Posted on July 05, 2019

Qatar residents, particularly Culture Pass members, will have the opportunity to take part in a number of craft workshops and demonstrations this summer, starting from July 7 to August 8, at the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ).

The workshops, organised by Qatar Museums as part of ‘Summer in Qatar (SiQ)’ programme, are aimed at educating the community about the traditional crafts and materials that played a significant role in the country’s heritage. “The various crafts consist of design and decorative patterns which are integral to Qatari identity. These patterns are the product of intellectual, cultural and scientific formation, instinctively and professionally transmitted over generations,” QM said in its email to Culture Pass members Thursday. “Handicrafts were a way for Qatari society to adapt and address daily needs, such as jewellery making, Al Khous (palm weaving), leather tanning, wood-carving, traditional tailoring, gypsum carving and metalworking,” QM noted.

Hosting such activities at NMoQ marks the important role of traditional crafts in Qatar, “all culminating in a display of the created products in the final week” of the workshops. All workshops (Arabic and English) will be held at the Galleries and Learning Studio of the museum between 5pm and 7pm and caters to aged 14 and above. Fee costs QR250 for each course. According to QM, this programme will highlight the crafts that Qatari people used to make during the summer months when they lived by the coast. A course on ‘creating net sculptures’ scheduled from July 7 to 10 will witness participants making a range of decorative products on fishing, a traditional Qatari profession.

Meanwhile, the ‘craft of rope making’ course, which aims to re-vitalise one of the oldest crafts in the world and produce some environment-friendly products, takes place from July 14 to 17. It will require participants to make their own rope bags, photo frames, and decoration for pottery. In collaboration with Aldiwan Jewellery, QM will give Culture Pass members a chance to design and make their own jewellery through the ‘the world of the goldsmith’ workshop, set from July 21 to 24. “The work of the goldsmith is one of the oldest industries in Qatar. Some families became so famous with this craft that their names became associated with this work. Gold, silver and precious stones were the main ingredients for hundreds of years,” QM said.

Culture Pass members can also participate in the ‘Organic creations: crafting with palm leaves (Al Khous)’, another industry which has nearly disappeared in Qatar. In this course, set from July 28 to 31, participants will learn how to make traditional baskets, mats and other products, used in traditional Qatari households. A course on gypsum carving and decoration, a popular Qatari handicraft, will also take place from August 4 to 8, in collaboration with Girls-Creativity Centre. “Gypsum as a material can withstand extreme weather conditions and allows light and cooling effects in buildings. People in Qatar decorated the facades of their houses, palaces, forts, towers and mosques to make them look more beautiful and appealing,” QM said. 

At the end of this course participants will create their own decorated gypsum panels. “All workshops will take inspiration from the objects on display in the museum galleries and the historic town of Al Zubarah as a centre of craftsmanship, where everything from jewellery to rope was made and sold,” QM said.

source: Gulf Times