preserving this house and its heritage. Over the years, it has become a reflection of Qatari history.”
Al-Khater family member, Aisha bint Mohammed bin Fahd al-Khater said: “It is wonderful that the past and present is blended in one location here at Education City, and I am very happy and grateful that Qatar Foundation is making these efforts because of its commitment to preserving national heritage. I thank everyone concerned in preserving our family home.”
Al Khater House is one of a number of heritage sites within Education City, all of which QF is making similar preservation plans for.
The event was held ahead of the second edition of the D’reesha Performing Arts Festival, which will take place at Oxygen Park and Al Khater House and celebrate performing arts alongside Arab culture, language, and heritage, through music, theatre, poetry, storytelling, education, science, and more.
Al Khater family members along with HE Dr Hamad bin Abdelaziz al-Kawari.
HE Dr Hamad bin Abdelaziz al-Kawari and Al Khater family head planting a tree.
Nasser al-Khater planting a tree with his sons.
The Al Khater House at Education City. PICTURES: Thajudheen