Qatar National Library (QNL), a member of Qatar Foundation will host its ‘Arab and German Tales – Transcending Cultures’ exhibition at the library from tomorrow.
The exhibition, running until August 18, is organised within the framework of the Qatar-Germany Year of Culture. It will provide an insight into the history of Arabic and German fairy and folk tales, and how the two cultures influenced each other.
The event aims to show the transcultural value of narrative traditions as a shared cultural heritage, and highlights mutual influences, shared ideas, and cultural transfer between the Arab world and Germany through storytelling past and present.
“This exhibition is an example of the important cultural exchanges that will take place at QNL. Sharing resources and collections across cultural organisations is crucial to mutual understanding, which is at the core of QNL’s mission,” said Dr Sohair Wastawy, executive
Hans-Udo Muzel, German ambassador to Qatar, said, “This is an extraordinary exhibition and I’m truly delighted that, as a final contribution to the Qatar-Germany Year of Culture, with the help of many hands, it was possible to bring this stellar collection of old and modern manuscripts to Qatar. The new Qatar National Library is a magnificent building, serving as an outstanding venue for preserving Qatari and regional culture, as well as a centre for science, information, and learning for the people of Qatar, Qatari citizens and residents alike. Presenting unique examples of Arab and German storytelling, once again the strength of our shared cultural traditions becomes visible.”
Prof Dr Verena Lepper, curator of the exhibition and curator for Egyptian and Oriental Papyri and Manuscripts at the Papyrus Collection in Berlin, said that the exhibition is based on a joint research project combining both worlds.
The exhibition will feature masterpieces from antiquity to the present including rare ancient Egyptian tales written on papyri, such as the story of Sinuhe, dating from the XII dynasty. In addition, the exhibition will feature a cuneiform tablet with the Epic of Gilgamesh from the 13th century BC; stories of the Arabian Nights and the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm; examinations of the famed One Thousand and One Nights through the Arabic oral tradition, before it was adapted and amended by European writers such as the Brothers Grimm; travellers between both worlds and their stories; the original Arabic handwriting of the famous German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe; and modern versions of such texts by Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz or the oral Qatari version of Cinderella.
The exhibition is a joint enterprise between QNL, the German embassy Doha, ?gyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection - National Museums of Berlin), and the Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities.