Doha 21st October 2013: The Qatar Foundation International plans to open a cultural centre in City Center DC, one of the largest construction projects in the United States, to teach Arab culture and the Arabic language to pupils of America.
According to Maggie Mitchell Salem, executive director of the foundation, said the centre would be designed to increase knowledge and understanding of Arabic language and culture in US.
She said the 1,400-square-metre cultural centre, called Al Bayt, Arabic for “home”, will feature “state of the art, interactive experience” which will engage students in Qatari culture “without leaving the states”.
“From the start, we were encouraged to think creatively about our combined office and cultural space. CityCenterDC provides us with the flexibility we need to design a truly innovative experience for our business guests and Al-Bayt visitors,” She added.
Qatar Foundation is now making a serious investment in Arabic language for American pupils. It has donated at least $4.5m in 2013 on support for Arabic language classes in American schools, teacher training and curriculum development. The foundation has offices at 1400 I St. NW and will relocate and open the cultural center next year.
Ms Salem said the long term goal of the foundation is to change the attitude of many Americans towards the Arab world.
The Foundation will also launch a website along with the cultural centre. The website aimed to be a “one-stop shop for anyone interested in learning or teaching Arabic”, said Ms Salem.
The first phase of CityCenterDC’s is being funded by $622 million from Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co., established by the Qatar Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar.
Image Courtesy: http://www.washingtonpost.com