The Art of Athletics Festival: Where Creativity and Athleticism Came Together


On February 9, 2021, QAIC hosted “The Art of Athletics Festival,” a celebration of creativity and athleticism with partners and friends from Qatar and the US; the Doha Film Institute (DFI), ConocoPhillips, America SCORES, the Washington Spirit team, and international composer, Dana Al Fardan. 

The Festival brought together creatives and athletes to explore and discuss the important role of sports in shaping culture and building community, and the how integrating the arts within it serves as a means for holistic development, self-expression, cultural exchange, and social impact.  

The program opened with remarks by QAIC and sponsor ConocoPhillips before shifting to DFI CEO Fatma Hassan Alremaihi and America SCORES national network president Bethany Henderson, followed by a panel discussion with filmmaker Michael Holstein, American SCORES coach Shanell Sharpe and members of the Washington Spirit soccer team moderated by Qatari composer and songwriter Dana Al Fardan. 

America SCORES national network president Bethany Henderson spoke on the North American organization that services youth in areas characterized by entrenched poverty. America SCORES uniquely combined soccer and poetry to engage and empower their students. Clips from the documentary Our Words Our Cities were played, helping the audience to further understand the power of intersecting sports and the arts. 

The final segment of the festival featured a panel discussion overseen by Qatari composer and songwriter Dana Al Fardan. She spoke with filmmaker Michael Holstein, American SCORES coach Shanell Sharpe and five members of the Washington Spirit soccer team: Dorian Bailey, Aubrey Bledsoe, Tori Huster, Paige Nielsen, and Sam Staab. The Washington Spirit team members had traveled to Doha as part of a cultural exchange that previewed the Qatar-US 2021 Year of Culture. Dana and the panelists spoke on the variety of self-expression explored through both sports and the arts, and panelists talked about their individual experiences within their respective organizations. 

For more information about the event, click here


Expressions Art & Culture Talk: "Msheireb: A New Heart for Doha"


Join us for our upcoming Expressions Art & Culture Talk with architectural writer Michael Webb on Tuesday, March 30 at 12 pm EST 

“Msheireb: A New Heart for Doha” will explore Msheireb, a new 7-acre urban development at the center of Doha. Michael Webb, the author of 25 books on architecture and design, will take audiences on a journey through this harmonious, human-scaled community, featuring housing, hotels, restaurants, retail and office spaces, museums, and mosques that are interwoven together and linked by an electric tram. It serves as a model for new development and sustainability throughout the region. Moderated by QAIC Advisory Committee member Dr. Dan Stoll, we invite you to join us for this lively discussion about the modern interpretation of a traditional Arab city.  


We Launched the Arab Film House Awards with the Doha Film Institute!


As part of the virtual Art of Athletics Festival hosted on February 9, QAIC and the Doha Film Institute (DFI) formally announced the launch of the Arab Film House Awards, a joint initiative with the goal of diversifying cultural perspectives and promoting under-represented voices through the medium of film.

The goal of the Arab Film House Awards program is to highlight the crucial role that cinema and film play in defining and bridging cultures through its recognition of works created by Arab or Arab-American filmmakers. As the theme for this year's awards is “Sport and Society,” the films selected will have illustrated the impact of sports on culture or how culture impacts sports playing in various communities.

As part of the AFH initiative, three of QAIC's Expressions Art and Culture Talks have been dedicated to the topic of film this year, the first beginning with Qatari filmmaker Khalifa Al Thani in January and the remaining two talks slated for later in the year. To further spotlight Arab films, QAIC also features a film by emerging filmmakers from the Arab world on the last Friday of every month as part of its #FilmFriday series (follow us on Instagram to see the selection each month).

For questions about this program, award deadlines, etc., please contact us using the form here.


Transcendent Text Exhibition Open for Private Group Tours


QAIC’s first exhibition in its new headquarters, “Transcendent Text: Exploring Universal Values Through Islamic Calligraphy,” is available to view both online as a virtual exhibition and via private tour. This 20-piece exhibit features the work of renowned Master Calligrapher and Sculptor, Sabah Arbilli, whose vibrant paintings perfectly merge the beauty of color and expression with the sacred art of Islamic calligraphy. Arbilli joined QAIC Executive Director Fatima Al-Dosari on December 11, 2020 for an Expressions webinar. You can hear what he had to say about the inspiration behind his work and his overall approach to his craft by viewing the video here.  

The exhibition is available to view online as a virtual exhibition that you can visit here. We also offer private tours of the physical exhibition for interested members of the media and cultural entities. By selecting an available time slot on the QAIC website page “Scheduling a Tour” visitors will be able to view the artworks while adhering to current COVID-19 guidelines. 

Do you know of any groups/individuals who would be interested in a private tour of the exhibition? Please let us know!


PostScript Submission

The newly launched PostScript initiative provides aspiring authors and writers the opportunity to share their unique perspectives on cultural and social topics relevant to QAIC’s mission for publication on QAIC platforms and outlets such as the upcoming A2Q magazine.

The call for submission for March will be focused on our themes of the month, architecture and olfactory arts. Contributors can range from established analysts, aspiring scholars, or students. If you would like to submit an original piece for publication, please closely follow our submission guidelines and submit it through the form on our website.  

QAIC Team Expands

QAIC is excited to announce the two newest additions to the QAIC team: Kelsey Canfield and Yousra Khalil! Kelsey is joining the team as Executive Assistant and will be providing support to QAIC's leadership and administrative efforts. Yousra is joining the Communications team as Communications Officer and will be assisting with QAIC's digital assets using web development and design.

Interested in joining our team? Learn more about fellowship, internship, and volunteer opportunities here.  


Hey'Ya Arab Women in Sports

Hey’Ya Arab Women in Sports, produced by the Qatar Museums Authority, is a collection of photographs taken by renowned photographer Brigitte Lacombe. Over a seven-month period in 2011, Lacombe traveled to twenty countries in the Gulf and North Africa to record the images and stories of seventy Arab sportswomen. Lacombe’s photographs were displayed during the 2012 London Olympics and have since been compiled into this volume.  

Through her photographs, Lacombe challenges misconceptions about Arab women in sports. Over the past few decades, female participation in sports in the MENA region has steadily increased. Today, Arab women compete in several fields of international competition - from swimming, to equestrian sports, to shooting. Lacombe hopes the athletes and stories behind her photographs will inspire young girls, particularly in the Arab region, to get involved in sport and adopt a healthy lifestyle.  

For more information on Hey’Ya Arab Women in Sports and how to purchase it, click here



Save the date and don’t miss Qumra 2021, now accessible to global audiences! Over the past six years, The Doha Film Institute’s Qumra initiative has been a one-of-a-kind professional incubator crucial to the success of filmmakers from the Arab world and beyond. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the 2021 edition of Qumra will be fully celebrated online. 

​​​​​​More information, including the schedule of events and how to register, is available through DFI’s website here.


The America SCORES documentary, Our Words Our Cities, will be available to watch on Amazon Prime. This dynamic, engaging, and enlightening documentary follows a nationwide poetry slam series that showcases the voices of inner-city children. The film is a dive into the evolution of poetry told through the voices of the poet-athletes and provides a real-time look at the struggles faced by children brought on by elevating racial injustice and violence in America during a global pandemic.


Become a Sponsor

As a sponsor, QAIC can continue to develop meaningful expressions and experiences, functioning as a bridge spanning the cultures of the United States, Qatar, and the larger Arab and Islamic worlds. It is through the continued support from sponsors that QAIC is able to create inclusive experiences that highlight humanity’s similarities while delighting in the diversity of our differences, thus improving cross-cultural understanding.

It is with your contribution that together we can create impact by giving QAIC the resources to become a trusted partner and art and culture catalyst by increasing awareness, creating harmony, and fostering human creativity in society in multiple ways.


Join Our Community

As a member, you become part of the extended QAIC family. With this annual membership, you will receive a more involved QAIC experience complete with additional in-depth content and unique offerings catered to our members.

These offerings include priority access to exclusive engagements with featured guests, intimate receptions with visiting artists, and other annual benefits to better serve you as a platform for cultural and creative enrichment.



The Qatar America Institute for Culture (QAIC) is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that creates, curates, and executes programs and research that amplify the prominence of all forms of art and culture from the United States, Qatar, and the larger Arab and Islamic worlds.


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