Unity Meets Liberty: Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture 

The “Years of Culture” initiative, spearheaded by Qatar Museums (QM), is an annual series of bilateral cultural exchange programs with a partner country aiming to convey Qatar to an international audience. The cultures and societies of both countries will be explored through festivals, educational programs, and cultural exchanges, with the goal to promote mutual understanding, appreciation, and celebration of contemporary and traditional Qatari and world cultures.  

The official logo of Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture was unveiled in December 2020 and featured two prominent landmarks from the United States and Qatar: representing Qatar is the Al Wahda Arches at Interchange 5/6, while the USA is represented by the Statue of Liberty.   

The Qatar America Institute for Culture (QAIC) is proud to join as a partner of the Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture program. QAIC will be providing digital and in-person art and culture programming to promote the heritage and crossovers that tie the two nations together.  


Art of Athletics Festival

On February 9th, 11 am – 12:30 pm, EST via a virtual webinar (Zoom) - Join the Qatar America Institute for Culture (QAIC) for a unique virtual celebration at the intersection of culture, creativity, and athleticism. QAIC is joined in this celebration by partners and friends from Qatar, the Doha Film Institute (DFI), and International Composer, Dana Al-Fardan, alongside American partners, ConocoPhillips, America SCORES, and the Washington Spirit team.  

This event will feature various initiatives and efforts led by each partner. From announcing QAIC and DFI’s joint award program, the Arab Film House Awards, honoring Arab filmmakers with films on sports and society, attendees, especially young audiences, will be treated to interactive and engaging sessions from both Qatar and the US.  

Attendees will also preview special clips of the newly premiered documentary by America Scores, Our Words Our Cities, as well as a conversation between Dana Al-Fardan and Washington Spirit athletes on how art and culture serve as sources for inspiration and empowerment, both on and off the field.  


"The Next Generation of Filmmaking" with Khalifa Al-Thani

On January 22, 2021, QAIC hosted a webinar “The Next Generation of Filmmaking” featuring Qatari filmmaker Khalifa Al-Thani. The conversation was moderated by QAIC’s Executive Director Fatima Al-Dosari. The conversation began with clips of some of Khalifa’s films prior to joining the Doha Film Institute before shifting to discuss his thematic influences and his experience studying in New York City. Khalifa spoke to his lifelong love of storytelling, how he has developed his voice as a filmmaker, and his upcoming film "Border", which has experienced delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In his role with DFI, Khalifa was part of the team that adapted the 2020 Ajyal Film Festival to meet safety precautions while continuing to support Arab voices. He is excited by the growing trend of professional Arab female filmmakers and increasing educational opportunities offered at Qatari universities. The webinar closed with Khalifa offering advice to aspiring Arab and Qatari filmmakers: listen to whatever criticism you receive and engage in hands-on learning as much as possible. Stay authentic to your stories and trust your intuition and creativity.  


Take a look back at 2020 with QAIC's year in review


Transcendent Text: Open For Private 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 February will be focused on our theme of the month, Sports and Society. 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

Join us in welcoming our new members to the QAIC team! Marc Hitzig joins QAIC as the Director of Operations. Lyndsey Medlin joins the Programs team as the Senior Officer for Programs and Communications with the new Director of Programs, Sara Al-Hemaidi. Alison Tyler joins the Comms team as Communications Officer under Director of Communications, Cedric Craig. In February, we will be joined by fellows Maryam Al Beshri and Anusheh Zaman, and Alisa Grishin will join as QAIC’s newest intern. 


Arab Cinema: History & Cultural Identity

Viola Shafik’s Arab Cinema: Historical and Cultural Identity is an indispensable work for scholars of film and the contemporary Middle East. Arab Cinema provides a comprehensive overview of cinema in the Arab world by utilizing economic, ideological, and aesthetic to create a thought-provoking analysis. It provides a comprehensive overview of cinema in the Arab world, tracing the industry’s development and analyzes the ambiguous relationship with commercial western cinema.  

The current edition has been updated to reflect cultural shifts in the last two decades and contains a new afterward highlighting the latest developments in popular and art-house filmmaking, with a special focus on Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, and the Gulf States. This new edition explores problematic issues such as European co-production for Arab art films, including their relation to cultural identity in the region and internationally, and introduces readers to some of the most compelling cinematic works of the last decades.  

For more information on this book and where to purchase it, click here. 


Book of the month provided by:


America SCORES, QAIC’s Art of Athletics partner, premiered their Our Words Our Cities documentary on Thursday, January 14. 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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