Suzi Mirgani, Managing Editor at Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS), Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q), publishes an online article titled “Souvenir Sovereignty in Qatar” as part of a London School of Economics (LSE) blog series. This piece resulted from an LSE Middle East Centre workshop, titled “Heritage and National Identity Construction in the Gulf: Between State-building and Grassroots Initiatives,” aimed to contextualize the role of heritage initiatives, as well as broader processes of national identity-making across Gulf states, through a comparative perspective.
Mirgani argues that “a contemporary Qatari national identity is being constructed through the production and consumption of state-sponsored museum merchandise” in Qatar Museums (QM) gift shops. She explains that “QM merchandise is symbolically distinguishing Qatar from other Gulf countries—an especially welcome differentiation since the 2017 GCC crisis. As Qatar forges an independent foreign policy path, QM is contributing to the nation with a strategy of ‘souvenir sovereignty.’”
Read more at the LSE blog website here.