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14 February, 2011

VCUQatar Presents IHPE Qatar 2010 Exhibition

The Graphic Design Department at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar presents the IHPE (International Heritage Photographic Experience) Qatar 2010 exhibition with an opening reception on Tuesday, 15 February, 2011 at 6:00 PM at the Saffron hall at VCUQatar.

For the second consecutive year, the Graphic Design Department at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar launched the IHPE 2010 experience competition in February, 2010. Young students from nine different universities and schools in Doha submitted substantial number of photographs on monumental heritage in Qatar. The jurors, professional photographers and educators, selected three photographs to represent the country in the IHPE international event in Spain. The prize-winning images succeeded in showcasing creatively the essence of the past found in the nation’s architecture and monuments.

The prize-winning image by Nouf Al-Kuwari from Calgary University in Qatar carried the value of the old architectural façade at Souk Waqif, a historical place that witnessed commerce activities in the past. Nowadays, Souk Waqif (standing market in Arabic) is a place where cultural activities, exotic restaurants, and local and international visitors are making the place hybrid.

A panoramic view from Souq Waqif was the content of the second prize-winning image by Maha Al-Darwish from Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. The lower part of the image is occupied with construction whereas the upper piece focuses on a minaret. In the past, the Imam went up the minaret to make the call to prayer so that it would be heard throughout the city. Nowadays, thanks to technology, microphones are used for the call to prayer,” said Ms Al-Darwish.

The last prize-winning image by Hajar Al-Khayarin from Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar shows a minaret of the masjid (mosque) inside an old palace in Al-Rayyan, Doha. In the old days, people in Qatar used to build mosques inside their palaces or next to their residences.

The organizing committee and the jurors of the IHPE in Qatar would like to congratulate all the participants and their universities, schools or institutions for taking part in this yearly photographic experience. “The IHPE 2010 project happened to blend in with the cultural environment in Qatar, with the country being the capital of Arab Culture in 2010, and all the cultural activities that were brought to the heart of the country,” said Diane Mikhael, assistant professor in Graphic Design at VCUQatar and the IHPE coordinator in Qatar. “The IHPE Qatar experience seeks to encourage the youth in Qatar to freeze a moment of history, tradition, nostalgia or admiration through their photos of monumental heritage in Qatar. With this project, we are contributing in evoking the awareness of the valuable heritage of the country and the necessity to protect it, so people can learn about it,” she added.

Based in Spain, IHPE has assigned VCUQatar and its Graphic Design Department, through the IHPE coordinator in Qatar, Ms Mikhael, to host and launch this annual Photographic Project under the theme: Heritage in Qatar, and to circulate the project brief among education institutions in the country. The aim is to promote Qatar's rich heritage through creative photographs taken by the youth in this country so that they discover Qatar's monumental heritage and learn to value it and love it.

Every year, the winning photographs are published in a catalogue and students whose photographs have been selected receive a certificate at a ceremony in the Palace of Europe in Strasbourg. An exhibition of all the prize-winning photographs is also hosted by each of the participating countries. 59 countries with around 200 photos are represented in the 2010 IHPE catalogue. Qatar received more than 300 creative shots and three were selected by the jury for submission.

‘The IHPE Qatar 2010’ exhibition opens on Tuesday, 15 February at 6:00 PM at the Saffron hall at VCUQatar. The event is open to the public.

Nouf Al-Kuwari’s prize winning entry which shows the value of the old architectural façade at Souk Waqif

Another prize-winning image by Hajar Al-Khayarin shows a minaret of the masjid (mosque) inside an old palace in Al-Rayyan

A panoramic view from Souq Waqif by Maha Al-Darwish, the other prize-winning entry