Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sheikh Faisal Museum

We visited the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al-Thani Museum with my parents. You have to make a reservation, which was surprisingly easy, considering that tour companies usually charge a lot saying "all fees included" but the museum itself is free. We called and they set up an appointment for the following day in the late afternoon.

Sheikh Faisal is a cousin of the Emir (Qatar's political figurehead and leader) as well as a very successful businessman. The museum is for everything he has collected throughout his life, and he has put it together in a museum to preserve the heritage of Qatar.

There were rooms set up to look like traditional Qatari homes, artifacts, the cars that have belonged to his family over the past 100 years, and so much more. He has a collection of money that is currently being worked on for display. He has bills and coins from around the world, some dating back to 250 B.C. that are in VERY good condition. We will have to go back and check those out more when the displays are finished because we only saw part of the collection.

The entrance

A view of a part of the museum

In front of the little lake thing & a ship floating in it (???)

Kind of feeling like Disneyland

Leoni dreaming of her future as a pirate girl

Inside a courtyard

Checking out a stagecoach

We were there at the same time as a girls' school group. They loved Leoni & tried to use her as a part of their assignment of finding things in the museum and what country they're from.

Amazing collection of fossils including this dinosaur skull. It is huge!

More fossils

Fossilized turtle heads

Who knew these would be so "common" in the Middle East

Checking out more displays in one of the big halls

Fancy Arabian furniture covered in inlaid mother of pearl

Sheikh Faisal himself
He arrived and spent time with us showing us different things in the museum including pulling up water from a still functioning well in the middle of the museum and offering everyone a drink. I have a better picture, but for some reason it won't transfer over. He was very nice.

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