Dugong Family by Ahmed Al Bahrani

This site-specific installation at Al Ruwais beach is an ode to a majestic creature native to the Arabian Gulf.

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Ahmed Al Bahrani (b.1965) is an Iraqi sculptor residing between Qatar and Sweden. He studied sculpture at the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad and graduated in 1988, and he has since been exhibiting public artworks worldwide. Bahrani has sculptures on display at the National Museum of Qatar and at Lusail Multipurpose Hall.

Dugongs are large mammals that live in seawater and feed on seagrass. In Arabic, dugongs are called ‘baqarat albahr’, which translates to 'sea cow'. The Arabian Gulf is home to the world's second-largest population of dugongs, after Australia. Recently, the largest herds in the world, comprising between 600 to 700 dugongs, have been recorded in Qatar. Palaeontologists have discovered dugong fossils in Qatar. These fossils confirm that dugongs have lived here for millions of years. Dugongs can be found alone or in pairs (a mother and a calf), but have been spotted in larger herds in northwest Qatar.