The Swiss embassy in Qatar, in co-operation with partners from the private sector, launched the Club Suisse Doha (CSD) initiative yesterday at the Doha Port’s Mina District, in line with the Swiss National Football team’s participation in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Swiss ambassador Edgar Doerig led the club’s inauguration, highlighting the strong bilateral relations between Qatar and Switzerland, including trade and investments, politics and culture and arts.
The club, he said, serves as a platform to bring Switzerland closer to Qataris, residents, and international visitors, giving them the opportunity to discover the different aspects of Swiss culture.
Aside from Swiss sculpture artist David Pflugi’s unique works at the CSD, the envoy also cited a number of permanent and temporary installations in Doha by Swiss artists, including Urs Fischer’s Teddy Bear at Hamad International Airport, Pflugi’s work at 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum, and Ugo Rondinone’s Doha Mountains near 974 Stadium.
According to the embassy, the club is open to the public and serves as a meeting point for Swiss, residents and international guests where they can “experience Switzerland in its diversity and a rich cultural programme”.
The event is also aimed at promoting sustainable tourism and share Switzerland’s passion for sports and football.
Some of the activities at the CSD include watching the football matches live on TV in a unique Swiss atmosphere, savouring a variety of Swiss cuisines, live shows by Swiss and Qatari musicians, Art atelier showcasing Pflugi and other Swiss artists, organising chocolate workshops, welcoming special events in collaboration with Swiss companies, temporary exhibitions on sustainability and human rights, and exchanging ideas and networking.
Pflugi’s The Victory Works at the CSD features stunning objects described as “priceless artefacts” and “true monuments” – both in complexity and size – which have been signed by football legends: Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldinho, Fernando Torres, Lionel Messi, Luka Modrik, and Kylian Mbappe, among others.
Swiss ambassador Edgar Doerig interacting with sculpture artist David Pflugi at the CSD yesterday. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam