QNL to celebrate diversity of cultures, identities and artistic voices
October 30 2019 12:48 AM
The lineup includes a remarkable exhibition and displays of art, poetry and music. (File picture)

Qatar National Library has said it will celebrate people, cultures and events that have shaped the world through a comprehensive programme of events this November, which include a remarkable exhibition and displays of art, poetry and music.
The ‘Qatar, India and The Gulf: History, Culture and Society’ exhibition opens tomorrow and will run for three months.
The exhibits examine thousands of years of connections between India, Qatar and the Gulf, and is part of the library’s celebration of the Qatar India 2019 Year of Culture.
On November 13, in co-operation with the Qatari Authors Forum, the ‘Qatar and India: Common Customs and Traditions’ lecture will delve into shared customs and traditions, and how time and societal developments have changed them.
Modern Indo-Arabic numerals have evolved over many millennia, and this history will be unravelled in ‘A Brief History of Indo-Arabic Numerals’ on November 16.
The lecture will be presented by Nahuel Gonzalez, the co-founder and chief technical officer of ADGS, a high-tech Qatari startup successfully incubated at Qatar Science & Technology Park, and the creator of Strokk, a password verification system now used across the region.
Gonzalez will also present a workshop, ‘Ancient Numeral Systems: Arithmetic the Hard Way’, on November 16.
Participants will better understand how successively improved number systems can be sped up with algorithmic improvements only made possible by Hindu-Arabic numerals.
Celebrating the life of a man known as India’s Father of the Nation, the library and Qatar Foundation Community Engagement have partnered to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Dr Faisal Devji, director of South Asia History at Oxford University, will deliver a lecture on November 28 that traces Gandhi’s ideas of non-violence and their relevance today.
Arab identity and its preservation is the theme of the November 3 event, ‘Before It Is Too Late: Protecting and Preserving Arab Audiovisual Heritage’.
Dedicated to safeguarding cultural heritage, and held in co-operation with the University College London-Qatar and British Library Qatar Foundation Partnership, the library is organising the event to celebrate the unique audiovisual heritage of Qatar and the Middle East.
Dr Sohair Wastawy, executive director of the library, said: “The themes of the November events are as rich in diversity as our community. The library has collaborated with a host of institutions and partners, and the result is to produce a programme with a strong international flair. We are delighted to celebrate the heritage and traditions of a nation such as India and its shared a history with Qatar that dates very far back. We encourage our visitors to visit and engage with our speakers and our exhibitions and find a path for their individual self-development and enjoyment through lifelong learning.”
‘Fire up Your Imagination’ with author, illustrator and performance poet Chris White on November 7 promises to be a creative hour of imaginative ideas.
White will reveal how he became a writer and share tales of his global travels performing poetry.
He will then guide participants as they pen and illustrate a poem of their own.
For a musical treat, the Ministry of Defence Music Battalion Unit will perform at a concert of Qatari music on November 12, where they will play pieces inspired by the Qatari arts, using traditional instruments to reflect local culture.
‘Poetry Night Doha 2019: Flavours and Aroma’ on November 15 is a local edition of an international event created in 2016 by the Arab World Institute in Paris, in memory of the attacks in the French capital of November 2015.
This event is organised as a joint collaboration between the library, l’Institut Français du Qatar, the embassy of Senegal in Qatar, the embassy of Mali in Qatar and the Qatar Poetry Centre (Diwan Al Arab) of the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
The library will host the ‘Young Writers Programme: Open Mic Night’ on November 16 in collaboration with Doha Learning Days, the country’s first experiential learning festival organised by the World Innovation Summit for Education. Members of the public can submit a piece of writing of up to two minutes to be performed. Pieces must interpret one of the themes of Doha Learning Days: Re-centering Learning Around Human Values; De-constructing Existing Learning Frameworks; or Re-learning to Build Thriving Societies.
Other events in November are ‘Mapping Planets’, presented by the Science Book Forum, on November 17 with Dr Alessandro Frigeri.
The monthly Philharmonic at the library concert series will present ‘Clara Schumann: The Artist and The Woman’ on November 21.
In collaboration with the British Council, the library will present ‘Edifice//Artifice’ on November 20 as part of the Qatar British Festival ‘Reading the City’ programme.
On November 22, ‘Every Thing Every Time’ will ask what kind of stories urban data can tell about a city, its citizens, workers and visitors.
Turning to current and contemporary issues, ‘The Arab Revolutions’ on November 24 will host Dr Shafeeq Ghabra, professor of political science at Kuwait University, to talk about his book The Arab Revolutions and reflect on different dimensions of the 2011 revolutions.
On November 25, the library and Georgetown University in Qatar will host ‘The Blockade Against Qatar: A Blessing in Disguise?’. Alexis Antoniades, chair of International Economics at Georgetown, will examine the impact the blockade has had on Qatar’s economy and the policy responses that followed.
Details of the library’s full programme of events are available online at www.qnl.qa/en/events

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