Posted on December 15, 2014

Al Shaqab Equestrian Centre’s Qatar National Day activities, part of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development’s (QF) tent at Darb El-Saai, are enabling visitors to explore the world of horses, and helping to honour a tradition that is deeply rooted in Qatari heritage.

Al Shaqab, a member of Qatar Foundation, is giving special riding lessons, as well as horse healthcare tips, outside the QF tent. Providing an engaging experience for visitors of all ages and backgrounds, the activities are aligned with QF’s mission to encourage community development, enhancing cultural life and preserving the country’s traditions. Furthermore, as part of Al Shaqab’s celebrations, the centre competed in the annual National Day Cup, taking home a number of honours in the endurance category.

Jockey Faleh Bughenaim came first in the adult category. Racing 120km on his horse ‘Halte A Tout’, Faleh was led to victory by the team’s manager and trainer Hadi Al Ramzani. Hassan Tahous Al Nuaimi came fifth in the same race, while Mohammed Bughenaim placed second in the 100km race. Fahad Saad Al Qahtani, Director of Al Shaqab was delighted the centre participated in the National Day Cup, confirming the excellence of the Al Shaqab team in addition to QF’s interest in sports and participating in community activities to further connect people with the events in the country.

Al Shaqab promotes equine heritage 2 [].jpgAl Qahtani said: “We have been concentrating on refining Al Shaqab’s distinction in Endurance racing for some time, especially under the immense support of H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Al Thani, Al Shaqab Chairperson. This result has made us exceptionally happy, and ensures that Al Shaqab will be leading local endurance races. This win comes from the dedication and skill of the jockeys and horses, with Al Shaqab representing the perfect atmosphere for them to achieve success.”

Fahad Abdulla Al Hajri, Manager of Outreach & Communication at Al Shaqab, commented on the win, saying: "This is a fantastic achievement and adds to an already impressive list of local and international awards that Al Shaqab has won. This accomplishment is particularly significant as, being part of the Qatar National Day activities, it inspires great national pride. "National Day is an opportunity to celebrate Qatar’s achievements, as well as a chance to remember the past and preserve the heritage of Arabian horses in Qatar.

“Operating under Qatar Foundation’s Darb El-Saai activities, Al Shaqab is continuing to offer a range of fun and exciting exercises this week, designed to instil a love of horses among younger generations, which is an integral part of Qatar’s culture.” 


Meanwhile, thousands of students from across Qatar have been visiting QF’s tent at Darb El- Saai for the on-going National Day 2014 celebrations and taking inspiration for future career opportunities. In support of the Qatar National Vision 2030, the activities have been specially designed to engage the community with QF’s work and activities. The events help introduce young people and the general public to QF’s many initiatives and achievements that support the nation in building a knowledge-based economy by unlocking human potential.

Youngsters took part in numerous fun and educational activities based around QF’s three pillars of Education, Research and Community Development. Some of the activities offered included a reading corner to promote an interest in literature, and professional development activities encouraging students to choose career paths aligned with their interests. Since the opening of QF’s tent in Darb El-Saai on 8 December, QF Radio has been encouraging participating students to build their confidence by giving them the opportunity to take the lead and be reporters for the day – and consider broadcasting as a future career.

Al Shaqab promotes equine heritage 3 [].jpgDozens of Qatari students eagerly conducted interviews in Arabic and English with visitors around the tent. One of the students to participate was 15-year-old Qatar Academy student Sultan Al Sulaiti. Commenting on the experience, Al Sulaiti said: “I wanted to participate in the QF Radio programme and conduct interviews with visitors to explore their views on all the events taking place during this year’s National Day celebrations. It has been really exciting to have this opportunity to be a reporter for a day and I have had wonderful responses from my interviewees and the wider audience.”

"Radio broadcasting is my hobby. This is my first opportunity to actually do it in a professional setting. This experience has given me the opportunity to communicate with the public as well as QF Radio’s listeners, and has prompted me to think about the possibility of specialising in this field in the future."

Al Sulaiti had the opportunity to interview Qatari veteran actor Ghazi Hussein during his visit to QF’s tent. Speaking about his impression of the tent, Hussein said: "This is the second time that I have come to Qatar Foundation’s tent to participate in the National Day celebrations. I think that the movement taking place in Darb El-Saai is in full swing, and it is so wonderful to see so many people of all ages and nationalities celebrating the beautiful history and culture of Qatar together.”

For his part, 13-year-old Qatari Ahmed Henzab expressed his admiration for the activities offered by QF. "I have visited QF’s tent more than once and participated in various activities, especially the environmentally-friendly art activities. I have really enjoyed the experience and would like to return next year and participate in the radio broadcasting activity,” he said. The tent will be open throughout the Qatar National Day celebrations which, this year, are taking place from 8 December until 20 December. Open to families, activities include healthy living exercises, children’s interactive play area and colouring station. 

Qatar National Day is celebrated every year, and is a national commemoration of Qatar's unification and independence. 

Qatar Airways flies daily to Kilimanjaro, Tanzania