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Thursday, March 4, 2021

Qatar-USA Year of Culture gets underway

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The Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture was launched on Friday paving the way for more cultural and artistic exchanges between the two nations.

To mark the beginning of the Qatar-USA 2021 year of culture, an event was held at Katara on Friday with Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums, and Greta Holtz the US ambassador to Doha as guests of honour. 

“The Year of Culture program provides an extraordinary framework within which our two nations can come together to celebrate our longstanding relationship and forge new connections through people-to-people exchanges,” said the US ambassador Greta C. Holtz.

The event follows the cooperative agreement signed between Doha and the Washington on September 14, 2020 during the 2020 Qatar-US Strategic Dialogue.

The launch featured a joint performance by Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO) and the US Air Forces Central Band (AFCENT Band).

Qatar’s ambassador to the United States Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani and the US Charge d’Affaires in Qatar Greta C. Holtz at the opening ceremony of the Year of Culture 2021

The concert was led by the international violin soloist, Joo Young Oh, who is also a member of the New York Philharmonic and was recently appointed as the Concertmaster of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.

Commenting on the concert, Sheikha Al Mayassa said, “Music truly is a universal language, speaking directly to the heart, as we learned once again through this stirring inaugural concert for the Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture. We expect this Year of Culture to deepen the understanding between the people of our two nations, expressing our shared humanity and strengthening the already substantial ties between Qatar and the United States.”

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The concert, which began with the national anthems of both countries, featured a variety of Qatari and American compositions.

“Nothing could better symbolize the Year of Culture’s spirit of harmony than this musical collaboration between the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra and the U.S. Air Forces Central Band,” the ambassador added.

The event hosted by Qatar Museums and the United States Embassy, was attended by prominent figures in the state such as the Minister of Culture and Sports Salah bin Ghanem Al Ali, the Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the United States Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani, Charge d’Affaires of United States Embassy in Qatar Greta C. Holtz and other national and international personalities. 

The launch declares the start of curated exhibitions, festivals, bilateral exchanges, and events to be held in both countries over the next twelve months.

“It is important to nurture arts and culture as they play a key role in uplifting the values of human dignity based on freedom, justice and the acceptance of others regardless of their colour, religion and ethnicity,” said Salah bin Ghanem Al Ali.

“Arts and culture assist in the continuous discovery and promotion of knowledge and, alongside religion and social values, can be used as effective tools to instil morality,” he pointed out.

Commenting on the opening, Aisha Ghanem Al Attiya, Head of Year of Culture, said, “These beautiful performances by the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra and U.S. Air Forces Central Band have given us our first experience of the rich and extensive slate of programs, exhibitions, and events planned over the next twelve months, as our platform for new dialogues and bilateral exchanges.”

The Year of Culture programme was first launched in 2012 with Qatar-Japan 2012 followed by Qatar-UK 2013, Qatar-Brazil 2014, Qatar-Turkey 2015, Qatar-China 2016, Qatar-Germany 2017, Qatar-Russia 2018, Qatar-India 2019, and Qatar-France 2020. 


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