For many children it is the first ever experience of fasting during Ramadan every year. Apart from other festivities for children, the holy month brings the much-awaited Garangao, starting mid-Ramadan.
A traditional children’s party celebrated after the breaking of the fast on the 14th night of Ramadan when half of the fasting month is over, Garangao is a festival celebrated in the Gulf region and is known by different names in different places.
Children get dressed up in festival robes, carry a bag around their neck, and go around in groups in the neighbourhood, singing special songs, knocking the doors of neighbours, and receiving nuts and candy from them.
These days, a lot of organisations and malls or cultural centres organise special events for this festival where children are given a chance to participate in many activities and are given various gifts besides the traditional nuts and candies.
A number of Garangao and related activities for children are lined up this Ramadan by different organisations across Qatar at different popular venues. Maktaba Qatar, the country’s first Children Library, is celebrating Garangao at Gate Mall. Maktaba runs a great programme for children that includes storytelling, craft workshops and traditional games. No reservation is required and the programme runs from June 19 to June 20 from 8pm to 10pm.
The Library will host a very special Garangao celebration along with their partners from Quantum Global Solutions. The event gives Qatar Families Group members an opportunity to enjoy the festivities and make friends from others in the group. It is free for all but prior reservation is required.
Maktaba is also inviting children to attend the Arabian Nights programme at Hyatt Plaza. The programme includes storytelling, craft workshops and traditional games. It runs from June 6 to 25, from 8 pm to 10pm at Hyatt Plaza near Gate number 2.
Maktaba is the first public children’s library in Qatar. It provides a place to inspire children and their parents to fall in love with reading, learning and the acquisition of knowledge. It is a space where imagination comes to life through books, play, and thoughtfully conceived programming for children of all ages
The primary purpose of the library is to encourage children of all ages towards a love of reading in order to achieve their academic, intellectual and creative goals. “We believe that every child has the capacity to reach his/her full potential. We design programmes to help children develop the skills and the confidence to achieve their potential,” says Maktaba.
They encourage children to explore the world and use creativity to reflect on their experiences besides contribute to their community by providing children with outlets for their natural curiosity and fostering dialogue.
By focusing on the value of reading for pleasure as a tool to improve literacy, encourage curiosity and foster intercultural dialogue, Maktaba aims to contribute to the continuing development of the community in Qatar and the larger community throughout the region.
By prioritising reading in Arabic they hope to help sustain the renaissance in Arabic Language Children’s Literature. In Katara Cultural Village, Shams Generation, a QSTec initiative, will hold workshops for children on solar innovations from 15th to 27th of June during Ramadan with one particularly on Garangao with Qatar Foundation.
In an earlier workshop this year, Shams Generation helped children learn how to make their own solar lanterns. Established by QSTec in 2015, Shams Generation is an interactive hands-on learning programme that combines art, science, reusing and solar energy.
The Shams Generation programme has been implemented across schools, where teachers received instructions on how to implement the program by QSTec and in turn implement the initiative with their students.
They plan to expand Shams Generation into more schools in Qatar. A university programme has also been launched this year with a view to collaborate with more universities and colleges in Qatar. Shams Generation, earlier this year, held a collective exhibition in Katara featuring artwork created by students from various schools participating in the Shams Generation Programme using a solar power kit and recycled materials.
Over 20 schools incorporated the programme, with more than 1,500 students contributing to the artwork being showcased. The Shams Generation programme will reach over 7,000 students in 2016 and is the largest ever national-level educational programme of its kind in Qatar and aims to forge a blueprint for progress on sustainability of solar energy as a resource.
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