Monday evening last (16th April) Princess Lalla Hasna represented her brother King Mohammed VI of Morocco at the opening of the Qatar National Library (QNL) in Doha as a guest of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. This visit further strengthens the close ties between the two countries, following the visit to Qatar in November by her brother and a visit to Morocco last month by Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani. At the time, HE the Prime Minister highlighted the firm commitment on the part of both countries to strengthen bilateral co-operation and develop strategic partnerships.
The Library was designed by the Dutch architect, Rem Koolhaas considered by many to be an enormously influential architect who has designed projects across the globe including the headquarters of Chinese Central Television, the Dutch Embassy in Berlin and another library this time in Seattle USA. It is thought that this building has been a landmark for the cultural and educational landscape in Qatar, within the Arabic world. In history, it is hoped it will rank alongside such buildings as the Beit Al Hikma or House of Wisdom which was a major intellectual centre in Baghdad during the Islamic Golden Age between the 9th and 13th centuries.
The building has already proved popular the population in Qatar who are keen to take advantage of the services it offers. They are able to access not only the one million books and periodicals but also special collections such as the Heritage Library. The building also gives residents the opportunity to use other creative and collaborative facilities, such as the Writing Centre, Innovation Stations and study rooms.
The Princess is a keen supporter of cultural activities within Morocco, and it is thought during her visit will explore with Her Excellency Sheika Al Mayassa opportunities to strengthen collaboration and partnerships related to educational initiatives, including preserving cultural and artistic heritage, sharing knowledge and encouraging creativity.