Washington Spirit Players, “Women of the Pandemic” Artists Tour QAIC’s Headquarters

The Qatar America Institute for Culture (QAIC) recently hosted players from the Washington Spirit soccer team and artists from the “Women of the Pandemic” webinar for an exclusive tour of Transcendent Text: Exploring Universal Values through Islamic Calligraphy ahead of the exhibition’s closing on July 15.  

Featuring artworks by Iraqi master calligrapher Sabah Arbilli, Transcendent Text juxtaposes excerpts from United Nations documents with verses from the Qur’an to demonstrate the basic human rights we all share. The Washington Spirit athletes and “Women of the Pandemic” artists were led through the exhibition by QAIC staff as they examined Arbilli’s use of expressive brushstrokes and vibrant colors.  

Visitors also toured QAIC’s latest installation, the Perfumery Museum, a permanent, interactive exhibition dedicated to the history, culture, and science of scent. The group was challenged to “test their nose” through the museum’s interactive component, which asks visitors to guess various scents common to the Middle East.  

 At the end of the tour, the group enjoyed popular Qatari delicacies, including karak, sweet chai tea, and chapati, crepes flavored with za’atar seasoning or Nutella.  

 In February 2021, the Washington Spirit players took part in QAIC’s inaugural “Art of Athletics” festival to celebrate the intersection of sport and creativity. The three local artists joining Washington Spirit on the tour were featured in the webinar “Women of the Pandemic: Creativity in Quarantine,” which focused on the impact of COVID-19 on female artists in both the US and Qatar. Their work will be displayed as part of the upcoming Women of the Pandemic exhibition at QAIC’s headquarters.