The annual American School of Doha (ASD) Friendship Festival, held yesterday, was a grand celebration to more than 4,500 people who trooped to the campus and joined various activities and fun-filled games.
Dubbed as “a festival for all ages extending friendship”, the Parents-Teachers Association (PTA)-led festival gathered parents, students, teachers and school officials coming from 75 different nationalities to promote community spirit, friendship, awareness and co-operation.
Many of the attendees worked as volunteers for what they considered as ASD’s most celebrated event each year.
School director Deborah Welch said fun-filled and challenging games, especially for children, have been added.
There were more vendors this year selling different products and services such as necklaces, clothes, handmade jewelleries, interior and home decor, traditional items, paintings, meteorite fragments and artworks.
“It means we are a microcosm of the world here in terms of nationality and ages. In the food, it’s truly an international event,” she noted.
Many food outlets served international food such as Latin American, Thai, Indian, American, Mexican and other dishes.
Like in the past celebrations, the festival also aimed to raise “a significant amount of money” for different school projects.
Two years ago, Welch said, the contributions were used for building the Middle School and High School Arts annex, a performing arts and music room for students.
In the past, the money raised from the celebration also contributed to buying theatre seats and setting up the elementary school playground.
“All of the proceeds makes from the day come back into the school,” Welch stressed. “the PTA is constantly working with ASD asking ‘how we can help the students.” PTA president Laura Ford said they are expecting about QR150,000 to QR200,000 this year.
The festival also featured live entertainment performed by the ASD jazz band and chamber singers. Fun games and activities were also organised for teachers such as the dunk tank.
But for the parents, Ford observed that they seemed to enjoy the “shopping and the eating”. Many people were also seen going to the driving simulator, which is another attraction of the event.
Festival chair Inge Hansen and a committee of ASD parents has organised this year’s celebration. Besides the Friendship Festival, ASD also organises a series of cultural performances and activities during the “International Week” for all the 75 different nationalities.