We feel honoured and happy that University College London asked Susan to run a five-day training course on interpretive planning for tour guides and other staff at the amazing Museum of Islamic Art (aka MIA) in Qatar.
One of the things we love most about working in heritage interpretation is the chance to see the world, the past and the present, from different perspectives. In Doha, Susan found very different perspectives and understandings of the world. This was a journey into Islamic art on many levels.
Eleven members of staff attended the training which covered: observing visitor behaviour in the galleries, considering the needs of different types of visitors, looking in depth at family trails, thematic planning and a rather rapid crash course in interpretive writing.
The Museum is a visionary and ambitious project and a key part of a wider aspiration to establish Qatar as the cultural centre for the Gulf. The Qatar Foundation is investing in a suite of museums. MIA is the first to open; others are planned and in construction.
The building, the collections and displays are fabulous. The Museum is working to bring the interpretation and the visitor experience to the same world-leading level. It recognises training and equipping the staff as a key part of this endeavour. It was a privilege to be part of such an inspirational project. Doha is place to watch for museum aficionados the world over.