Media Majlis, a first-of-its-kind media museum in the region, was dedicated by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), at Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) on Monday. HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad al-Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation, other dignitaries, and Northwestern administration also attended the dedication ceremony of the unique and interactive museum.
Sheikha Hind in her address said the Media Majilis is a “groundbreaking museum around communication and culture.”
“At Qatar Foundation, we continue to be a platform for the expression and exploration of different ideas and perspectives, where people are encouraged to challenge the status quo through knowledge. The Media Majlis demonstrates how narratives exist to be explored and challenged rather than simply accepted; and how connecting with different voices, standpoints, and ideas extends the boundaries of our understanding, nourishes critical and original thought, and enriches lives,” explained Sheikha Hind.
Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser officially opening The Media Majlis on Monday at NU-Q.
Sheikha Moza and Sheikha Hind also toured the first exhibition, entitled 'Arab Identities, images in film,' which provides an exploration of how over a century’s worth of film history has been shaped by notions of Arab identities. The Media Majlis is the first university museum in Qatar. It is an active and empowering space where people can engage with the exhibition’s content and programmes which focus on communication, journalism, and media in the Arab world; as well as contribute to the global conversation on the continually changing landscape of media.
NU-Q dean, Everette E Dennis noted, “The Media Majlis aims to foster public understanding of journalism and communication and their role in shaping public opinion and shaping the image of the Middle East to the rest of the world. It underscores the importance of media in society from the earlier and most basic forms of communication to the most modern and draws on images and materials from local sources and global collections.”
Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser and HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad al-Thani are seen with Northwestern University president Morton Schapiro on Monday at the opening of The Media Majlis at NU-Q.
With a focus on the Arab world, the museum will host two exhibitions each year addressing major themes and ideas that are pertinent to the region. The museum features extensive digital-capacity creating exhibitions where visitors can participate through interactive commentary and engagement. Along with digital content shared using a number of different technologies, objects and other physical content feature to explore stories from multiple perspectives.
Morton Schapiro, president of Northwestern University said, “Who best to tell the story of media and journalism and communications in an Arab context than a museum located here in Northwestern University in Qatar. The Media Majlis demonstrates Northwestern’s commitment to education and research and its long-standing foothold in the Middle East.”
The museum’s first exhibition, Arab Identities, images in film, will continue until June 1 and then reopen in August and run through December. With sections from more than 60 films and hundreds of images, some that date back to the 1880s, and posters from the early 1990s, visitors can bring nuance to the deep and complicated meanings of identity, as well as the ideas and connections that influence people’s understanding of that theme.
Pamela Erskine-Loftus, director of the museum, and Lisa Graziose Corrin, director, The Block Museum of Art Northwestern University also spoke at the event. The museum’s name draws on the traditional Arab Majlis or gathering place as a vital source of interpersonal communication, but extends it to modern interactive media, thus connecting values of local culture to universal and global concerns.
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