Sheikha Al Mayassa

Founder, Doha Film Institute
Sheikha Al Mayassa is the young and progressive force behind Qatar's mission to become the Middle East's foremost destination for the arts and culture.

Why you should listen

As chairperson of the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA), Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani uses the rich history of her country to drive education and cross-cultural interaction today. The QMA’s flagship project is the Museum of Islamic Art, an institution built to serve as the world’s center for education and information on art in the Muslim world. According to H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa’s vision, the museum will not only preserve and document the vast diversity of Islamic art, but also provide a welcoming place for the international community to learn more about an often-oversimplified culture.

Sheikha Al Mayassa has committed to fostering diversity and creating opportunity for all. She is also the chairperson for Reach Out to Asia (ROTA), an organization that is trying to provide access to education for underserved populations throughout Asia, regardless of gender or age. She’s continuing her own education by pursuing a graduate degree at Columbia University in New York.

What others say

“A lot of countries in the Arab world are very rich yet have a poor population. There's a lack of innovation. There's stagnation. Qatar is trying to become a role model. It has proven it can make a lot of changes in a short time.” — Sheikha Al Mayassa, in Travel + Leisure, July 2007

Sheikha Al Mayassa’s TED talk