Muhammad Ali passed away at the age of 74 on July 7, 2016. Tributes poured in from across the world, with people leaving tokens at his Louisville home and taking to social media to celebrate his talent, his skill in the ring, and his dedication to making the world a better place.
But his dedication to Islam was often overlooked. After converting to the religion at a young age, Ali spent the rest of his life teaching its message of tolerance and compassion. So there are few places in the world more fitting to host a tribute than the Museum of Islamic Art, right here in Qatar.
“For many in Qatar and throughout the Arab World, Muhammad Ali truly was an icon and inspiration,” says Qatar Museums consultant Khalid Yousef Al Ibrahim. “This retrospective celebrates that.”
The exhibition is a collection of 22 artefacts that have been curated under the 3-2-1 Olympic and Sports Museum (which is soon to open at Khalifa International Stadium), spanning 18 years of his career. From his draft exemption letter after his conscientious objection to the armed forces during the Vietnam war – exhibited in Doha for the first time on the 50th anniversary of its writing – to posters, boxing gloves and photographs from his three World Title-winning fights, the objects represent who he was both in and out of the ring.
The display also includes a copy of the 1978 comic Superman vs. Muhammed Ali – a retrospectively poignant story in which Ali teams up with Superman to save the world – and images of Ali during his exhibition bout, right here in the city in 1971.
Welcome back, Ali.
Running until further notice. Open Sun, Mon, Wed 10.30am-5.30pm; Thu, Sat noon-8pm; Fri 2pm-8pm. Museum of Islamic Art, The Corniche (4422 4444).
Don’t miss this summer’s best exhibitions
Aslı Çavuşoğlu’s exhibition is a collection of notebooks, drawings and paintings made with red pigments from Armenia and Turkey.
Free. Until September 11. Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Education City (4402 8855).
Japanese artist Makatsu Sashie’s dystopic exhibition is an unnerving examination of the future of our consumer- and technology- driven world.
Free. Until August 9. Anima Gallery, The Pearl-Qatar (4002 7437).
Summer collection, part two
See inspiring art from regional artists from Qatar and Bahrain to Sudan, Iraq and Palestine.
Free. Until September 16. Al Markhiya Gallery, Building 5, Katara Art Centre (6609 9687).