Qatar Japan 2012

The year 2012 marked 40 years of positive diplomatic relations between the State of Qatar and Japan. It was a significant milestone; in which both countries strengthened and built upon their friendship. In 2012, Qatar and Japan come together to celebrate 40 years of friendship.

There are several cultural pillars in Qatar, and together we have worked to promote our history in contemporary culture. Qatar has a lot of offerings – whether in music, dance, theater or museums exhibitions – there is always something to see and something to do.
Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani

SUMMARY

Under the initiative of H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani, the Office of Strategic Cultural Relations (OSCR) was established by the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) in November 2011 to organize a year-long program of cultural exchange between Qatar and Japan, in commemoration of 40 years of diplomatic ties. To this end, the OSCR developed the necessary processes, channels of communication, and relationships with +20 domestic and international organizations to program the calendar of events.


Launched on Dec 21, 2011 at the Qatar National Day reception in Tokyo, hosted by the Qatari Embassy in Tokyo, Qatar Japan 2012 hosted a series of exhibitions, activities, and events in the arts, cultural, sporting, and business sectors. Events took place in both countries, beginning in Doha, Qatar, with “EGO,” the largest Takashi Murakami exhibition in the Middle East, on February 9, 2012. The biggest event of the year, “Qatar Week: Ferjaan in Tokyo,” juxtaposed modern Qatari culture, initiatives, and achievements against a historically accurate representation of a souk, the traditional Arabic market place. Ferjaan had an astounding 22,000+ visitors over its 5-day duration.

In total, Qatar Japan 2012 held over 30 events in total and had more than 78,500 visitors.

EVENTS

QATAR JAPAN 2012 LAUNCH

The Qatar Japan 2012 year opened up with a reception at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. More than a thousand politicians, diplomats and prominent businessmen/woman attended.

QTA INTERNATIONAL FOOD FESTIVAL

Visitors at the third Taste and Fun Food Festival enjoyed scrumptious food from 65 of the best hotels, restaurants and cafes across the city.

TAKASHI MURAKAMI - EGO

Qatar Museums arranged for the first solo exhibition in the Middle East by Takashi Murakami. It lasted from February 9th to June 24th, 2012 at Al-Riwaq exhibition hall located on the grounds of the Museum of Islamic Art. The main theme of EGO was the ecstasy and anxiety of contemporary culture. Ego is the final chapter in a trilogy of exhibitions that have established Takashi Murakami as one of the most fascinating artists working today. Ego, curated by Massimiliano Gioni, featured more than 60 works from 1997 to the present which were loaned from leading international institutions and private collections, as well as several new works created especially for this show.

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WHEELS N HEELS

Reach Out to Asia organized the fifth Wheels n Heels family day at the Museum of Islamic Art Park in Doha.

JAPANESE STUDENT EXCHANGE PROGRAM

The Japanese student exchange program brought students from the tsunami-struck region to visit Qatar and take part in a number of activities, including ROTA’s Wheels n Heels, where they gave spectacular performances and got involved. 

WADIKO DRUM PERFORMANCE

As part of the 40 year anniversary celebration, the Japanese Embassy, in cooperation with Katara, organized a Taiko drum performance by Eitetsu Hayashi.

LECTURE ON KIMONO TRADITIONAL DANCE

The Japanese Embassy, in cooperation with the Qatar Museums, hosted a Japanese Kimono and Traditional Dance performance at the Museum of Islamic Art Auditorium.

PHOTO EXHIBITION ON THE RECOVERY FROM THE 3/11 EARTHQUAKE

The Japanese Embassy held a memorial photo exhibition on March 11th 2012 to commemorate the one year anniversary of the great East Japan Earthquake disaster.

THE SECRET OF ARABIAN MODE

EMPOWER CONFERENCE

ROTA’s Empower conference is an annual event and the first youth-led conference in Qatar to focus on equipping young people to take active roles in building their communities and have a voice on global issues. ROTA (Reach out to Asia) invited 4 college students and one teacher from Japan to the Empower Youth Conference as special guests.

DFI JAPANESE CINEMA SHOWCASE

This showcase highlighted the diversity and richness of Japanese cinematic history. Organized by the Doha Film Institute in association with the Museum of Islamic Art and the Japanese Embassy in Qatar, shows were held on the last Thursday and Friday of every month from March to September.

THE 4TH ANNUAL QATAR JAPANESE SPEECH CONTEST

The Embassy of Japan and the Japanese Teachers’ Association in Qatar (JALTAQ), in cooperation with the Qatar Museums Authority and Museum of Islamic Art, organized the 4th Qatar Japanese Speech Contest. This year, 20 students participated in the contest to show off their hard work and appreciation of the Japanese language. Nine of the twenty contestants won prizes and were presented with certificates from H.E. Ambassador Monji.

PEARLS: JEWELS FROM THE SEA

This exhibition showcased a wealth of natural pearls and pearl jewelry that demonstrate the formation of pearls and their complex relationship with societies throughout history.

QATAR WEEK: FERJAAN IN TOKYO

The spirit of Qatar Japan 2012 was best highlighted by Qatar Week: Ferjaan in Tokyo. Ferjaan, which means ‘neighborhood’ in colloquial Qatari Arabic, was village of over 1,200 m2 and a historically-accurate representation of a souq, the traditional Arabic market place. The event was tailored to give insight into modern-day Qatar and was launched by the graceful presence of H.I.H. Princess Takamado and H.E. Mr. Abdulla Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, Chairman of the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority, as well as other high ranking delegates from Qatar. 

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