Russian ambassador Nurmakhmad Kholov (centre) and others at the meeting of the Co-ordination Council of the Russian compatriots yesterday. PICTURES: Nasar T K
By Ramesh Mathew/Staff Reporter
About 80 Qatar residents of Russian-origin, including some from the states bordering present Russia and which were once part of the erstwhile Soviet Union, gathered yesterday at The Diplomatic Club for the first ever meeting of the Co-ordination Council of Russian Compatriots in Qatar.
The event was held under the chairmanship of Russian ambassador Nurmakhmad Kholov. People familiar with the language, culture and other traditions of the Soviet Union were among those present.
Welcoming the gathering, ambassador Kholov said he was extremely happy to find many people of Russian-origin coming together for the first time at a meeting in Doha. He also hoped they would remain together and build good relations among themselves, so that their community would be benefited.
At the gathering, the members decided on the necessity of developing fruitful relations among the people of the erstwhile member states and others familiar with language and cultural traditions of undivided Russia, which existed until the beginning of the 90s.
The members also vowed to make efforts for establishing a Russian Culture Centre in Qatar, with which they hope to spread more awareness among the residents about their country. “We also hope to have a Russian language teaching class among other things at the proposed centre,” said Marina Loktyukhava, chairperson of the Co-ordination Council of Russian Compatriots in the State of Qatar.
The official said conservative estimates have put the number of Russians in Qatar between 1,000 and 1,500, and people of Russian-origin and those coming from the states which were once part of the Soviet Union between 5,500 and 6,000.
It is understood that Qatar houses many people of states such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Belarus, and Armenia, each of whom are familiar with Russian traditions, culture and more importantly the language.
Before dispersing, the members also decided to make efforts to hold a Russian cultural show in the country next year.
Besides Kholov and Loktyukhava, director of Gazprom Co. regional office in Qatar and the Gulf, D Soloviev, head of the Union of Russian Entrepreneurs in Dubai A A Tokarev, co-chairpersons of the councils, Alla Imirnava and Natalya Goryainova, also spoke.
The organisers also thanked the State of Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for facilitating the meeting. Gazprom Co and Lana Group were the sponsors.
1) A view of the audience.
2) An exhibition of paintings by Russian artists at the venue.
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