VCUarts Qatar Alumni Participate in High-Level Event to Mark International Museum Day

June 13, 2024
Alumni, Othman Khunji, participating in a panel discussion with other other individuals at the 3-2-1 Olympic and Sports Museum in Doha, Qatar.

From panel discussions to workshops, our graduates helped make the Qatar Museums’ event a highly successful and engaging one.

Othman Khunji, Assistant Director of Recruitment and Admissions at VCUarts Qatar, and an MFA in Design alumnus of the University, was one of the many VCUarts Qatar alumni who participated in an event held at 3-2-1 Olympic and Sports Museum to mark International Museum Day, which falls on May 18.

Khunji was part of a high-level panel discussion titled ‘Building Society Through Education’. The other panelists were Mr Abdulla Yousuf Al Mulla, Director, Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum; Latifa Al Mughaseb, Ph.D. Head, Visual Arts Department, Qatar University; and Sara Al Harrami Ph.D. Early Education Department, Ministry of Education.

Othman Khunji speaking during a panel discussion.
Othman Khunji as part of the panel discussion during the event.

The event was attended by senior officials and representatives from various embassies and several international not-for-profit organizations, including UNICEF. 

The discussion was part of a broader theme, ‘The Power of Museums in Building a Sustainable Future’. 

In the discussion, Khunji talked about the symbiotic relationship that VCUarts Qatar, as an educational institution, shares with the community. 

He said, “VCUarts Qatar is part of Qatar’s cultural landscape. For that reason, I would say the vision and mission of the University and Qatar Museums go hand in hand; we’re two ends of the spectrum. We have students who spend four years studying at VCUarts Qatar, and then they bloom and mature into the roles they choose to take on in society. I myself graduated from VCUarts Qatar with an MFA and I’ve worked at Qatar Museums in the past. When I arrived here today, I was pleasantly surprised to see other VCUarts Qatar alumni working in various sectors play key roles in making this event a success.”

The panel discussion took place as part of 3-2-1 Olympic and Sports Museum’s International Museum Day.

Khunji, who also teaches at the University of Doha for Science and Technology, shared suggestions on how the reciprocal relationship between museums and educational institutions could be enhanced further. 

“Students at educational institutions such as VCUarts Qatar, and University of Doha for Science and Technology would always benefit from more frequent visits by Qatar Museums experts and specialists. Likewise, offering students opportunities to ‘shadow’ Qatar Museums officials as they go about their daily operations will give them a glimpse of the practical side of museum operations. In that regard, it would be inspiring if alumni from universities based in Qatar themselves gave tours to students. After all, there’s nothing more motivating for a student than seeing where he or she might possibly be a few years down the road,” he said.

VCUarts Qatar alumna Shaikha Ali Al Marri, a BFA in Graphic Design graduate and former Youth Advisor to the Minister of Culture and Sports, welcomed the gathering and moderated one of the three panel discussions held during the event. 

Another VCUarts Qatar alumna, Noor Al Melhim, who graduated with an MFA in Design and a BFA in Graphic Design from the University, conducted a workshop on traditional and modern pottery for school students, at the event. Al Melhim, a well-known interdisciplinary Qatari designer who showcased her work at Milan Design Week 2024, currently works as a Clay Lab Consultant at Liwan Design Studios and Labs in Doha.