The Organizing Committee for the National Day celebrations was keen to convey a vivid picture of the life of the marine heritage in Qatar within the Al Bidaa event, including Al Bidda Council (Majlis) and its social role, in addition to the popular traditional game of Dama, which was the destination of divers at rest time.
Regarding Al Bidaa Council (Majlis), Mr. Nasser bin Mubarak Al-Khulaifi, the Head of Al Bidaa Activity and Head of the Al-Housh Activity, said: Al Bidaa Council is the reference and the basis for everyone. In it, all shall have the rule and in it also the judge, and Al Nakhuda comes to it. All the affairs of the village and the laws of the people of the sea are resolved in the council, so the council is the place of solution and contract for the people of the sea. It also contains news from different countries. In addition, the council was the beginning of planning for cruises, marine trips and journeys where preparation, getting ready, and prepare and supply teams and everything they need for their trips take place.
He explained that the function of the council in Darb Al-Saai is that it serves as hospitality for every visitor, whether citizens or residents, or visitors to the country who are fans of the World Cup. It is also a message to everyone that the State of Qatar preserves the councils of the people of Qatar in which there is generosity, customs and traditions, and that despite the urban development and renaissance in the country, but, we are still sticking to our heritage and history.
Regarding the Dama game and the importance of its presence within Al Bidaa event, Mr. Nasser Al-Khulaifi said, “The Dama game is one of the traditional games that parents and grandparents used to play after their return from the sea, the end of the diving season and the onset of winter, and it was played in councils and cafes.”
We, therefore, wanted to present a model for the Qatari fisherman in the past, and how his suffering was, so the game theater was set up in the center of / Qarqur / or Al Dabouya, which is a net made of metal in the form of a tent that is used in fishing to be equipped in a way that makes visitors feel about the life of the sea and fishing.
He said that the Dama table game has an entertainment and educational method at the same time to teach young people and the current generation, how the fisherman catches fish, and the dangers he suffers. We, therefore, have set chairs and a table for Dama, which is an old popular game associated with life after diving, especially throughout the winter period. So, it was a means of entertainment for them at home and the city and the village, as there were no means of entertainment at that time, so their destination was to the popular cafes, and the councils, and thus it was a way to spend enjoyable times based on mental sports.
Mr. Nasser Al-Khulaifi explained that the idea of dama is similar to chess, with a difference in shapes, as it is a game that requires intelligence, reason and planning because any mistake benefits the opponent, indicating that the dama game still exists with its old laws, and it has its councils and we wanted to revive this game and that is why it is held annually in Darb Al Saai, where it will be taken advantage of.
He said that the Dama game has a special audience and has its pioneers. There are even pioneers in this game, as it awakens intelligence and makes the mind present and lurking for the opponent, pointing out that there are Qataris who were known for creativity and excellence in it, so they had a special awe that easily breaks the castles and fortresses of opponents.
Al-Khulaifi added by saying that the interest in this game and other popular games comes within the framework of enhancing the innate intelligence of young people, instead of engaging in electronic games, which of course have many disadvantages, stressing that the demand for the dama game is still there, and for this we continue to promote this heritage to preserve it because it is part of the lives of parents and grandparents.