In the presence of His Excellency Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Hamad Al Thani, the Minister of Culture, and His Excellency Sheikh Dr. Faleh bin Nasser bin Ahmed bin Ali Al Thani, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Music Affairs Center of the Ministry of Culture held, on Wednesday evening, November 30, a symposium entitled “The Art of Fajri, the Pearl of the Sea” I in Darb Al Saai in Umm Salal.
The symposium, which was attended by a large audience of visitors to Darb Al Saai, sought to introduce this marine artistic heritage in which our country was distinguished, as memory preserved this art and its most important pioneers of poets and luminaries.
The symposium was attended also by Mr. / Khaled Gohar, a popular artist and narrator, Al-Niham Omar Sultan Al-Kuwari (Bosaqr), and Mr. Mohammad Al-Sayegh, a researcher in Qatari heritage, and it was presented by the media man: Adel Abdullah.
At the beginning of the symposium, the participants expressed their happiness with the heritage atmosphere and the efforts of the Ministry of Culture to present the Qatari heritage as part of the Darb Al Saai National Day celebration, to introduce the fans of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 along with various aspects of the Qatari maritime heritage.
The researcher, Mohammad Al-Sayegh, who is the author of the book “Al-Fajri and the Art of Work on the Ship,” said that the art of Al-Fajri is an ancient art in Qatar, and it is rich in its songs and words, where he was constantly accompanying the pearl diving trips, so that every loader had to have a Naham perform this art, and many of the Nahamin became professional in singing and chanting to entertain the sailors on board the ship, and to add joy and enthusiasm in their souls to help them bear the trouble, effort and hardship of work.
Al-Sayegh pointed out that due to the importance of the Nahama in the past, Al Nakhama used to compete in choosing the strongest and most vocal Nahamin on their voyages, due to their positive and psychological impact in raising the performance and work of sailors, when they hear a Nahama that has a beautiful rhythm, they interact with it, and the activity is renewed and they have the ability to complete the journey and its troubles.
The researcher in the heritage explained that al-Fajri belongs to the arts of the sea, and it is divided into two types: A type related to leisure times and is after returning from work or rest on an island or Bandar or otherwise. Meanwhile, the other type is on the deck of the ship during the work of the sailors, pointing out that the types of Al-Fajri art include five types which are: Al-Bahri, Al-Adsani, and Al-Haddadi, and Al-Khalifi, and Al-Hassawi, pointing out that the method of Al-Jarhan differs, which means the entrance to each type of these arts, and stated that Al-Nahham is the person who performs this art and is a memorizer of poetry, especially Al-Zuhairiyat, and his voice is strong and dewy at the same time, as they used to call the song (Al-Tanzeelah).
As for the artist and popular narrator Khaled Johar, he discussed in his speech the history of Al-Fajri art and the people’s association with it in the past, explaining that Qataris have always started Al-Fajri with the remembrance of God, and prayers and peace be upon our master, the Messenger of God, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him.
He added that these divers had been living in the sea for months, amidst the dangers and horrors of the sea, as they sought their livelihoods and their simple tools, so they carried things made of pottery with them to eat drink and food, just as each load had a Muezzin (Who Calls for Prayer) in the interest of the prayer tool on time and to carry out rituals wherever they were. Accordingly, their lives were organized according to the times of prayer, as diving begins after the Fajr prayer.
Johar referred to the difficult life that they were finding in these times, and that the art of Fujairy served as a catalyst and a way that eased the tiredness of the days, pointing out that the presence of other arts was accompanying the arts of the sea, such as Al-Khatfa, Al-Dawari, and others, and each type has foundations related to the beginning of Al-Nahma.
In his turn, Al-Naham Omar Bousaqr explained the differences between marine arts and the characteristics of each marine art, as he presented, with the accompanying band, wonderful examples of the art of Fujairy in its five basic forms, as well as the arts of Al-Khatfah, Al-Dawari and Al-Yamal, using their traditional tools of drums, tambourines and pottery instruments, with decoration that simulates an image of the sea, where they transferred the audience to the sea, its atmosphere and its arts.