On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Qatari theatre, the Department of Dramatic Arts organized a seminar entitled “Drama and History”, in the presence of Dr. Khaled Mohammed Al-Horr, the President of the College, Dr. Mustafa Al-Khawaldeh, the Dean of Literature and Arts Sector, and in the presence of a group of interested and specialists, and a number of college students.
The seminar which was moderated by the theater critic Dr. Saeed Al-Naji, was held with the participation of Dr. Marzouq Bashir, a PhD in media and theatre, theater artist Saad Burshid, and Dr. Rami Abu Shehab, the professor of arts at Qatar University. The seminar had an extensive discussion, which contributed to enriching theatrical knowledge of the attendees, and shed light on the intersection of drama and cinema with history, in order to reach an understanding of the Qatari artistic experience in this regard
The participation of students and the public expressed awareness of the importance of the current historical dramatic productions, especially the Qatari ones, and stressed on the need for Qatar to have a strong cinematic industry that can be present globally, just as the Qatari media is present strongly, and influences global public opinion.
In this context, Dr. Marzouq Bashir confirmed in his intervention that “Drama and history” is a current topic that raises many questions and debates, especially after the large wave of series and films that deal with historical issues and stories that spread their resonance and reach cultural, media and even political public opinion, and there is no evidence for the same; the discussion that accompanied Omar bin Al-Khattab series and many others.
Also Dr. Bashir dealt with the complex relations between drama and history, and the need to erase preconceived ideas that try to give strength to the “Guardians of history” at the expense of drama under the pretext of “Loyalty to the historical truth”, as it is intended to subject drama to history and its details, but the historical truth is not agreed upon first, as it is governed by a system other than the system of drama, because the transmission of history through drama is not aimed at history itself, but rather at present, and its problems.
For this reason, Dr. Bashir defended the primacy of drama, and its ability to adapt and transform the historical story according to writing strategies, requirements and priorities for dramatic production; The purpose allows the disposal of the historical element, because it does not intend to convey the historical events as they are, and at which history stops, but it digs into the reasons behind the historical event, illuminates the present with it, and proposes a vision for the future.
He added by saying that: We need not to drop external judgments on drama, and we also need to represent the idea that history becomes nothing but a dramatic tool, and an element of dramatic imagination, whether in a series, movie, or play, and not a sacred historical document; which allows for a dramatic approach that illuminates the present and the future, and does not stop at the rigid historical facts.
For his part, the artist Saad Burshid dealt with the ambiguities of the Qatari experience in dealing with history dramatically, through a number of series, the most famous of which were the series, Omar, Al-Murabitoun, Al-Andalus, not to mention the discussion of history in the theater, and the parallelism it witnessed was present in dealing with history with the development that it knew after the official recognition of the Ministry of Culture in the early seventies of the last century, and it continued to shine. But, unfortunately, the current dramatic production in Qatar is not convincing, as stated by the artist Burshid who continued to say that: It does not currently keep pace with developments in the media and drama field, nor does it keep pace with the development of the international television and cinema industry, although, Qatar has now become a global model in the production of an independent media and drama which influences the global public opinion. It also has a unique experience in sports media. Thus, this raises more than one question about the unconvincing status of dramatic production
Also, Dr. Rami Abu Shehab revealed the cinema that dealt with history, and ways of dealing with it, from presenting historical stories to dealing with historical figures, and other methods, through his intervention on the intersection of drama and cinema with history, whether on the Arab or global level, and focused on the ideological employment of history in cinema, through the huge amount of films devoted to the Holocaust, and stories of Nazi violence against the Jews.