The marine craft workshops in Darb Al Saai remain a testament to the country’s maritime heritage, as these crafts embody many aspects of the life of the ancestors and their work at sea.
The Organizing Committee for the National Day celebrations was keen to enhance this heritage through workshops for these crafts in Darb Al Saai, which witnesses practical activities in the spinning industry, the rope industry, the sail industry, the Qalafa workshop for the manufacture of wooden ships, the Qarqir workshop, the oyster splitting workshop, the natural pearl workshop, the rope industry workshop, and the sail industry workshop, and the Hadaq workshop and the Tawasha workshop.
At the beginning, Ahmed Al-Harami said in the sail-making workshop at Al-Bidaa event that the sail consists of the “Dagl”, which is the wooden piece fixed to the bearing, and the brake, which is the wooden piece extending from the chest of the bearing, explaining that there are two types of sails: the Arab sail and it is in the shape of a triangle, and there is the European sail which comes in the form of a square.
Al-Harami explained that the height and length of the “Daggle” and “Brake” depends on the size of the bearing in order to assist in its movement on the water, because it is not permissible to have a small sail and at the same time the size of the bearing is large, and this is known to those with experience in making the sail, indicating that there are names for the sail, which are the Dama rope and the Yush rope, which are fixed in the constitution, and there are bearings with two or three sails, and between them is a sail that is the main sail.
Al-Harami added that there is a specific cloth used in the sail and it is known in the Gulf region, explaining that in the event of strong winds, the sail must be lowered and re-installed again.
He said that this is the heritage of the ancestors, and we preserve it and introduce the new generations to it, because they left us an important legacy.
He shows also the size of the challenges they faced in the past and from which they derive many values
For his part, Ahmed Ali said in the “Al-Dayyin” processing workshop, which is dedicated to preserving oysters collected from the sea, that “Al-Dayyin” is one of the tools used by the people of the sea in fishing, explaining that he prepares it from threads in different shapes, colors and openings according to demand.
Abu Ali explained that the time taken to prepare “Al-Dayyein” varies according to its shape and size.
Ibrahim Hussein said in the “Al-Dafrah” processing workshop, which are pieces made of ropes that are placed to separate bearings and ships from each other to prevent friction when the bearings are next to each other, indicating that he makes them in their old form in order to introduce visitors to them and how they were in the past.
Among the marine crafts that exist within Al-Bidaa activity are also the craft of “Al-Qallaf”, and they are specialized in making wooden ships. Here, Abdullah Hilal Al-Salem says in Al-Qallaf workshop that the manufacture of the loader starts from the base, then the shalamil, which are the wooden parts on both sides of the loader, then the work moves to the chest of the bearing loader, and then the rest of the parts, which are among them is “Al-Khan”, which is the place designated for the rest of the sailors, in addition to the place for
Al-Nukhuda, explaining that the work in the loader may take from 3-4 months depending on the size of the loader, provided that the number of people working in the loader is from 7-8 people, until if the loader is intended for travel. For example, stressing that the profession of Qalafiya still exists.
Al-Salem added that they preserve this heritage and pass it on to new generations, and this is the main goal of their activities in Darb Al Saai.
Al-Bidaa area in Darb Al Saai includes 20 events, 9 workshops, and 3 different competitions and exhibitions, as it includes the natural pearl sale exhibition, the diving and pearl exhibition, the ships exhibition, the Al-Qaraqir exhibition, the Qatari folk coffee, Al-Bidaa theater, Al-Hadaq, and the art of Al-Fajri and Al-Naham, and Al-Dama, Al-Carum, the oyster splitting competition, the Qatari pearl auction, the Maritime Museum, and the display of old naval uniforms.