chapter 1 bg

The Knowledge Game

From art to dialogue to storytelling, sport has the power to communicate across cultures, enable perspectives to be shared and broadened, and help people explore and discover more about our world.

This power is at its most potent when a tournament of the size and stature of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ comes around – and across Qatar Foundation (QF), it was harnessed to spread knowledge and deepen understanding as the clock ticked down to the big kick-off.

One of the most colorful and eye-catching examples of this was the newest addition to QF’s art landscape at Education City – Come Together, a public art installation with an attention-grabbing appearance, and a message that matters.

Recognition Through Art

Inaugurated by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, in October, Come Together – designed by leading South Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa – is made up of workers’ helmets, mirror balls, and traditional Qatari objects. Resembling a dandelion spore, it represents the excitement, passion, and joy that FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ fans spread across the world.

Come Together is recognition in creative form of everyone in Qatar who played their part in realizing the dream of staging the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, with its design notably commemorating workers who made such an essential contribution to the tournament being possible – and helping to ensure their role continues to be acknowledged beyond 2022.

The commissioning of Come Together illustrates how QF uses public art to reflect, respect, and convey Qatar’s cultural heritage, and to spark dialogue on social issues, while using its platforms to catalyze conversations and affect change.

"Come Together is about co-existence and symbiosis. The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is a festival on a global stage, and a festival of this kind can’t be carried out alone."

Choi Jeong HwaArtist and designer of Come Together

Education City is home to more than 150 public artworks

Telling the Story

So many people have a story to tell about the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ – and these stories were brought to life ahead of and during the tournament by a special QF initiative and exhibition: GOALS.

Run with the Generation Amazing Foundation, The Sport Creative, Goal Click, and Salam International, GOALS saw everyone from workers and students to artists and football coaches relate their personal, inspiring stories of football, culture, and community in Qatar, through photography, video, and writing.

These unique experiences, journeys, and stories were brought to life through the multidisciplinary GOALS exhibition at Education City in November and December – showing how football can be a catalyst for change, and for opening eyes and minds. In 2023, the exhibition will tour cities and global events beyond Qatar, bringing the stories and the impact of the first World Cup in the Middle East and Arab world to a wider audience.

"Qatar 2022 will send a strong message that football belongs to the world, that there is no ‘us’ and ‘them’ in football, and that we are all much more similar than we are different."

Mehreen FazalGOALS storyteller

The GOALS exhibition featured the work of more than 40 storytellers

The Impact of Football

Football’s relationship with the media, its fan culture, its socio-political influence, and its meaning beyond the glory of goals and the cheers from the stands were placed in the spotlight through the latest exhibition at QF’s partner university Northwestern University in Qatar’s Media Majlis.

Is It A Beautiful Game? – held in the run-up to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ – used eight interactive installations to allow visitors to examine the game and its impact on lives and societies from the perspective of the fan, the player, and the media. It is the first major exhibition to explore the relationship between the media and football.

Meanwhile, QF partner university Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar’s Institute of Public Health helped people in Qatar gain a better understanding of how mega sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, can create social connections and contribute to a healthier community, through a health education event titled ‘Megasports: Promoting Health and Wellbeing for All’.

"Football and the media are two multi-billion-dollar industries with a complex relationship that continues to grow, shape, and morph across time, technology, and cultures."

Jack Thomas TaylorAssociate Curator and Manager of Exhibition Planning, Media Majlis, Northwestern University in Qatar

More than 280 pieces of physical and digital content were brought together for the Is It A Beautiful Game? Exhibition

The Nation’s Game

Visitors to Qatar National Library throughout the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ traveled back in time and learned the true story of Qatar’s footballing journey through the decades, through ‘Goooal! How Football Kicked off in Qatar’.

From the Qatar national team’s first competitive match to its first international success at the 1981 World Youth Championships, and more recent triumphs such as the 2019 Asian Cup win, the exhibition showcased the game’s origins in Qatar and the place it occupies in the nation’s culture.

And Qatar-based, Salvadorian-born designer Milton Magana’s message for the world was that tackling crises requires empathy and collective spirit – so he chose football as his voice, and QF as his amplifier.

The winner of QF’s Education City Gift Shop Football Design Competition, Milton’s design is now used in footballs handmade by Kenya-based not-for-profit ball manufacturer and ethical employer Alive & Kicking, and sold and produced in collaboration with the Education City Gift Shop.

“It’s through these disadvantaged communities in Kenya, and the empowerment and opportunities QF gives its community, that such a product came to life,” said Milton. “And this is how you can help drive positive change in the world.”

"It showcases the rich cultural and documentary material of football in Qatar for World Cup fans and the community to see."

His Excellency Dr. Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-KawariPresident of Qatar National Library, at the opening of ‘Goooal: How Football Kicked Off In Qatar’

More than 300 footballs using Milton Magana’s design have been produced for the Education City Gift Shop so far