This workshop aimed to provide a platform and an opportunity to the various participants to communicate and exchange information bilaterally with a focus on future research projects.
The ceremony included a speech by Her Excellency Dr. Hamda bint Hassan Al-Sulaiti, Deputy Speaker of the Shura Council, in which she praised the organization of this workshop and said that the aim of this event is the first milestone in the series of academic cooperation to prepare the national report on the Al Zubarah site, is to raise awareness about the Al Zubarah archaeological site. The Gulf region, which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2013.
Dr. Hamda Al-Sulaiti continued by mentioning that Qatar, which has once again emerged as a hub of diverse cultures, is currently similar to the city of "Al Zubarah," which was historically renowned for its pearl fishing and its extensive trade relations with other Arab Gulf nations and the rest of the world.
The importance of the archaeological site of Al Zubarah has increased over the past years, as a result of the international recognition from UNESCO, and in view of all these points, Al Sulaiti valued the importance of this workshop and the cooperation that will enhance our ability to clarify the importance of the archaeological and historical site of Al Zubarah.
She concluded her speech by saying: "I would like to take this opportunity to express how pleased I am to be with you all at Qatar University and thanks to Qatar University for their generous hospitality and the efforts made in organizing this workshop.”
In his speech on the occasion, Dr. Hassan Al-Derham, President of Qatar University, said: I'm happy to extend a warm greeting to you all at Qatar University on this day that we kick off a collaborative workshop titled "Al Zubarah: Prospects and Challenges for the Next Decade" in partnership with Qatar Museums. In honor of the first decade since Al Zubarah was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2013. This workshop open doors for new challenges and opportunities. A series of workshops and events are being organized jointly with the Gulf Studies Center of Qatar University in future.”
In his speech at the opening of the workshop, Mr. Ali Al Marafie, Secretary General of the Qatar National Committee for Education, Culture and Science, stressed the importance of this workshop, which is related to introducing the first Qatari site to the World Heritage List. Important efforts have raised the status of archaeological tourism, which is a strong indication of the people’s interest in their history and glories, stressing the importance of preserving the original nature of archaeological sites and protecting them by all possible means. In the conclusion of his speech, he renewed his appreciation for the role played by Qatar Museums and UNESCO in preserving and protecting heritage.
Ahmed Al-Namla, CEO of Qatar Museums, thanked the organizers of this workshop for their efforts in forming this platform in protecting, promoting and sharing the national heritage, with regard to the Al Zubarah site.
Ahmed Al-Namlah invited everyone to visit the city and enjoy its wonderful archaeological scenes and work on further introducing it. HE Mr. Salah Khaled (Director of the UNESCO Office in Doha for Gulf Countries and Yemen) spoke in this workshop, thanking Qatar University and the institutions participating in this workshop. He recalled the great historical importance of the city Al Zubarah.
The keynote speaker, HE Dr Nasser bin Hamad Al-Hanzab, Qatar's Permanent Representative to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) whose lecture served as a prelude to the workshop, spoke about the history and context of Al-Zubarah, and how the site is included in Qatar's vision of cultural heritage.
The archaeological site of Al Zubarah was inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites, during the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee, which was held on June 22, 2013. This event is the first inclusion of a Qatari archaeological site in an international register of more than 900 natural and cultural sites from all over the world.