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Qatar tribune

Tribune News Network


The Centre for International and Regional Studies at Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) is collaborating with Msheireb Museums to host an international forum under the theme ‘Global Energy Cultures: How Energy Shapes Our Everyday Lives’ on December 9 and 10. As part of GU-Q’s signature Hiwaraat Conference Series, which continues to amplify regional perspectives on today’s pressing global challenges, the conference will explore the intricate relationship between energy and cultures, examining pathways toward sustainable practices.

This dynamic event will be a fusion of academic and artistic exchanges, featuring scholarly discussions, photography and art exhibitions, film screenings and talks with artists. The public is invited to participate in these activities, which will take place at Msheireb Museums’ four historic heritage houses in the heart of Msheireb Downtown Doha.

Dr Safwan Masri, dean of GU-Q, shared, “Reliant on technology, commerce and production, modern life would be unfeasible without a constant supply of energy in different forms. However, it is a misconception to confine energy to the economy and industry, disregarding its phenomenal implications for culture and society. Our next Hiwaraat conference, jointly organised with Msheireb Museums, explores the significance of energy in those contexts, bringing together not just scholars, but also practitioners and artists, to make academic research more accessible to the public.”

Abdullah Al Naama, acting general manager of Msheireb Museums, expressed, “At Msheireb Museums, our mission is to serve as a dynamic platform for the free and open presentation of academic research to the public. We take pride in creating an atmosphere that encourages accessible engagement and meaningful dialogue on contemporary issues, offering a fresh perspective on crucial topics. We are happy to be collaborating with Georgetown University in Qatar for this conference that showcases an important topic in alignment with our commitment to spark dialogue and raise awareness in the community.”

The conference will commence with sessions exploring household energy use and the broader energy landscape. A panel titled ‘Heritage Spaces and Energy Futures’ will feature Dr Hafiz Ali Abdulla, senior director of corporate communications at Msheireb Properties, and Dr Hiroki Shin from Queen’s University Belfast. Dr Shin’s current research project examines the roles of cultural and heritage institutions in society’s cultural adaptation to climate change.

A discussion titled ‘Decolonising Energy: Palestine and Beyond’ will feature Palestinian scientist and author Dr Mazin Qumsiyeh, founder and director of the Palestine Natural History Museum in Bethlehem, West Bank, the first and only museum of its kind in Palestine.

‘Architecture and Energy: A Dialogue with Practitioners’ will feature insights from Ibrahim Jaidah, an award-winning Qatari architect and author.

In other sessions, Zahra Babar, associate director of research at CIRS, GU-Q, will chair ‘Work and Workers: Towards Energy Justice’, while expert voices on the panel ‘Electrical Africa: Past, Present, Future’ will include Dr Damilola Olawuyi, UNESCO Chairholder on Environmental Law and Sustainable Development at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, and Dr Michelle Pressend, lecturer in environmental sociology at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Alongside insightful academic sessions over the two days, the ‘Global Energy Cultures’ forum will showcase the unique creative expressions of energy themes through conversations with writers, filmmakers, and other international artists. For the full programme and registration, visit the conference website at https://cirs.qatar.georgetown.edu/energy/.

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