Qatar National Library is currently hosting an exhibition dedicated to the timeless Arabic literary masterpiece Hayy Ibn Yaqdhan, part of the nationwide ‘One Book, One Doha’ campaign by Qatar Reads.

The annual reading campaign brings the community together to share an appreciation of Arabic literature and promote a love for reading. The influential Hayy Ibn Yaqdhan, written by the philosopher Ibn Tufail in the early 12th century, is Qatar Reads’ selection for this year.

Visitors are immersed in the fascinating narrative of Hayy’s life growing up in isolation on a deserted island, making the exhibition a uniquely enriching way to experience the power of reading. The interactive and engaging exhibition is popular with school groups and young visitors from the Qatar Foundation Ability Friendly Summer Camp, as it brings Hayy’s story to life.

Enduring influence over the centuries

Highlighting the transformative phases of Hayy’s development, the exhibition delves into the book’s different themes, such as the relationship between man and nature. A dedicated section also highlights the significance of sustainability and its relevance to Hayy’s journey and survival on the island, as well as tackles the broader contemporary implications.

Hayy Ibn Yaqdhan Exhibition 2

Frequently published and translated, the classical book has had an enduring influence for centuries. Highlighting some of these efforts, the Library showcases three distinguished Qatari publishers who rewrote the iconic story, as part of this year’s ‘One Book, One Doha’ campaign, for different age groups: Dar Nabjah for children, HBKU Press for young adults, and Dar AlWatad for adults.

The exhibition has several interactive elements. Visitors can walk through a timeline of Hayy’s life, vividly depicted in original paintings from the Dar Nabjah edition. A historical showcase focuses on literary heritage, giving visitors the chance to view original copies of the book in Arabic, English and Dutch, sourced from the Library’s heritage collection. There are activities for all ages and the knowledge test is a fun quiz for anyone wanting to test their understanding of Hayy’s story.

Encouraging the community to take part, Qatar Reads Director Fatima Al Malki said that the Hayy Ibn Yaqdhan Exhibition brings to life a powerful story, rich with messages to inspire and nurture a deep appreciation for Arabic literature and reading. Beyond this, she said that the exhibition is also a chance to connect and share unique perspectives with others and be part of establishing a vibrant reading culture in Qatar.

We encourage everyone to come and visit the exhibition.

Hayy Ibn Yaqdhan is open to the public until 12 September.

For more information, visit You can also check out the QNL mobile app, free and available to download from the App Store and from Google Play.

Check out Marhaba’s FREE e-Guides for everything you need to know about Qatar.