The Amman International Book Fair shed light on the novel and theater in Qatar, during its symposiums that came within the framework of the participation of the State of Qatar as guest of honor in its 22nd edition. With regard to theatre, the exhibition witnessed a symposium entitled (Qatari theatre: origins, recognition, achievements), in which the writer and theater critic, Dr. Hassan Rashid, and the artist and theater director, Faleh Fayez participated I ir, and it was moderated by Dr. Firas Al-Raymouni.
Dr. Rashid said: The emergence of Qatari theater in its official form has been more than fifty years, and during the course of half a century this theater presented many great personalities who now constitute the stream of awareness of theater in general. It is not possible to talk about Qatari theater in isolation from personalities such as writer and director Abdul Rahman Al Mannai, Hamad Al Rumaihi, Ghanem Al Sulaiti, Hadiya Saeed, Ghazi Hussein, and alot of names who contributed to the formation of different theatrical generations.
He highlighted the state of decline in Arab theater as a result of the unlimited invasion by some private Arab groups that tickle the audience’s senses and do not present the pleasure, art, thought, suffering and issues of the Arab person.
In turn, the artist Faleh Fayez said: “The state’s support for theater was through the Ministry of Information and the announcement of theater groups in the early seventies, as official proof of the birth of this field in Qatar. The emergence of the Qatari Theater Group, which was formed from the theater team of students from the Teachers’ House, and then the Al-Sadd Theater Troupe emerged from the Al-Sadd Club in 1973, becoming the second official theater group, followed by the Al-Adwaa Troupe in 1975, and the Arab Theater Troupe was established in 1976.”
He added that after this stage, the popular acting troupe in the early 1980s, which was founded by Musa Abdel Rahman, came with new youth energies, and today it constitutes the second theatrical generation. The popular troupe was founded with the outputs of school theater, which was established with the emergence of the Department of Theatrical Education at the Ministry of Education, and youth theater through clubs affiliated with the Supreme Council for Youth Welfare at that time.
As for the other symposium, it was titled (Cultural and Social Dimensions in the Qatari Novel), with the participation of the writer and academic Dr. Ahmed Abdel Malik and the writer Sheikha Al-Ziyara, and it was managed by the Jordanian writer Dr. Aladdin Al-Gharaibeh.
Dr. Abdul-Malik confirmed that the Qatari novel, like the Arab novel, did not deviate from the patterns followed by the Arabic novel, except with regard to the role of the environment and geographical neighborhood, and the most important component of that is (the sea). The features of the environment appeared in many Qatari novels, such as Old Dreams of the Sea by Shuaa Khalifa, The Pirate by Abdulaziz Al-Mahmoud, Faraj – the Story of Love and Slavery by Muhammad Ali Abdullah, and others.
He said: “When we bring up the role of the environment in the Qatari novel, we mean describing the components of the environment and its role in shaping human thought and behavior. The seashore was a place for children to play, a place for their memories, and a farewell place for sailors on the arduous and risky diving trip. It was also a place to receive sailors after the end of the diving season. The sea was also a scene of fighting, wars, and resistance to Portuguese and English colonialism, as mentioned in the novel The Pirate by the writer Abdul Aziz Al-Mahmoud.”
As for the short story novelist/ Sheikha Al-Ziyara, she explained that young adult literature in the Arab world is new, and is a new term, and in the past, it was called youth novels. Explaining that young adult literature appeared at the beginning of the twentieth century with the emergence of writers specializing in this type of novels with a deep understanding and awareness of the characteristics of this literature, and with great caution.