At the age of ten, he had more than 60 rare pieces of heritage, and then with his passion he filled his personal museum with more than 200 pieces for the State of Qatar and the Gulf region in general and the Islamic civilization.
The Qatari Youth Museum, Abdullah bin Shaheen Al-Ghanim Al-Maadeed, is one of the most prominent personal museums in Qatar, with an estimated number in the tens, and reflects the Qataris ’interest in preserving their identity.
Heritage lovers in the Gulf state collect collections and heritage pieces related to ancient life in their country and the Arab Gulf region in general.
A passion from a young age
Abdullah’s passion for the ancient Qatari and Gulf heritage began from a young age, due to his closeness to the elderly in his family, so from the age of ten he began to keep their gifts for him, and he was able to collect between 60 and 70 rare and precious pieces.
From here, the idea developed. Abdullah established his own museum in his home in Fereej Al-Ghanim in the capital, Doha, and focused on everything related to his country’s ancient and contemporary heritage, until it became more than 200 objects.
During a tour of Anadolu Agency in the corners of his museum, Abdullah said, “My interest in heritage started from childhood. I was interested in old novels. The elderly people noticed the matter, and began to provide me with the artifacts they have to keep.”
He added, “As a child, I was passionate about collecting old household needs, as I used to save from my personal money to buy possessions instead of games.”
“I collect artifacts myself from various countries of the world that I visit, including antiques related to the Gulf, and others related to Islamic history,” he said.
After collecting a number of heritage collections, Abdullah began organizing them in the décor of the old Qatari house.
And he added, “I started participating in exhibitions that represent the state in terms of Qatari identity, including the exhibition (money loll), which is a word in the Qatari dialect meaning (from the days of time).
Public museum project
And the pieces in this museum “have a moral value that must be passed on to the generations, as each piece tells the story of the beautiful past and the original heritage .. And my personal museum is the beginning of my greatest ambition towards opening a public museum in the future,” according to Abdullah.
“These holdings were collected from Gulf countries that are close to our Qatari culture, and from Istanbul and Bursa (in Turkey),” he said.
“There is no doubt that the influence of Turkish culture on the region (the Gulf) was strong, and that is why there is some common culture between us and Turkish culture,” he added.
Among the museum’s holdings are old incense burners and coffee pots, which are among the most prominent features of the Khaleeji House so far, in addition to pictures, household and musical tools that represent the lives of grandparents.
There is also a bed (caravan) and wardrobe, both 90 years old, back to the home of the ruling family in Kuwait, according to the Qatari youth.
There is also the accommodation box, which used to decorate every Qatari and Gulf house, where most women used to put gold, clothes and important papers.
Support and visits
Abdullah says that the state in Qatar supports young people with regard to personal museums, and “the Qatar Museums Authority has visited my museum twice … I do not forget the contributions and encouragement from the owners of personal museums.”
He added, “The Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani Museum is the largest personal museum in the world, and Sheikh Faisal was the first to encourage me to take this step and support me with some antiques.”
He stressed the importance of the state and the competent authorities support for collectors to continue their hobby, by organizing exhibitions, seminars, and an annual meeting to exchange experiences, and added, “Official figures and dignitaries in the Qatari society visited my museum and encouraged me to take this step, including current and former ministers, which reflects interest in this field of Society and the state. “