The diverse yet culture-centred Qatar National Day (QND) celebrations at Katara – the Cultural Village have been attracting a large number of visitors since its beginning on December 12.
The festivities are highlighting the country’s rich heritage and unity of its people. Traditional performances and various cultural activities at Embrace Doha’s ‘Labaih Ya Amir (Here I am at your service O Emir)’ at the Katara esplanade provided National Day-goers “a taste of authentic Qatari life.”
“We are very focused on the Qatari part of the event, meaning when somebody enters this pavilion he can experience pure and 100% Qatari hospitality,” said Abdullah A al-Emadi, public relations manager at Embrace Doha, known as Qatar’s first cultural consultancy firm.
The Bedouin House, he noted, offers visitors what he described as “a unique part of Qataris’ lives” in the past.
'Tean' holds pottery workshops for all ages. PICTURE: Joey Aguilar
Workshops and handicrafts showcased at Embrace Doha's ‘Labaih Ya Amir'.
Visitors write messages of love for Qatar on a freedom wall.
PICTURES: Ram Chand
Al-Emadi recounted that their forefathers used to build these wood-supported tents out of black goats hair and in some parts it is mixed with camels’ hair.
“This is where they usually spend time during the winter so we serve coffee and karak to make them (visitors) warm,” he noted. “This is the first part that everyone should try.”
The pavilion also features a number of workshops for all ages such as ‘al-Leek’, a traditional name for nets made of reinforced threads of nylon or cotton; ‘al-jus’ (or gypsum) designing used for decorating roofs and walls; and boxes-making, an important part of Qatari and Gulf tradition.
The Tean Studio stall teaches adults and young children pottery-making through educational and fun workshops, apart from selling unique hand-made items. It was founded by three female aspiring entrepreneurs.
In addition, children can participate in educational competitions on stage to showcase their talents while visitors enjoy the food and other offerings at various stalls.
Al-Emadi said Souq Al Fereej at the pavilion features successful Qatari startups, which can be models for others who are mulling to join or start a new business.
“These startups show how Qataris and youngsters stood with their country and leadership by opening new businesses aimed at supporting Qatar’s economy,” he stressed.
About the QND, al-Emadi said the celebration this year brings back to memory the unity of Qatari tribes under the leadership of the founder, Sheikh Jassim bin Mohamed bin Thani. “History repeats itself this year.”
Katara is also hosting 50 Qatari outlets taking part in the daily bazaar, organised in collaboration with the Bedaya Centre as part of the QND celebrations, which runs until December 19.
According to organisers, the outlets showcase “products rich in Qatari culture, yet intertwined with a touch of modernity.”
Meanwhile, a ‘freedom wall’, which resembles a giant book, gives residents and visitors an opportunity to express their solidarity and love for Qatar as it celebrates National Day.
The Air Ambulance Show and other aerobatic performances by the Qatar Armed Forces also continue to enthrall spectators while other attractions such as the camel corner at the Ooredoo pavilion was also a big hit.
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