A group of Qatari artists and chefs have joined hands with Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel which has launched a Qatari food and art festival, titled Alwan, at Al Hubara restaurant.
Ahmed bin Majed Almaadheed, Ahmed al-Mulla, Abeer al-Kuwari, Bouthayna al-Muftah, Ahmed al-Jufairi and Fahad al-Obaidly are the artists participating in the initiative. Amena Rashid Musa and Dunya Abed are the chefs.
The three-day event, which ends tomorrow, brings together We Café chefs and renowned artists to celebrate art, culture and food, according to a statement from the hotel.
Saeid Heidari, general manager at Sheraton Grand Doha, said: “We are thrilled to celebrate, recognise and appreciate talented artists and culinary masters in Qatar. The festival aims to spread Qatari cultural awareness and engagement in our community through food and art. We would like to commend our inspiring artists and chefs for putting forth their best efforts to portray their artistry that reflect what’s dearest to their hearts, our beloved Qatar.”
Making its debut at Al Hubara restaurant, Alwan showcases the “best of local dishes and talent from six renowned artists”, according to the statement. The hotel has invited guests to discover Qatar’s culture through a “unique gastronomic experience”, and the lineup of “carefully thought dishes” will be prepared by We Café chefs, spearheaded by chef Hassan Abdullah al-Ibrahim, director of the We group.
The festival brings Amena Rashid Musa, a Qatari baker and distinctive pastry chef who specialises in dessert making and is well known for her iconic Saffron cake that is now widely served in most of the coffee shops in Qatar, as well as Dunya Abed, a distinctive cook specialising in Hijazi dishes such as Bukhari, Yaghmash and Kabli and other Mediterranean delicacies.
While diners enjoy the “unique and innovative” dishes brought by We Café, the visual arts and crafts of Qatari artists are displayed in the hotel’s lobby by Al Hubara restaurant.
Guests are invited to explore the diverse collection of artworks from Ahmed bin Majed Almaadheed, Ahmed al-Mulla, Abeer al-Kuwari, Bouthayna al-Muftah, Ahmed al-Jufairi and Fahad al-Obaidly.
Almaadheed, known for the iconic portrait of His Highness the Emir, ‘Tamim Al Majd’, is among the artists featured in the festival. His ‘Tamim Al Majd’ portrait is an expression of the deep love and unparalleled reverence of the people of Qatar – both nationals and expatriates – for His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
Joining Almaadheed is al-Mulla and al-Kuwari. Al-Mulla specialises in drawing portraits and is currently exhibiting his work in Katara – the Cultural Village. Al-Kuwari, a Qatari multidisciplinary visual artist who has emerged in the field of photography, will also be part of the local artist lineup at the festival. She has been awarded many certificates of appreciation and won numerous awards for her work.
Visitors to the festival will also be able to view an artwork by al-Muftah. Her work is centred around her passion for Qatari tradition and culture due to her rich background and strong Qatari roots. Among her inspirations are stories of Qatari heritage and the remnants of folklore of the past.
For attendees looking for something more abstract, al-Jufairi’s art is contemporary, pop-inspired and conceptual. He puts great thought into the meanings behind his pieces and likes to focus on the idea of subliminal messaging.
Finally, displaying his collection alongside the other five Qatari artists, is fashion curator al-Obaidly. With multiple interests such as fashion design, film, drawing and installation, al-Obaidly addresses issues of “identity crisis” in his work. His art reflects a state of instability due to the loss of personal identity resulting from the rapid development taking place in the Gulf.
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