Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU’s) Translation and Interpreting Institute (TII), in collaboration with the embassies of Portugal and Brazil, celebrated the Day of Portuguese Language and Culture at the HBKU Student Centre in Education City.
The day’s festivities focused on facilitating exchange and dialogue between faculty, students and the Portuguese speaking communities living in Qatar.
Hosted by TII, Portuguese Language Day was attended by the Prime Minister of Portugal, António Costa, ambassador of Portugal, António Tânger, and minister counsellor at the embassy of Brazil, João Carlos Belloc.
Senior members of the university’s faculty and staff, including Dr Amal al-Malki, founding dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at HBKU, along with other government officials and students were also present at the event.
Prime Minister Costa said, “In a globalised world, in which borders and distances are no longer major obstacles, Portuguese is a factor of competitiveness, as a language of diplomacy and business, as a language of culture and knowledge and also as an important communication tool for Internet and social media. The geographical dispersion of the Portuguese speaking countries, their cultural diversity and the complementary of their economies are not disadvantages; on the contrary, they are valuable assets for these nine nations and for CPLP, the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries.”
Following the Portuguese Language Day’s official opening ceremony, students from TII delivered a short session on the Portuguese language. It gave dignitaries and guests in attendance a flavour of the language and its significance in the world today. Guests also had the opportunity to get a taste of traditional Portuguese food, and mingle with lusophones during the event.
Portuguese envoy, Tânger, highlighted the importance of Portuguese as a language in today’s world and said, “The language is the basis of a culture, and the culture is the root of a nation. The cultural identity of a nation is like a tree, whose strong roots allow it to battle all adversities.”
Dr al-Malki, said, “Our institutes, centres and initiatives are committed to serving and enriching the society by promoting active citizenship, while preserving our culture. Hosting the Portuguese Language Day at HBKU creates opportunities for open dialogue between our multicultural and multilingual community here in Education City, and also showcases our own rich Arab heritage.”
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