The cultural events in Darb Al Saai witness a large number of visitors, as they attract a diverse audience that interacts with the rich package of intellectual seminars, poetry evenings, theatrical performances and visual arts organized by the Ministry of Culture within the activities of the National Day of the State, in the new and permanent headquarters of Dab Al Saai.
Visitors praised these events, which are in line with the goals of the National Day, highlight Qatari culture, national identity and authentic heritage, and keep pace with the country’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The destination of visitors
“Darb Al Saai” this year features the “Liwan Art” pavilion, which showcases the Qatari creativity in the fields of plastic arts and photography, and the aesthetics of the Arabic letter and Islamic decoration and ceramic arts that review the contents of the national identity.
The “Liwan of Art” includes a group of exhibitions: Liwan of Pioneers, Liwan of Ceramics, Liwan of Arabic Letters and Islamic Decoration, Liwan of Qatar Aesthetics for Photography, and Liwan of Art Workshops, with the participation of a number of centers affiliated to the Ministry of Culture, namely: Visual Arts Center, Qatar Center for Photography, The Country Club Center for Stamps and Coins Collectors.
Liwan’s Arabic calligraphy and Islamic ornamentation are very popular with local visitors and World Cup fans, according to the Czech calligrapher and artist participating in the event, Youssef Schlar.
Schlar said that: “The interaction of visitors with the Arabic calligraphy activity is very great, and people come to Yuan al-Fan to see the arts of calligraphy and how to write Arabic calligraphy through the educational workshops that we offer to visitors, pointing to the visitors’ enjoyment of the event and their interest in learning to write their names in Arabic calligraphy, even if they are non-Arabic native speakers.
The Czech artist added that a delegation of Argentine national team fans visited Liwan the Arabic script and spent about an hour learning to write the name of their country in Arabic calligraphy, in addition to writing their names that they took as a souvenir from Qatar, considering the visitors’ interaction with the cultural and artistic events as a reflection of the diversity and beauty of the authentic elements, inspirational in Arab culture which is capable of leaving an impact and imprint on people, even if they are non-Arabic speakers.
The Pioneers Liwan includes collections of works by leading Qatari plastic artists. It includes a section dedicated to the paintings of the leading Qatari plastic artist Jassim Zaini “1942-2012”, one of the most prominent contemporary Qatari plastic artists. Pioneers’ Liwan also includes selected works by senior Qatari plastic artists who are pioneers of plastic art, namely: Hassan Al Mulla, Youssef Ahmed, Wafiqa Sultan Al-Issa, Ali Hassan, Faraj Daham, Salman Al-Malik, and Muhammad Ali Abdullah. The exhibition provides an opportunity for visitors to Darb Al Saai to see examples of the experiences of these creative pioneers.
Nasser Al-Duhaimi, one of the pioneer visitors to Liwan, said that the art galleries in the Liwan attract him with their diversity between plastic content and Arabic calligraphy, pointing to the role of art galleries in Darb Al Saai in promoting Islamic culture, especially in a period when the country hosts an event the size of the World Cup.
Stamps and coins
On the other hand, “Liwan Stamps and Coins” has attracted a number of Qatari families who are eager to learn about the history of stamps and currencies and their uses, in addition to the rare models of them, which the Liwan included, since the first Qatari issues until now.
Nasser Al-Dosari, one of the visitors to the event, said that the beauty of Darb Al Saai this year is that it is the most beautiful version among the previous versions in terms of existing creations, stamps and heritage coins that remind of the past, adding that Liwan Stamps and Coins brings together a large number of heritage items in one place that does not attract the younger generation. A tooth seeking to know not only his past, but also adults, for whom these elements represent a memory that is still ingrained in their minds.
The Qatar Photography Center of the Ministry of Culture is participating in the “Qatar Aesthetics” exhibition, which includes works that reflect the urban and economic renaissance, and introduces the world to Qatar’s landmarks and natural environment.
Liwan Ceramics, in turn, attracts the attention of visitors to Darb Al Saai, especially from the youth groups. The ceramics trainer at the Visual Arts Center, Sawsan Al-Shaar, praised the interaction of visitors with the ceramics workshop and the great turnout it witnessed during the past days, whether by hand or electric wheel molding, noting the interest of Qatari citizens to participate in the ceramic workshop.
Cultural and artistic events
The main theater in Darb Al Saai witnesses a number of various artistic and cultural events that seek to reach the largest number of audiences of different nationalities and cultures through the diversity of topics presented in 23 seminars, 6 poetry evenings and 3 theatrical performances, with the distinguished participation of the Center for Theater Affairs and the Center Music Affairs, Visual Arts Center, Qatar Poetry Center (Diwan Al-Arab), Qatar Media Center, Qatar Authors Forum, and Qatar Photography Center.
The cultural seminars hosted by the main stage since the launch of the events until today deal with a number of topics of interest to the public in all its sects, including the role of media and social networking sites in highlighting cultures, how to create content and influence new media platforms, and the legacy and deep impact of Qatari heritage. It also dealt with the great roles and achievements of the Qatari women.
The symposium “The Role of Media and Social Media in Showing Cultures” kicked off the activities of Darb Al Saai Theater, with the participation of the journalist and writer Dr. Abdullah Faraj, the Editor-in-Chief of Al-Arab, Mr. Hassan Al-Mohammadi, and Ms. Maryam Yassin Al-Hammadi, the Director of the Department of Culture and Arts at the Ministry of Culture, while the discussion was moderated by the Journalist Ahmed Al-Saadi.
In her intervention at the symposium, Al-Hammadi reviewed the relationship between culture and the media, stressing that both the media and the general social culture influence each other, as the media can influence society and its prevailing culture, so the need for media has become to protect society and its culture through a front that protects society and helps in promoting His values and principles.
Commenting on the role of social influencers, Dr. Abdullah Faraj said, on the sidelines of the symposium, that: “The World Cup period gives impetus to all segments of society, whether they are media professionals, writers, authors, innovators, readers and those who have any means of social communication, to be a building block for building a new Qatari media edifice in support of the media march.” He considered that “Darb Al Saai is a meeting place for civilizations and cultures, and an opportunity for the World Cup guests to learn about our identity and culture, and to learn about their cultures and languages in turn.”
Participants in the “Heritage… An Extended Legacy and Deep Impact” symposium appreciated the role of the Ministry of Culture and all state institutions in preserving heritage and working to document it in order to consolidate the national identity and confirm the antiquity of this heritage.
Dr. Aisha Al-Kuwari, in her intervention during a symposium entitled “Qatari Women… praised the great roles and achievements in society,” highlighted the progress made by Qatari women and their role in achieving the goals of the 2030 Strategy.
The journalist, Hessa Al-Suwaidi, emphasized the role of the Qatari intellectual as an ambassador for her country on social platforms and in front of the world open to Qatar, with her Islamic religion and authentic identity.
Qatar’s Poetry Center “Diwan Al-Arab” organized a symposium entitled “Poetry and Values” in Darb Al Saai, as part of the program of cultural seminars accompanying the activities and celebrations of the National Day of the State. Poets Lahdan Al-Kubaisi. Participated in the symposium the poet Lahdan Al-Kubaisi, member of the Studies Committee at Qatar Poetry Center “Diwan Al-Arab”, and the poet Ali Al-Masoudi, and the poet Mahmoud Al-Zaybak, which was presented by the journalist, Atta Mohammad
The symposium dealt with the importance of poetry and values, and their definition, as well as the meanings of different values, and the danger of employing poetry in a negative way, which may cause damage to society. It also dealt with the different definitions of poetry and its role in spreading awareness among members of the new generation.
The musical symposium organized by the Ministry’s Music Affairs Center witnessed a great interaction from the audience with the tunes of Al-Fajri’s art in the symposium “The Art of Al-Fajri… The Pearl of the Sea”, which delighted the audience. Their enthusiasm erupted to the beat of the sports song in a symposium entitled “Excited Tunes with a Sports Spirit” that hosted the artist Ali Abdel Sattar and the poet Shehab Al-Shamrani.
The participants in the symposium expressed their happiness with the heritage atmosphere and the efforts of the Ministry of Culture in presenting the Qatari heritage as part of the National Day celebrations in Darb Al Saai.
The Researcher Mohammad Al-Sayegh, author of the book “Al-Fajri and the Arts of Work on Board the Ship,” said, “Al-Fajri art is an ancient art in Qatar, and it is rich in its songs and words, as it was constantly accompanying pearl diving trips, pointing to its positive and psychological impact in raising the performance and work of sailors.
For his part, the popular artist Khaled Johar talked about the history of the art of Al-Fajri and the people’s association with it in the past, indicating that the art of Al-Fajri was the catalyst and the way that eased the tiredness of the days.
In turn, Al-Naham Omar Sultan Al-Kuwari gave an explanation about the differences between marine arts and the special features of each of the marine arts. He gave joy to the audience by presenting examples of the art of al-Fajri in its five basic forms, accompanied by the popular band, which used its traditional tools related to the art of sound.
The sports song
The artist, Ali Abdel Sattar, confirmed, during a seminar on “Excited Tones in a Sports Spirit,” that the sports song has a great impact on arousing enthusiasm among the fans and players alike, pointing to his preparation of four new sports songs recently, one of which was produced by the Ministry of Culture, in conjunction with hosting a country Qatar for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
For his part, the poet Shihab Al-Shamrani presented a number of various poems, which received remarkable interaction from the audience.
The Organizing Committee for Qatar’s National Day 2022 celebrations had revealed earlier that Darb Al Saai this year will witness the largest gathering of cultural, artistic and literary events in its history, as a rich and distinguished package of artistic and heritage activities and intellectual seminars has been prepared. Poetry evenings, theatrical performances and visual arts aimed at highlighting the Qatari culture, national identity and authentic heritage, as well as enriching the audience’s taste throughout the celebration period, which lasts from November 25 to December 18.