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Packed audience for Lecture on Doha's living heritage

2 May 2013

doha-lecture

 An enthusiastic crowd of over 200 guests packed into the Museum of Islamic Art Auditorium for UCL Qatar's special public lecture entitled Doha: Past, Present and Future. Delivered by Dr Robert Carter, Senior Lecturer in Arab Archaeology at UCL Qatar, and Mr Tim Makowever, Makower Architects, the lecture provided insightful information to those hungry to learn more about the history and plans for the city of Doha.

Dr Carter noted that pre-oil archaeology still survives in parts of Old Doha today, and although much of it is buried underground, there is a great opportunity to learn more about the history of Doha and its inhabitants from this living heritage.

Tim Makower of Makower Architects, said that Doha’s old buildings are a treasure and of national importance. The architecture of the past has provided an inspiration for today’s urban living, and current architectural designs such as the Msheireb Project are “rooted in the past”. Although much of the old city has been cleared away as Doha expanded, enough earlier buildings are left in the central districts of Najada, Al Asmakh and Msheireb to show what architecture was like in the pre-concrete era. Such buildings should be carefully preserved, he said, and can take on a new lease of life as boutique hotels or retail outlets.  

The public lecture was the forerunner of a two-day workshop exploring Doha’s historical urban heritage taking place at UCL Qatar, bringing together experts from a range of disciplines to document Doha’s historical development, examine what remains of this living legacy and discuss the role “old Doha” has to play in the future formation of the city.