In celebrating America’s independence, QAIC’s Executive Director, Fatima Al-Dosari participated in a virtual panel with the U.S. Embassy in Qatar and the American Women’s Association in Qatar. The celebratory panel was hosted by Qatar’s popular community outreach initiative BigBMeetUp, a weekly YouTube series hosted by Bosco Menezes.
During this panel, Cultural Affairs Specialist and lead on the Qatar-USA Year of Culture, Tracy Castro Aguilar, from the U.S. Embassy in Doha talked about the history of the United States. This year marked America’s 245th year of independence. Giving the audience some insight into Fourth of July festivities in the U.S., Tracy stated that:
“On July 4th, 1776, our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, which announced the independence of the United States. We celebrate in the U.S. by participating in parades, going to events like concerts, and my personal favorite having a barbecue with family and friends. At night we gather at parks and public places to watch fireworks. […] It really is just a large celebration of family, friends, and ideals.”
Additionally, Elizabeth Yaw, President of the American Women’s Association of Qatar (AWA), shared the history of the organization. Founded in 1979, the AWA is for all women living in Doha, Qatar.
“The AWA is an organization that promotes friendship and fellowship amongst female members from all nations. Our mission is to foster and encourage social, educational, and cultural activities within the community. […] The AWA is also involved in many community engagement activities such as work at local hospitals and Qatar Museums and many more.”
Born and raised in Qatar, Fatima Al-Dosari, as a representative of QAIC, discussed her vision for the Institute and how it all came about.
“I moved to the U.S. for my graduate studies and went to Georgetown’s Communication, Culture, and Technology program and in my research, I wanted to enrich the current literature on Qatar. My research focused on the intersection between culture and technology, specifically on the relationship between tribal identity and social media. […]. From my graduate studies onward, I was optimistic to share about Qatar and the region in a different lens. There are many misconceptions and stereotypical views. Throughout my academic career and after graduation, one of the biggest draw points to DC is that it is rich with museums. I wanted to have something that represents me, an organization that represents my identity as a young Muslim, Arab woman. I was seeking to establish the first Arab contemporary museum or gallery. I stumbled upon QAI, which over the last year revolutionized into QAIC, a 501(c)(3) cultural nonprofit organization. I have come full-circle, from being a student with passion and turning that passion into a career.”
Fatima went on to discuss how QAIC’s impact has been beyond the DC area, from overseas to various cities in the United States. QAIC has been one of the few organizations to champion the Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture. Much of QAIC’s programming this year has been drawing parallels between Qatar and the U.S. As the “bayt” (home in Arabic) of Qatari and American creatives, QAIC invites everyone to partake and join its programming and events through its social media handle @qataramerica.