What I love the most about this award is that it takes into account the usage of local materials. It’s also something I love about The Pearl development; all those buildings and villas built on the rubble carted away from earlier demolition projects and turned into reclaimed land. Re-cycling to the max!
Museum of Islamic Art bags architecture award
Web posted at: 10/6/2009 1:19:1
Source ::: The PENINSULA
Dubai: Museum of Islamic Art in Doha was awarded “Overall Project of the Year” at the 2nd Annual Middle East Architect Awards.
Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) was presented with the award, for the Museum of Islamic Art – Doha, at a ceremony hosted by the Middle East Architect magazine.
The annual ceremony is the most prestigious event dedicated to recognise outstanding architectural projects in the region.
The Museum of Islamic Art was chosen for its traditional design principles that use indigenous materials and processes and integrates them with contemporary technology to create familiar, functional and environmentally sustainable architecture.
Accepting the award on behalf of QMA, Omar Chaikhouni, Manager of Public Relations and Information said: “We are delighted and honoured to be recognised as the top overall project in 2009 among all the nominees from the region. The Middle East Architect awards ceremony is a great initiative and we wish it all the success in years to come.”
Organised by ITP Business Publishing, the lavish awards ceremony took place at the Westin Dubai with the presence of more than 200 leading professionals from the region’s architecture industry, including architects, developers, service providers, contractors and building owners.
The 2nd Annual Middle East Architect Awards set out to raise the profile of the industry and reward and recognise those that have made significant contributions to its development.
Ten awards were presented at the ceremony in categories that covered a number of fields, from infrastructure project of the year to mixed-use development of the year, and from engineering firm of the year to architect of the year.
The winners were judged by a panel of experts, which consisted of industry-leading academics, architects and engineers from around the Middle East.
I LOVE what Yousef did. It’s a slow Saturday, nothing much going on. If you want a crack at this photo, take it. Play with it. Send it back to me, show us what you’ve done. Keep it clean.
is that a WOW or what?
So . . . I don’t have all these tools. Go for it. The shot is in the Eid morning photos you will find here so have some fun with it.
I arrived in Seattle just in time. My dearest, oldest friend’s father died as I was en route, and the service was this week. On a cold and dreary day, fortunately I had a dark dress with me, and I quickly ran and bought stockings, which are so irrelevant in the heat and humidity of August in Doha, and so necessary for a relatively formal occasion in Seattle.
Last night, we got together and walked, something we have done through the years, and then grabbed a bite to eat. We walked along Sunset Avenue, in Edmonds, just as the sun was setting.
In one of the yards, we saw this wonderful tarted-up piece of driftwood:
The light was glorious:
I can’t let friends or family come to Doha without a trip to the serene beauty of the Doha Museum of Islamic Art. Little Diamond was content to view the exhibits at her own speed, so I visited a few of my favorite friends:
I never tire of spending time with Iznik Tiles
There is an Iranian piece that bowls me over with its beauty
And I just have this thing for light fixtures. This is a mosque lamp, and I think it is Turkish
But oh, look at the interior of the museum itself:
There is a breathtaking view of the Corniche Skyline from the spot where, on the map, they say the coffee shop should be. It really needs a coffee shop there. The restrooms are immaculate, the gift shop has lovely items, the exhibits are lush and beautiful, but you need a place to sit and think about what you’ve seen, compare notes, recharge so you can go back and take another look at something you are wondering about. It really, really needs that coffee shop.
I can’t let Little Diamond leave Doha without one more visit to the Souk al Waqif. She used to go with me in the old days, when the souk was really really really HOT, and stuffy, and even a little dirty, and the pathways were dark and potholed, so you could easily trip or fall down. Some people I would take loved the place, some didn’t want to set foot inside. It was considered dangerous, and off limits to the military folk.
I miss the scribes. I miss the shoemakers. I miss the little hardware stalls, where when I would ask for masonry nails, 3/4″, they would take me by my sleeve to the man who sold masonry nails. It was a sweet souk then.
It is a WOW souk now. Many of the vendors are the same, even though some have gone missing. There is still the canvas sailmaker, and the fishing supplies man, and the bird souk. There is still the HUGE kitchen souk, and I don’t mean it is a large store, I mean it is a store for giant people, who cook in pots the size that a grown man or woman – or both – could hide in!
When we lived in Jordan, we used to be invited to feasts, Mensefs, a huge rice dish, served with goat most often, sometimes chicken, rarely lamb or mutton (sheep) if it was a really really special occasion on huge round trays. The trays in the Souk Al Waqif would probably serve twenty men at one time, they are so huge.
People say you can’t stop progress. When we lived in Doha the last time, the municipality put in meters for paid street parking. Qatteris were so outraged that the meters were ripped back out without ever being used. I wonder where all those hundreds of unused parking meters ended up?
Today there is a story in the paper about paid parking going in at the Souq al Waqif, and they quote five or six people who are wildly enthusiastic about the idea and all I can wonder is . . . where did they find people who would publicly say they were in favor of PAYING for parking that they always have had for free? The article says that now they will have less competition from large trucks, but when we are there at congested times, it is normal everyday SUV’s and family goat-trucks that are competing for the parking spaces. I wonder if the public perception has changed so much in five years that people are now openly praising paid parking?
It isn’t costly. It’s going to be like 3QR – less than a dollar. It also isn’t covered, and when you park your car in the lot, it is hotter than anything you can imagine when you come out, even if it is only 0930 and only been sitting there for an hour. The best time to go is night, during these hot summer months, and even so – the place is hopping. Even on a week night, there are so many good restaurants down in the Souk al Waqif restaurant row that it is a go-to place for a dinner out.
We tried the Tagine, as we all like Moroccan Food.
The greeting was warm, and the service was attentive.
The food was excellent. Now I have an admission to make, one I have had to make frequently – I forgot to take a photo when the food was served, so all you can see is the mostly eaten remains. I am so sorry, sincerely sorry, but it smelled SO good, and we were SO hungry.
We sat overlooking the souks. There is a wonderful terrace for outdoor dining, but it is just a little too hot and humid for us to enjoy eating outside right now. We can hardly wait for October, when those cooler breezes start blowing.
These are the pre-starter nibbles, delicious olives, a tangy spicy Harissa paste, and delicious fresh-baked bread that melts in your mouth:
We ordered the mixed hot starters, which all disappeared before I thought to take a photo, and Little Diamond had the Addas (lentil) soup, also very good, also not photographed. We had the Moroccan Salad and Zaalouk, an eggplant/ tomato salad we adore. Yep. We were so hungry I forgot to take photos.
AdventureMan ordered Chicken With Slim Bread because we had never heard of it before and it sounded interesting. It was good. He shared with me. He also chose the CousCous with 7 Vegetables, because when we lived in Tunisia, we were told traditionally it was always supposed to have seven vegetables (and one was always squash, and there were always garbanzo beans, and there was always tomato, and pretty much always carrot – it was always a very vegetable-y dish). It doesn’t sound like we ordered that much, but it was so delicious, and so filling, that it there was food left over.
The bill was reasonable. Wine and beer are not available, and that keeps the totals lower. We rolled ourselves back to the car, already planning our next trip to his delightful restaurant.
Once the sun goes down, the heat isn’t so bad. The Souq Al Waqif is so much fun at night. Everyone goes there – the locals, the expats, the tourists – it thrills my heart to see a public space so well loved, so well used. There are some very cool art spots going in, too!
One of my good friends told me there is a blog in Arabic that talks about searching for a restaurant I had written about in Mubarakiyya, only to find out it was in Doha. The blogger had invited guests. I felt so bad. So I will add this: WARNING WARNING THIS RESTAURANT IS IN DOHA, QATAR, NOT IN KUWAIT!
The Doha Museum of Islamic Art is open during the hottest part of the day. It must be that everyone else is travelling, or at home having lunch, taking a snooze or that they don’t know the museum is open – we had almost the entire museum to ourselves, and we felt like honored guests!
The museum is just beautiful, as beautiful as before. This time, without the crowds of people, I really had time to appreciate the interior, the beauty of the materials that went into this building, and the sound of water throughout, making you feel cool and refreshed.
And then, there is that never-ending view of the Doha skyline, seen through the windows overlooking the Gulf:
It just boggles my mind that we are encouraged to take photos, that photos are not forbidden. I love this photo; I am sorry it is not so sharp but if I had used a flash, I would have spoiled the moment. These two men had no idea I was taking their photo; I figure it is OK because you don’t know who they are, you can’t see their faces. I just loved these grizzled warriors examining an even earlier warrior.
I tried so hard not to breathe, still, there was some shake. Sometimes the shot you get is the shot you get.
These tiles draw me back to the museum again and again; I love the intersection of cross and star:
I used it in placemats for my mother, and in a quilt for my youngest sister:
The pattern still draws me, and I have some other ideas of how to use it . . .
If you have ever thought of visiting this museum, oh WOW, the summer is the time to do it at your leisure. It is quiet, and cool and calm; you can stop and reflect on the beauty of the collected pieces, you are not rushed, there is no one around but you and the guards. Go now! It is the perfect time to visit.
It’s also free. It’s free, it’s open to the public for free, no charge, just come enjoy the beauty. What an amazing gift to the people of Qatar. And to the rest of us!
Thanks to my friends in the Kuwait Textile Arts Association for passing this along:
Every time I go to Mubarakiyya, I see something I haven’t seen before. We found some scenes in the meat market – see if you can find them.
It almost always takes me a little while to get into Eliot Pattison’s books, and I can figure out why. He sets you down right in the middle of something going on, so you start off a little confused. You can read each of his Inspector Shan Tao Yun books as a stand-alone, but it helps to have read them in order – as I have.
Even though I have read them in order, I still find myself disoriented each time I start a new book. New names, a new situation, and it takes a few pages to get back in the rhythm of thinking about things in a new way. Within thirty pages, I am in a new world, and I am totally addicted. When I am reading one of the Inspector Shan Tao Yun books, I can hardly wait to get back to the book. My household chores suffer, my projects suffer – even AdventureMan suffers, as I seek to return to Tibet, the Tibetan Monks and the world of Chinese bureaucracy.
One of the things I love in this book – we saw a hint of it in the last book I reviewed, Bone Mountain – is that the worst of the bad characters can have a hint of humanity, and develop a full-blown redemption, as we are watching happen with the prison warden, Captain Tan. The process continues in Beautiful Ghosts. In this book, Pattison strikes several additional chords – he combines a good mystery with art, art thefts, public art and a little bit of history, a family reunion, father-son problems, and a lot of action. I’m a happy reader.
In Beautiful Ghosts, a murder happens, but it is hard to understand, at first, who was murdered, why the murder was committed, where the murder was committed as well as who committed the murder. One answer leads to another, and ultimately, to long buried treasures and long kept secrets.
A great tickle, for me, is that in this book Inspector Shan Tao Yun goes to my home town, Seattle, which he finds very strange, and grey and rainy. Pattison describes Chan’s bewilderment at how Americans live, and as Chan leaves Seattle, he comments on how he has not seen the sunshine in his entire time visiting there, working in co-ordination with an FBI office trying to track down some missing and stolen Tibetan art pieces, stolen from the hidden monasteries by corrupt Chinese bureaucrats.
Shan still stood, studying the strange buildings and the dozens of people who were wandering in and out of the open doorways off the huge main hall. There were shops, he realized, dozens of shops, two floors of shops. When he looked toward Corbett, the American was already ten feet in front of him. Shan followed slowly, puzzling over everything in his path. Adolescents walked by, engaged in casual conversation, seemingly relaxed despite the brass rings and balls that for some reason pierced their faces. He looked away, his face flushing, as he saw several women standing in a window clothed only in underwear. He saw more, nearly identical women, in another window adorned in sweaters and realized they were remarkably lifelike mannequins. One of the sweaters was marked at a few cents less than three hundred dollars, more than most Tibetans made in a year.
“Why did you bring me here?” Shan asked, as Crobett led him into a coffee shop and ordered drinks for both of them. “This place of merchants.”
“I thought you’d want to see America,” Corbett said with an odd, awkward grin, gesturing to a table, then sobored. “And this is where Abigail worked, before getting the governess job. People here knew her, told me stories about her, made her real for me.”
. . . .
Shan began to marvel at the rain itself. Beijing was a dry place, most of Tibet a near desert. He had not experienced so much rain since he was a boy, living near the sea. There were many qualities of American rain, and many types of rain clouds. One moment they were in a driving rain, like a storm, the next in a shower, the next in a drizzle that was little more than a thick fog. Once the water came down so violently, in such a sudden wind, that it struck at the car horizontally. . . .
You learn so much reading Eliot Pattison, more than I can absorb! There are detailed art works, there are geographic features, there are Buddhist customs, there are bureaucratic networks, there are mysteries of Chinese history and dynasties. There are tribal customs and learning to think like Tibetan monks.
Eliot Pattison is a gifted and poetic writer. If you like mysteries that turn out to be very complicated and which teach you a lot about a culture you have never experienced (or would like to learn more about) I would suggest you start at the beginning. These are the books about Inspector Chan in chronological order:
These are not part of The Great Kuwait Market Magic Challenge. (If you haven’t voted, please go there and vote for your favorite.) These are photos I take to document what places “used to look like.” In Germany, I took photos, but twenty years later I could take the same exact photo. Most of the buildings built a couple hundred years ago are still standing – even some built three or four hundred years ago still have the same foundations (and problems with seepage, etc. )
Not so in places like Kuwait and Doha. You look away for a second and something is gone. Can anyone tell me where the Tarek Rajab Museum store has gone? Do they have a new location? It used to be in Salmiyya; the last time I took people there – it was gone. Just gone! And entire block of stores has disappeared.
So here, for posterity, are some photos I have taken of Mubarakiyya Market, because I love the quirkiness of the place and because there is some really interesting public art there. Also, because so many of my readers are in schools across the US and Europe, and they are hungry to see what different places look like.
Delicious olives, every one different!
I am totally addicted to these dried pomegranate seeds, which are also called anardana:
These portraits of two different butchers show such individuality. These are not some stylized ideographs; these portraits give the impression of being real butchers. I wonder if I could find the originals and stand them next to their portraits?
Look at these painted carpets! They lift the entire mood of this utilitarian area. Look how bright and clean this area is, easily washed down, entirely of tiles and washable surfaces:
Look how this artist extended his painting to include the store on the right:
Where does anyone else sell slingshots these days? I fear for the poor market cats, when young men get their hands on these.