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April 23, 2013

Qatar National Library Celebrates First Open Day of Rare Heritage Collection

Qatar National Library recently hosted a successful Open Day, at the site of its Heritage Collection, for members of the community to explore and enjoy the remarkable contents of the collection.

The Heritage Collection – the heart of the new Qatar National Library – includes a rare trove of manuscripts, books, and artifacts that document a wealth of Arab-Islamic civilization and human thought.

Qatar National Library and Qatar Foundation representatives were joined by officials from the embassies of the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.

Embassy officials included Deputy Head of Mission for the Embassy of the United Kingdom, Mrs Cecillie El Beleidi; Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of France, Mrs Brigitte Curmi; and Mr Mathias Kruse, Deputy Head of Mission and Counselor at the Embassy of Germany.

Guests at Open Day had a chance to see the original 1647 edition of LÁlcoran de Mahomet (PBUH). This is the first French translation of the Holy Qur'an, undertaken by the famous French orientalist André Du Ryer (1580-1660), Consul of France in Egypt and Turkey.

It is this translation that had a strong influence on knowledge of the Holy Qur'an in Western Europe and inspired translations into English, German, Dutch and Russian.

Dr Claudia Lux, Qatar National Library’s Project Director said, “We are grateful for the support we saw from the community and from foreign dignitaries. We thank Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser and His Excellency Sheikh Hassan Bin Mohammed Al Thani for their vision, generosity and passion in assembling such a significant and relevant historical record for the people of Qatar.”

Officials were also joined at the event by Qatar Foundation’s Senior Heritage Specialist Mohammed Hammam Fikri who gave guests a personal and in-depth tour of the collection. Earlier in the week, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the State of Qatar, Angelika Renate Storz-Chakarji, visited the Heritage Collection building to learn about the collection and items of historical significance to both Germany and the region, including the first Holy Qur'an printed in Germany.

Tours of the exclusive Heritage Collection are offered to the public regularly. For those who were unable to attend Open Day, please visit the following link to fill in a request for a tour of the Heritage Collection: