Posted on November 08, 2019

Qatar Academy Al Khor (QAK), part of Qatar Foundation’s (QF) Pre-University Education, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, organised the northern city’s first Sea Festival recently with the participation of 15 schools from the north of Qatar, along with public and government entities.

The event held as part of QAK’s Takamul initiative, which focuses on twinning schools and community schools and aims to build partnerships, celebrated Qatar’s maritime heritage. The festival showcased various forms of maritime heritage through live performances and shows, such as the operetta ‘Al-Serdal’, performed by QF member Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, and ‘Ghais Qatar’, a presentation on Qatar’s pearl diving heritage, by Hamad Juma al Sulaiti, head of the Dhow Division at the Private Engineering Office. It also included marine-themed heritage activities, and illustrations of historic Qatari houses, traditional costumes, Qatari cuisine and students’ paintings.

Attendees included Buthaina Ali al Nuami, president of QF’s Pre-University Education, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, Quodorat Center, and the Protection and Social Rehabilitation Centre (AMAN). “The idea for the Takamul initiative emerged from the community partnership between government schools, Qatar Academy Al Khor and other entities in the north of Qatar,” said Aisha al Maqbali, director of QAK.

The operetta ‘Al-Serdal’ combined dramatic performance and marine musical art to reflect the relationship between the Qatari people and the sea, and painted a picture of the history of life in Qatar and the Arabian Gulf. It included a performance by Qatari artiste Nasser Suhaim, deputy executive director of Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra that blended nostalgia with aspirations for future and a sense of pride. “It is very important that we participate in these festivals that aim to preserve Qatari heritage as we seek to pass it to the next generation,” said Suhaim.

There were also performances by students from QAK and other northern schools inspired by local maritime heritage. Abdul Rahman Mohammed Ibrahim al Mohannadi, a QAK student, said: “This festival encourages students to learn more about their customs, traditions and national history, especially pearl diving in ancient times.” Aisha al Suwaidi from Quodorat Center also participated in the live shows and highlighted the role of Qatari women in facing life’s challenges at a time when the sea was families’ only life resource, protecting their home and children, and preserving values and traditions while sustaining faith and hope. After the live shows, primary-level students from QAK presented paintings and school projects inspired by the maritime heritage and environment.

Explaining the special nature of the Qatar Academy Al Khor Corner at the festival’s exhibition, Sheikha Mohsen al Shammari, Arabic language teacher at QAK, said: “It is a mixture of heritage and modernity.” Hessa al Mohannadi, physical education specialist at Al Khor Independent School for Boys, said: “This festival is an opportunity for students to explore Qatari heritage in the northern coastal area.”

source: Qatar Tribune