Qatar Museums (QM) chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani has urged local creatives to be part of Al Najadah’s transformation and apply for the open call. New members will then be joining “the growing community of creatives, partners and collaborators in this historic space”. Placed at the heart of Doha, the history of this cluster of houses which used to belong to modest Qatari families dates back to the 1930s. The open call focuses on reaching local and global audiences – finding the right members, partners, and collaborators – aimed at creating an inclusive and diverse community. The deadline is on August 31. “Once a humble neighbourhood, Al Najadah is now seeing a new lease of life as we work to transform it into a space for a new multidisciplinary community of emerging and established creatives focused on Qatar’s burgeoning new crafts: Contemporary Heritage, Culinary Arts and Digital Experiences,” HE Sheikha Al Mayassa posted on her social media pages. She also encouraged local creatives to visit Al Najadah’s open house on August 10. The event is set to present its vision, in addition to a tour through the district, which is just a walking distance from Souq Waqif and Mshereib. The culture of the past is represented by each design decision in this idyllic neighbourhood, which is now being prepared to host a creative community for the future. PICTURES: Qatar Museums and Al Najadah website Al Najadah is one of the city’s few remaining neighbourhoods that still features traditional architecture whilst retaining its original historical structure. It is comprised of 17 houses, one of which is a majlis (“sitting places”) where people used to gather to discuss collective needs and socialise). This cluster of courtyard homes that were once owned by modest Qatari households were later occupied by artisans who sold traditional goods and regional produce (source: https://alnajadah.qa/). Three key pedestrian streets and three significant public squares constitute the main areas where the public can pass by, which were used to delimit Al Najadah’s three main clusters. “Cultural heritage shapes values, beliefs and aspirations, defining a nation’s identity and representing a record of its human achievement. That is why we are committed to reviving Qatar’s heritage sites, such as Al Najadah, a cluster of beautiful, historic houses in the heart of Doha that date back to the 1930s,” HE Sheikha Al Mayassa said. Set to host a creative community of the future to preserve its artisan culture, Al Najadah aims “to become a crafts district that strives to blend social, economic and cultural elements in order to create an area that can empower creative businesses’ growth all while preserving the authenticity of the neighborhood environment and heritage structures. The district is just a walking distance from Souq Waqif and Mshereib. To achieve this goal, Al Najadah will offer an environment for collaboration and research between traditional artisans and contemporary artists, designers, and makers — all for the purpose of knowledge and cultural exchange. Al Najadah brings people together “to produce locally made, beautifully designed goods and to establish local brands in Qatar”. This regeneration project offers indoor spaces for potential tenants who want to establish their businesses. It is still renovating public spaces – designed as venues “to eat, rest, get inspired or just come together”. As part of the Al Najadah community, members can learn from others and share their knowledge or expertise, as well as forge partnerships and collaborations. Al Najadah seeks “to bring together those who have a shared desire to become pioneers in their industries and aim to flourish their businesses in a collaborative way”.