• Book Recommendations

    Book Recommendations


Anissa Helou visit

Anissa Helou visited MIA Library this week and signed a copy of her much loved book “Feast : food of the Islamic world”. The book takes you on a journey through the Islamic world with beautiful photographs and more than 300 recipes. Dishes included are from: Qatar, Senegal, Indonesia, North African and many other Islamic countries. Call Number: TX725 .M628 H45 2018


Damascene Ajami Interiors: Forgotten Jewels of Interior

Dr. Anke Scharrahs is the author of the book Damascene Ajami Interiors: Forgotten Jewels of Interior Design published in 2013 which you can read at MIA Library Call Number: NA3573.6 .S92 D36 2013

Dr. Scharrahs is a conservator specializing in polychrome wooden surfaces with a special interest in Islamic art. She has a Ph.D from the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden, Germany and she has been engaged in research and conservation of Syrian-Ottoman interiors for many years, both in museum collections and in historic houses in Germany, New York, Damascus and now in Doha at MIA.


Samuel Smiles Way

This book is based on Samuel Smiles masterpiece, Self-Help. It aims to inspire individuals to succeed in life. Chapters are divided to present the main ideas of one’s journey, symbolized through the driving of a car.

First chapter, the self as the driver. Second chapter, the innovation of ideas as the car’s keys. Third, motivation as fuel to the car. Fourth, life sectors (social, mental, body, soul) as the four car tires. Fifth, the life plan as a road map. The last chapter is full of inspirational articles to encourage the reader to start his plan.

Eman Al Shamri is QNL librarian. The author is very happy with MIA library collection and hopes her book is a useful addition to the collection.


National Day Book Recommendation

Abdulla Al Mannai is the MIA Library Assistant and he would like to recommend "Qatar: Sand, Sea and Sky" by Diana Untermeyer. This book gives an overview of the history and culture of Qatar. It includes many color photographs of the architecture, nature and people here in Qatar. MIA Library has many books about Qatar so why not pay us a visit before National Day and find out more about this beautiful country.

Call Number: DS 247 Q32 U57 2015


Tatiana Zhdanova is the textile conservator at MIA and would like to recommend “Imperial Threads: Motifs and Artisans from Turkey, Iran and India” by Dr. Mounia Chekhab-Abudaya. This exhibition catalogue provides detailed information about the specific carpets in the exhibition and provides an insight into the motifs. The exhibition closes on 27 January 2018 so be sure to visit the exhibit and then the library to find out more..

Call Number: NK2808 .I17 2017


Geraldine Aubert is the metal conservator at MIA and was responsible for the conservation of the Arab Chest currently on display in the Imperial Threads Exhibition. Geraldine would like to recommend “The Arab Chest” by Sheila Unwin. This is the only book written on this subject and it provides a unique story about a collector and her quest to discover the provenance and stylistic origins of this East African chest.

Call Number: NK 2725 .U68 2005


J.R. Osborn presents Letters of Light

J.R. Osborn visited MIA library to present the staff with a copy of his new book "Letters of Light". J.R. first meet the library staff in November 2015 and used several of the library books for his research. J.R. is an Assistant Professor in Georgetown's Communication, Culture & Technology (CCT) program and I also co-direct Georgetown's Technology Design Studio. In addition to studies of writing and Arabic script, my research and teaching addresses media and digital technologies, aesthetics, and museum studies. I completed the book shortly after receiving a Hamad Bin Khalifa Travel Fellowship, which allowed me to attend By the Pen and What They Write: Writing in Islamic Art and Culture, the Sixth Biennial Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art which was held at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha from November 6-8, 2015.

Letters of Light presents the history of Arabic script from the advent of calligraphic tradition in the tenth century through the implementation of the digital Unicode standard at the end of the twentieth century. The broader idea of the book was to write a long duration history of writing focusing on a non-Latin script. Most histories of writing privilege (either consciously or unconsciously) the Latin alphabet, which results in a number of implicit assumptions about script and technology. Letters of Light seeks to challenge these assumptions by featuring Arabic script in relation to three key technologies of writing: pen on paper, the printing press, and the computer.

MIA Library Call Number: PJ6123 .O83 2017

Harvard University Press


Hana Rogers recommends Everyday Wishes

Hana Rogers (Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar), the author of Everyday Wishes read from her book during Children’s Story Time at the MIA Library, for a group of young MIA visitors. Everyday Wishes is a colourful children’s book which tells the story of MJ and his many wishes. MJ wishes he was in charge… he wishes he could ride the bus… then he makes a surprising discovery about wishing.

Come to the MIA Library Children’s section to read this book in both English and Arabic. 

Hala Al Tayeb recommends Sultan Ibrahim Mirza's Haft Awrang

Hala is currently a student at Qatar University and a volunteer in the MIA Library. Hala’s book recommendation is “Sultan Ibrahim Mirza’s Haft Awrang: A Princely Manuscript from 16th century Iran” by Marianna Shreve Simpson (Author), Massumeh Farhad (Contributor). 

In 1556 Prince Sultan Ibrahim Mirza commissioned a copy of the great Persian literary classic, the Haft Awrang (Seven Thrones) of Abdul-Rahman Jami. For the next nine years, five court calligraphers worked on the transcription of the poetic text, and then another group of gifted artists illuminated and illustrated it. This magnificent volume, now housed in the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, is renowned as one of the most sumptuous works of the Safavid period and a masterpiece of Islamic art. Marianna Shreve Simpson explores the production, purpose, and meaning of the Haft Awrang, providing historical documentation about its princely patron and artists and analysing its contents.

Hala would recommend this book for anyone interested in the relationship between Islamic text and illustration.
This book is available in the MIA Library. Call Number ND 3399 S84 S56 1997

Saeed Al Shawi recommends Pearls by Hubert Bari and David Lam

Saeed Al Shawi is a Museum Guide at MIA. Saeed uses ‘Pearls’ to assist with his research when preparing for tours in the museum. The book has beautiful colour photographs and includes information on how pearls are formed, pearl molluscs, the history of pearls and a special chapter on Chanel and pearls.
The book is available in both Arabic and English in the MIA Library. Call number: NK 7680. B37 2009

Dara deFaoite recommends The House of Wisdom

Dara deFaoite is a media and marketing professional from Ireland living in Doha. He is a big fan of author and physicist Jim Al-Khalili. This is a fascinating book that highlights the Islamic world's rich legacy of scientific innovation and the role it played in enabling the European Renaissance. The book explores the hothouses of the Arabic Enlightenment and introduces the reader to the Islamic World's earliest scientists and their groundbreaking discoveries.
LC Call Number: Q127.A5 A4 2011

Jamelie Hassan recommends Nur

Jamelie Hassan is Canadian Artist from London, Ontario. She recently visited the MIA Library to donate a copy of her book ‘Nur’. Jamelie Hassan’s book Nur (Qur’an,sura 24:35; The Light Verse), discusses her mixed media, site-specific artwork installed in the library of the Great Mosque of Xi’an in China in 2014. The book includes information about the art work and several beautiful photographs. The book was donated with support from the Xi’an Art Museum.

Ian Pollard recommends Qatar: Sand, Sea and Sky

Ian Pollard is head of the Dukhan Secondary English School, from the UK and Honorary Secretary of the Atlanta Owners Association : Old Wooden Sailing Boats designed by Uffa Fox in the 1950s. He is fascinated by the remote places in Qatar, by natural landscapes and desert beauty. Ian loves books that show the interesting cultural heritage, close relations of people and quiet places such as desert wilderness and coastlines of creeks and mangroves. Ian likes books which shows beautiful views of his new country and he would like to recommend Qatar : Sand, Sea and Sky by Diana C K Untermeyer.
Call Number: DS 247 Q32 U57 2011

Hasan Nour Eldine recommends Islamic Patterns: an analytical and cosmological approach

Hasan Nour Eldine is an interior designer and an art lover. He works in MIA library as a volunteer on a research project. He has a great interest in Islamic Art, particularly related to patterns. Islamic Patterns: an analytical and cosmological approach, by Keith Critchlow, analyses and explains the origin of Islamic patterns, and its importance in later art works and science. It also teaches you how to create the inherent structure from a basic circle and an hexagonal arrangement of tangential circles and so the three primary shapes are emerged: the triangle, the hexagon, and the square. It is a deep philosophical book about Islamic patterns that immerses the reader in a virtual world of sacred forms and art.
Call Number: N 6260.C7 1999

Ahmed Hussein recommends Beyond boundaries: Islamic art across Cultures

Ahmed is a Museum Guide at MIA. Beyond boundaries: Islamic art across Cultures by Oliver Watson, former Director of MIA is available in both English and Arabic and contains information about several of MIA objects. The exhibition Beyond boundaries Islamic art across cultures was presented on the occasion of the opening of the Museum of Islamic art Doha Qatar in 2008.
Call number: N6264 .Q2 M8 2008

Charlene Kasdorf recommends 'The Blue Jackal'

Canadian artist Charlene Kasdorf visited the MIA Library this week and posed with 'The Blue Jackal' by author Frances Gillespie, which is the children's book she illustrated. Charlene's beautiful illustrations draw on ancient Islamic artwork and objects in MIA as inspiration. There are exciting illustrations for each of the tales in the book. Several copies are available for reading in the newly revamped Children's Library at MIA.

Melissa Rueschhoff recommends The Architecture in the Emirates

Melissa Rueschhoff is a class parent on the Compass International School tour, 22 October 2015. The Architecture in the Emirates book by Taschen is a fascinating look at the dynamic and avant garde ideas that have evolved from an architect's mind to an actual structure occupying the space and the hearts of those living in and visiting the Middle East. It has inspired me to look outside of the bounds of this book, visit them in person and soak in their beauty, as this architect intended. What a nice sneak preview…
Call no :NA 1473 .J63 2007

Hassan Abdulla Saleh Al-Shukaili recommends Heritage, Museums and Galleries

Hassan is Museum Specialist at the Ministry of Heritage and Culture (Sultanate of Oman). He recommends Heritage, Museums and Galleries : An Introductory Reader edited by Gerard Corsane.

The book is a comprehensive Introduction about Museum, Galleries and Heritage Sector in four chapters. It is aimed for those coming to the study of museums and galleries for the first time. It contains the very best of modern scholarship from the heritage community, and comprehensively covers and explains the many diverse issues that have been identified and brought to the fore in the field of heritage, museums and galleries over the past couple of decades.
Call Number AM7.H 465 2005

Nora Abdul-Majeed recommends Qatari Costume Catalogue

Nora Abdul-Majeed, Learning and Academic Programs Coordinator would like to recommend The Qatari Costume Catalogue in association with the exhibition Garmets and Gold: Qatari Costume and Jewellery held at the Sheraton Doha Hotel 2 - 13 March 2003. The full viewed costumes in this catalogue are photographed by David Bailey, a notable fashion photographer from England. I found the chapter on "Women's Costume" very fascinating because it documents the history of textile design in Qatar. Here, people could see that there's more to Women Costumes in Qatar than the Abaya such as floral and gold embroidered women dresses.

Abdul-Tawwab al Khodari - A MIA researcher who works in documentation recommends: Islamic Arab Money

This volume studies the coins of the Islamic countries, whether separated from the Abbasid Caliphate or internally independent, or the countries which won independence after the demise of the caliphate and became part of the history of the Islamic Nation. Although coins are small in size, they have great significance in documenting the history and highlighting the important incidents of humanity in general, and the Islamic history in particular. Coins provide information that can't be found in books and documents. The book presents one of the biggest coin collections in the Middle East and the world. It is especially useful for researchers and coin collectors. The book is by QM Coin expert Ibrahim Jaber Al Jaber

Sara Ibrahim Badran recommends Introduction to the Art of the Museum

Introduction to the Art of the Museum. Sara is a volunteer at MIA library. She recommends Introduction to the Art of the Museum by Dr. Refaat. The book is available in Arabic and is a good starting point for anyone looking for an introduction to the world of Museum Art. The book contains five chapters, the first an introduction to museums, the evolution of museums, how to display objects, museum administration and the final chapter on safety and risk management.
The book is available in the MIA library Call Number: AM87.A2 M84 2002

Sarah Tose recommends The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif

Sarah Tose, Education Coordinator at MIA reviewed the international best seller The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif. This is also the book chosen for the September and October MIA Book Club.

In this book, a young American woman, Isabel, travels to Cairo with a trunk containing diaries and papers 100 years old. Gradually, the trunk reveals its secrets and we are immersed in early 20th century Cairo. It is a beautifully written book about the relationship between Isabel's Egyptian Grandfather and English Grandmother and makes everyone want to visit Cairo if they have not already done so!
Call Number: PE 60660 O78 1999

Soumeya Menber recommends The Blue Jackal by Frances Gillespie

Soumeya Menber, Library Coordinator would like to recommend The Blue Jackal by Frances Gillespie and illustrated by Charlene Kasdorf. This is a beautiful book which Soumeya often uses during story time in the library. The book has beautiful coloured illustrations and the stories about animals all have a hidden meaning which appeals to our young readers.

Emad Taay recommends Arts of Equestrian in the History of East and West

The London based Iraqi artist based artist Emad Taay is famous for his beautiful portrayal of Arabic horses. He often visits the MIA Library do research for his art work. Recently he came to the library and recommended the Arabic language catalogue entitled “Al-Furūsiyah : Funūn al-furūsīyah fī tārīkh al-Mshriq wa-al-Maghrib / ʻArrabahu wa-ḥarrarahu. The theme of the book is horses and it contains lots of wonderful illustrations which show the movement of the horses. It also shows horses in many different art forms, including on objects and in historic manuscripts.
Call Number: N7668 H6 F8612 2000 – Oversize

Ahmed Al Marzoqi, Senior Public Service Librarian recommends The Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman and Central Arabia

Compiled and written by John Gordon Lorimer (1870-1914), an official of the Indian Civil Service, this is the most important single source of historical material on the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia. Lorimer´s Gazetteer was compiled with the original intention of providing British agents and policymakers in the Gulf, India and London with "a convenient and portable handbook to the places and interests with which they are likely to be concerned". Two copies are available in the MIA Library for anyone interested in the researching the history of Qatar.

Mark Ould recommends Persian Steel by JW Allen

Mark Ould is Head of Logistics at MIA. Having being born in Sheffield in England, reputedly, where stainless steel was invented, and with steelmakers in the family, he is recommending this book because it shows the skills of steelmakers from the Islamic world.

Stefan Masarovic recommends Artists’ Pigments: A Handbook of Their History and Characteristics

Stefan Masarovic, is a Conservator of Stone and Wood here at MIA. He would like to recommend Artists’ Pigments: A Handbook of Their History and Characteristics by Robert L. Feller. This book is very useful for in-depth technical information on pigments, it is especially useful for people working in the area of conservation and preservation of paintings. It describes the history and characteristics of ten pigments that have played a major role in the history of painting.

Geraldine Aubert recommends Islamic Metalwork by Rachel Ward

Geraldine is the Metal Conservator at MIA. She selected "Islamic Metalwork" by Rachel Ward as her book recommendation because it is a book she refers to again and again for her work. Ward's book provides an excellent introduction to Islamic metalwork - beginning with a simple definition, talking about the metals and techniques then tracing the Islamic dynasties in chronological order. The book contains many illustrations and an excellent map of the Islamic World.
Call Number: NK6408.9 W37 1993

Julia Tugwell recommends Persian Art & Architecture by Henri Stierlin

Julia Tugwell, is an Exhibition Specialist at the Orientalist Museum. Julia recently visited Iran for her vacation and before the trip she came to the MIA Library several times to read Persian Art & Architecture by Henri Stierlin. This book is an excellent introduction to the art of Iran and follows the history from the raise of Islam to the 19th Century. It has more than 250 colour illustrations and includes a very useful glossary of terms relating to Persian art.

Call Number: N7280. S7513 2012

Mahmood Ali recommends Discover the Islamic Art of the Mediterranean

Mahmood Ali is a tour guide at MIA. Mahmood likes this book because it is an important reference for him and it contains information about lots of objects on display at MIA. The book is available in both Arabic and English and it is a good starting point for anyone looking for an introduction to the world of Islamic Art.
Call Number: N6260 .D568 2007

Marvellous Creatures: Animal Fables in Islamic Art

Jorell Legaspi, Head of MIA Publications recommends the new exhibition catalogue for Marvellous Creatures. The exhibition focuses on the real and mythical animals that appear in the legends, tales and fables of the Islamic World. The variety of objects presented in this book – manuscripts, textiles, ceramics, jewellery, glass and metalwork – ranging from the 10th to the 19th centuries, demonstrated the enduring appeal of these characters and stories across diverse cultures.

Mac Moteane recommends Horn and Crescent by Randall L Pouwels

Mac works as the Floor Manager in the MIA Café. “Whenever I have free time I always take the opportunity to visit the MIA Library, after a long day at work it really helps me to unwind with a good book. I personally prefer philosophy and religious books. It helps me to understand the workings of the world and more importantly myself. The book I am currently reading is ‘Horn and Crescent’, as I am from Africa it has given me a deep insight on how Islam has influenced and changed the East Coast of Africa.”