HH Sheikha Moza and Prince of Wales open Quranic Garden Exhibition at Kew Gardens

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HH Sheikha Moza and Prince of Wales open Quranic Garden Exhibition at Kew Gardens

London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Thursday, April 8, 2010

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser , Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales planted a Sidra sapling together at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew Gardens marking the opening of the Quranic Garden Exhibition and to celebrate the International Year of Biodiversity 2010.

The State of Qatar has strong links with Kew Gardens that goes back decades, with the first collection of Qatari flora planted in the Herbarium of the Royal Botanic Gardens in the early 1980s. The Sidra tree planting marks another chapter in the strong cultural and research partnership between the State of Qatar and the United Kingdom.

The Sidra sapling is the first to be planted in Kew Gardens, and will be used in studies in the science facilities of Kew Gardens for DNA and seed testing furthering scientific exchange between the UK and Qatar. As the logo for Qatar Foundation, the Sidra tree symbolizes the Foundation s belief that sharing knowledge is the best way to confront environmental, social and economic challenges and to create an important bridge between different cultures.

The Qur anic Garden Exhibition at Kew Gardens will illustrate the world s first Quranic Garden which is planned in Doha. The Quranic Garden brings together all the plant species mentioned in the Holy Quran, the Hadith and the Sunnah, including the Sidra tree. The garden reflects the values of Qatar Foundation as it embodies the vision of preserving and promoting an appreciation of the natural, cultural and spiritual heritage of Qatar, while placing these in a global context through the creation of exciting opportunities for discovering and learning what the garden offers.

On the inauguration of the Quranic Garden Exhibition, Dr. Saif Al Hajari, Vice Chairman of Qatar Foundation addressed the guests: "This exhibition at Kew Gardens is intended to give visitors insight into the teachings of the Holy Quran and an enlightened understanding of Islam, and to promote understanding between our cultures through a common interest our environment and its preservation."

"I am delighted that today Qatar Foundation and the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew have signed a Letter of Intent to exchange plant material, to conduct studies and share information about plants in arid zones, and for Kew to conserve the seeds of Qatari plants in the Millennium Seed Bank," announced Dr. Al Hajari.

The tree planting and exhibition serve an important role in highlighting the environmental issues facing Qatar and the United Kingdom today. Kew Gardens will conserve the seeds of plans from Qatar in the Millennium Seed Bank for future research and scientific exchange. The information gained will be shared between the Library on Kew Gardens and Qatar Foundation. Findings will also be published in the bulletins and periodicals published by Kew Gardens.

Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, hosted a number of events in London this week marking several ground breaking announcements with British entities. The announcements reflect the innovation and industry of Qatar, and Qatar Foundation s aim to unlock human potential through dynamic partnerships with universities, businesses and the public at large.