Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS), the embassy of Switzerland in Qatar, and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are co-organising a contemporary art exhibition under the theme of 'Humanitarian Principles: Here and Now'.
From November 18 to December 6, a series of exhibitions are being held in different locations: Katara - the Cultural Village (until November 22), The Gate Mall (November 23-26), Hamad Bin Khalifa University (November 28 to December 1), and the QRCS headquarters (December 2-6).
The purpose of the event is to promote the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) culture and raise public awareness about the current humanitarian issues, such as education during armed conflicts, IHL and Islamic Shariah, and climate change.
Also, IHL workshops will be held, and a diverse collection of legal and humanitarian publications will be distributed to the visitors of the event.
Held at Katara’s Youth Hobbies Centre, the inauguration ceremony was attended by Ali bin Hassan al-Hammadi, secretary-general of QRCS; Edgar Doerig, ambassador of Switzerland to Qatar; Cherine Pollini, head of the Doha Mission of ICRC; and Dr Fawzi Oussedik, head of International Relations and IHL at QRCS.
In his speech, al-Hammadi said: "The embassy of Switzerland, the patron of the four Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, ICRC, the advocate of IHL, and we join hands to promote humanitarianism. With support from our local partners, Katara - the Cultural Village, The Gate Mall and HBKU, we are co-organising a humanitarian exhibition tour in Doha, until December 6, to promote key IHL principles and common human
values. Towards these noble goals, I officially announce the inauguration of the humanitarian exhibition tour, in recognition of these principles,
humanitarian workers, and their diverse impartial and neutral humanitarian efforts."
"One major value underlying QRCS’s work is to have the best interests of humanity everywhere at heart. Today, we try to show this commitment through the imagination and production of creative artists. I would like to thank everyone who made this exhibition a reality that engages the public in raising awareness about the mission and noble goals of humanitarian action."
Doerig said, "It is a great pleasure to welcome you all here at Katara, to jointly inaugurate the first of four launches of the contemporary art exhibition, 'Humanitarian Principles: Here and Now', with my colleagues and co-organisers of this event.
"This exhibition comes timely. Every day, we receive news headlines about humanitarian crises from around the world. In one way or another, they always affect the life of children. The images associated with these tragedies are often related to great suffering. Naturally, we sometimes feel helpless or overwhelmed by all these impressions. The contemporary art exhibition is a reaction to these feelings.
"The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), in collaboration with ICRC and the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland, gave carte blanche to 10 Swiss photographers to reflect on and illustrate the humanitarian principles – humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. Instead of looking at humanitarian crises head-on, the concept of the exhibition allows people to take a step back and pause, to think and to feel. The idea is to provide a space for discussion and debate about the humanitarian sphere and how it is changing."
Pollini said, "As the head of ICRC in Qatar, it is my pleasure to participate in this exhibition, curated by the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland, and organised in collaboration with QRCS and the Swiss embassy. I would like to thank QRCS for linking the exhibition
to education during armed conflicts, which will contribute to attracting attention to the need to protect education during armed conflicts or other situations of violence."
Dr Oussedik gave a brief overview of the seven fundamental principles governing international humanitarian action, as well as their implications and applications for humanitarian service providers, particularly in conflict zones.
Then, the attendees took a tour of the exhibition to watch the works of art.
The event will be open to the public at the Youth Hobbies Centre, Katara (Building 18), until November 22.