As Qatar and Russia celebrate their bilateral relations, the 2018 Year of Culture between the two nations has been supported by Qatar National Library ( QNL) through a series of activities.
Dr Sohair Wastawy, executive director of QNL, recently participated at the seventh Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum, and delivered a talk on the importance of traditional libraries in the changing technological landscape.
During a visit to the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library, one of the national libraries in Russia, Dr Wastawy met with its acting director-general Valentin Sidorin. They discussed joint cultural, scientific and technical projects, and several digital documents from QNL’s collections were handed over to the Presidential Library to add to their Qatar collection. Both institutions recently signed an agreement to collaborate on areas of mutual interest in the future.
“We are delighted to mark the Year of Culture, a historic occasion between both nations, and an opportunity for us to expand our relationship with libraries in Russia. Our discussions with partner institutions in Russia will result in important historical research and cultural exchange programmes,” said Dr Wastawy.
Dr Wastawy also met with Dr Efim Rezvan, deputy director, Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), Russian Academy of Sciences. During their meeting, she illustrated the progress in developing Qatar’s library culture, and the Library’s approach to the digitisation and preservation of history.
IFLA Preservation and Conservation Centre at QNL and IFLA PAC Centre in Russia organised a learning exchange programme to provide vocational training for a member of the Library’s preservation and conservation team. Chanaka Perera, conservation technician at QNL, participated in a week-long training course and a conference that took place in Russia.
In collaboration with the International Centre for Music in Doha, the Library organised an evening of Russian music last week. The event featured a recital by renowned Russian pianist Nina Ivanova, with her repertoire including pieces by Tchaikovsky, Scriabin and Rachmaninoff. The Kamerton choir - conducted by Olga Protopopova - performed Russian folk songs.
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