The Russian martial arts of Sambo, which made its Qatar debut at Aspire Zone Foundation’s (AZF) National Sport Day (NSD) celebrations on Tuesday, conveys a message that transcends cultural, racial, and religious boundaries, according to a martial arts expert.

“Sambo teaches many life lessons, such as discipline, dedication, and team work, which are universal values that unite all countries. We want to introduce Sambo to Qatar not only as a sport but also as a way to bring people of different backgrounds together,” International Sambo Federation (Fias) executive director Sergev Tabakov told Gulf Times on the sidelines of the ‘Sambo Russian Martial Art Sport Day’ event held at Aspire Zone on Tuesday.

The event is part of a series of projects held in the framework of the ‘Year of Culture Qatar-Russia 2018’ and had attracted a large number of participants during the interactive master classes and workshops led by top Russian Sambo experts.

Qatar’s ambassador to Russia Fahad bin Mohamed al-Attiyah and Russian ambassador Nurmakhmad Kholov at the ‘Sambo Russian Martial Art Sport Day’ event held at Aspire Zone

It also featured a variety of entertainment installations for children and an exhibition space showcasing the 80-year history of the unique self-defence sport, attracting hundreds of visitors interested in learning the Russian martial art.

‘Sambo Russian Martial Art Sport Day’ witnessed the presence of His Highness Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani, the Personal Representative of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, as well as Qatar’s ambassador to Russia Fahad bin Mohamed al-Attiyah, Russian ambassador Nurmakhmad Kholov, and Fias president Vasily Shestakov.

Al-Attiyah said, “The introduction of Sambo during our National Sport Day is further testament to the value of cultural exchange between Qatar and Russia. We are pleased to have seen our communities actively engage in this unique aspect of Russian sport and look forward to continued collaboration between our two nations.”

Shestakov added, “We are delighted with the outstanding turnout for the Sambo show. As a unique face of Russian sports culture, we very much value the positive response and engagement we have seen in introducing this sport to the diverse communities celebrating National Sport Day this year.”

Every year, Qatar runs a cultural exchange programme that aims to promote mutual understanding, recognition, and appreciation between countries. ‘Qatar-Russia Year of Culture’ took place in 2018 with the aim of strengthening relations between the state of Qatar and the Russian Federation, and to celebrate the vibrant complexity of both nations and their people.

‘Sambo Russian Martial Art Sport Day’, hosted by Fias with Russian oil company Rosneft, comes to Qatar this year to extend a rich programme of cultural exchange begun in the ‘Qatar-Russia 2018 Year of Culture’.

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