April 20, 2015 -- Updated 4:10 pm GMT

Qatari Sheikha Opens Museum of Islamic Art

Posted in: Qatar

The tiny country of Qatar inaugurated its new Museum of Islamic Art, meant to showcase how Islam is a religion of tolerance and not of terrorism. qatar sheikha 234x300 Qatari Sheikha Opens Museum of Islamic Art

Sheikha Al-Mayassa, daughter of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, was at the opening in Doha. She is the president of Qatar’s museum authority.

“We want to show that Islam is a peaceful civilization, which has always called for tolerance and coexistence amongst different peoples,” she told journalists.

The gas-rich Gulf state wants to “highlight the values of the Muslim civilization and the role of that civilization in bringing together cultures and human values,” the Sheikha added.

doha museum 300x167 Qatari Sheikha Opens Museum of Islamic ArtBuilt on an artificial island 60 yards from the Doha Corniche, the museum houses 800 artistic and historical treasures from three continents, illustrating Islamic culture from the seventh to the 19th centuries.

The five-storey building, designed by Chinese-American architect Ieoh Ming Pei, whose other projects have included the Pyramide du Louvre in Paris, also houses exhibition halls, a library and an education center, explained the Sheikha.

The museum is part of Qatar’s plans to make Doha a world cultural center.

Dutch Royals Welcome Holland’s Santa Claus

Posted in: Netherlands

The little princesses of Holland were out Saturday to see every young child’s dream: Santa Claus, or Sinterklaas as he is known in the Netherlands. dutch princesses 300x217 Dutch Royals Welcome Hollands Santa Claus

Princesses Amalia, Alexia and Ariane were with their parents, the Crown Princely couple, Willem-Alexander and Maxima, in the town of Wassenaar – a suburb of the Hague - to welcome Saint Nicholas and his servants, who are known as Zwarte Pieten.  Amalia and Ariane sat a top of their parents’ shoulders, while Alexia sat on top of the shoulders of the girls’ Argentine nanny.

The princesses – ranging in age of 4 and a half to 1 years old – each wore little ‘Zwarte Piet’ caps, were clearly excited to see Sinterklaas. They sang songs for him and his helpers, as Sinterklaas walked amongst the crowds.

The Sinterklaas tradition was voted Holland’s number one tradition in a recent survey. It is to forwarded to UNESCO to be listed as the countrys immaterial world heritage.