Modern Prayer Rug Design Competition

In support of the creative vision of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), the Materials Library at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar is pleased to sponsor a Modern Prayer Rug Design Competition. The competition challenges students from across Qatar to reimagine the Islamic prayer rug using traditional or unconventional materials, while honoring the richness and the values of Islamic culture and heritage. All entrants will have the opportunity to work with the professional staff and the materials collections of the VCUQatar Art and Design Library and the VCUQatar Materials Library in order to identify innovative and interesting materials for their rug designs.


The six finalists have been selected and are currently working with the staff of the Materials Library to develop prototypes for their rugs.  Please watch this space to learn more about the six finalists and to read further updates on the process of creating the prototypes.

  • Aaqifa Altaf
  • Ahmed Al Nowfal and Massa Jamili
  • May Makia
  • Maryam Al-Semaitt and Nawar Al-Mutlaq
  • Neihan Yaqoob and Sultana Jesmine 
  • Sidra Sohail


In addition to a monetary prize, the Modern Prayer Rug Design Competition offers the top finalists the opportunity to create a prototype of their rugs for local, regional and/or international exhibitions. The finalists selected for prototypes will have access to the VCUQatar Art and Design Library and the Materials Library in order to realize the creation of their work.


Entry applications accepted: May 11, 2017

Entry deadline: June 17, 2017

Announcement of finalists: June 26, 2017

Finalists' prototypes due: September 2017

Grand prize announcement: September 2017

Prototypes on public exhibit: October 2017

(Prototypes may be exhibited for local, regional and/or international exhibitions): Fall 2017 - Spring 2018

For more information, please contact:

Amy Andres
Director of Libraries
Virginia Commonwealth University, Qatar


Abdul Rahman Anwar
Materials Curator
Virginia Commonwealth University, Qatar

Click here to enter the competition