Community Outreach and Engagement

By Mariam Al-Thani

Since joining the Origins of Doha and Qatar team as a community engagement officer I have had the opportunity to collaborate with three international schools here in Doha, Compass International School, Sherborne (Preparatory School), Qatar Academy (Junior School). We created unique school sessions catered to students aged 8-11, introducing them to the basic concepts of archaeology, archaeology in Qatar and the history of Qatar. Moreover, by collaborating with the faculty of each respective school we were able to alter the sessions to fit the needs of each respective school. In addition to building upon the children’s knowledge of archaeology, we were also able to introduce them to the Origins of Doha and Qatar project and archaeology in Qatar.

I was pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm we were met with at each school session we conducted; the children were engaged, inquisitive, focused and eager to hear more. The children’s excitement and eagerness to find out more is indicative of both local’s and national’s interest in the archaeology of Qatar, and the heritage of their ancestors.

The children’s excitement was infectious, with each session we were bombarded with multiple questions about Qatar’s past and archaeology in Qatar; in order to keep up with the momentum we began recording some of the questions the children were asking in order to address them in our next sessions. The children raised many valid questions, as well as some ‘colourful’ questions.

Here are some examples:

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After viewing the trenches: “How small were they? The houses are so small?”

 

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“Were there toilets in the houses?”

“No”

“So where did they go to use the bathroom?”

 

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“Did the houses have roofs?”

 

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In reference to the map of Doha from 1948

“Did they have a bank?” & “Where was the hospital?”

 

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“How can you tell when the houses were built?”

 

 

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