Press Release

Qatar Museums Officially Unveils Fereej Al Najada's “Back to the Future: Pop-up Studios”

24 October 2022

As part of Qatar Creates, the year-round national cultural movement that curates, promotes, and celebrates the diversity of cultural activities in Qatar, and in celebration of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, Qatar Museums has announced the opening of Fereej Al Najada, Qatar's newest Fereej (village) for the creative industry with Back to the Future: Pop-up Studios.

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From 24 October 2022 to 23 January 2023, Fereej Al Najada will host Qatar-based creatives in seven heritage houses, during which time they have the opportunity to promote their artistic expression to the World Cup audience through open studios, art exhibitions, digital installations, and retail stores.

The activation, curated by Fereej Al Najada’s director Fahad Al Obaidly, aims to spark dialogue on Qatar’s creative history, displaying what the Qatari creative medium was, what it is, and what it may become.

“We worked hard to respect the original architecture and character of Fereej Al Najada. Our main goal was to honour the communities that lived and grew between those walls during the last century, bringing the village back to life for Qatar’s community to connect with the past”, Al Obaidly said.

Abdullatif Al Jasmi, the Director of Cultural Heritage Protection led Qatar Museum’s effort to revive the area and to preserve it for future generations.

Al Jasmi said: “Al Najada was once a living, thriving neighbourhood full of memories, incidents, and events, but that is a story that has come to end. To truly preserve that part of our history, we restored the buildings, and gave them new stories to tell. Through adaptive reuse of the heritage buildings in Al Najada, we are writing a new chapter in the tale of this district, which celebrates the history and the ethos of the area, while providing inspiration to the creative community.”

Visitors’ Experience

Visitors will experience an authentic Qatari neighbourhood, its historical architecture and design, and the craft of Qatar-based talents.

After entering the village’s traditional majlis, visitors will embark on a journey through Qatar’s diverse artistic approaches, from traditional Arabic calligraphy in natural elements to immersive digital installations and futuristic metaverse experiences.

Guests will have the opportunity to interact directly with the artists in a relaxed environment, sharing first-hand experiences and techniques with renowned Qatari artists Yousef Ahmed to Maryam Al-Homaid, Amal Al Aethem, Anfal Al Kandari, Abdulaziz Yousef, Bachir Mohamad and new-generation talents like VCU graduate Aisha Al Abdulla, and Abdulrahman Al Muftah, among others.

About Fereej Al Najada

Fereej Al Najada, “Al Najada Neighborhood” in English, is one of the last remaining heritage buildings in the city of Doha and was once the cultural hub for local families to gather, celebrate and connect.

Qatar’s rapid urbanization since the 1970s resulted in its gradual decline, and several of its historical buildings have since been demolished.

Under Qatar Museums’ “Al Turath al Hai” (Living Heritage) initiative, the 5.360 sqm district was reactivated and turned it into an open public space, preserving its cultural and architectural heritage and aiming to link society, culture, and economy by providing much-needed space to creative industries and enabling communication between generations.

Located near Souq Waqif, Bank Street, and Msheireb Downtown, Fereej Al Najada serves a hub of cultural and creative interactions.

Featured Artist and Studios

  • Jeelain gallery (Yousef Ahmed, Maryam Al-Homaid)
  • Digi-sical experiences, (emre süner and farjana salahuddin)
  • Al wakrah vinyl records, (abdulrahman al muftah)
  • Joe Barmin studio, (Joe Barmin)
  • Temsa7 studio, (abdulaziz yousef)
  • Futart
  • Fatma alshebani studio, (fatma alshebani)
  • Abdulla al abdulla beauty studio, (abdulla al abdulla)
  • Anfal alkandari studio, (anfal al kandari)
  • Booabbood studio, (joe booabbood, amanda booabbood)
  • Aisha al Abdulla & parallel studio (Aisha al Abdulla and Mai Al Busairi)
  • Amal Al Aathem studio, (Amal Al Aathem)
  • SGS design workshop, (Salman Al Sulaiti)
  • Bachir Mohamad studio, (Bachir Mohammed)

Additional Information

  • Free admission
  • Dates and times:
    Opening night
    October 23rd, 6 pm-9 pm

Public Timings

24 October 2022 to 23 January 2023
Sunday to Thursday, 9 am to 9 pm
Friday and Saturday, 4 pm to 10 pm

Fereej Al Najada, Barahat Al Jufairi Street

About Qatar Museums 

Qatar Museums (QM), the nation's preeminent institution for art and culture, provides authentic and inspiring cultural experiences through a growing network of museums, heritage sites, festivals, public art installations, and programmes. QM preserves, restores, and expands the nation's cultural offerings and historical sites, sharing art and culture from Qatar, the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia (MENASA) region with the world and enriching the lives of citizens, residents, and visitors. 

Under the patronage of His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and led by its Chairperson, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, QM has made Qatar a vibrant centre for the arts, culture, and education in the Middle East and beyond. QM is integral to the goal of developing an innovative, diverse, and progressive nation, bringing people together to ignite new thinking, spark critical cultural conversations, educate and encourage environmental stewardship and sustainable practices, and amplify the voices of Qatar's people. Since its founding in 2005, QM has overseen the Museum of Islamic Art and MIA Park, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum of Qatar, QM Gallery Al Riwaq, QM Gallery Katara, 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum, and Dadu, Children's Museum of Qatar. 

Through its newly created Creative Hub, QM also initiates and supports projects—such as the Fire Station Artist in Residence, the Tasweer Qatar Photo Festival and the creative hub for innovation, fashion and design M7—that nurture artistic talent and create opportunities to build a strong and sustainable cultural infrastructure. 

Animating everything that Qatar Museums does is an authentic connection to Qatar and its heritage, a steadfast commitment to inclusivity and accessibility, and a belief in creating value through invention.

About Qatar Creates

Qatar Creates curates, celebrates, and promotes cultural activities within Qatar. Working with partners in museums, film, fashion, hospitality, cultural heritage, performing arts, and the private sector in Qatar, the Qatar Creates platform amplifies the voice of Qatar’s creative industries, directly connecting audiences to events.

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Press Contact

Fahad Al Obaidly

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