Blue Mosque, Oud and Dhows Among Featured Cultural Offerings at Katara Cultural Village
Among the many attractions inside the village is the Great Katara Mosque. Popularly known as the Blue Mosque, it has always been a centre of attraction but more so now, even for the non-Muslim foreigners who are curious at every call of prayer to observe Muslims as they perform the ritual prayer. Many are entering the courtyard and taking souvenir photos.
The Cultural Village Foundation – Katara has set up a lounge near the mosque with a sign that says: Ask me about women in Qatar. At the lounge, women visitors can sit and drink tea and coffee, and learn about social life in Qatar with a number of volunteers answering queries.
According to volunteer Umm Ahmed, the aim of preparing the place near the mosque is to introduce foreigners to the Qatari culture. He said that the social questions are mostly on the life of Muslims and Islamic values. Many of the visitors admit that their view of Islam and Muslims was tainted by a lot of unjustified prejudice, but being in Qatar has helped change their views 180 degrees.
At the entrance to the mosque, there are employees and preachers from the Qatar Guest Center to introduce Islam to the Eid Charity Foundation. They receive non-Muslims and answer questions and inquiries about the mosque. They also organise their entry to the mosque after prayers for people to know the atmosphere inside the mosque.
Muhammad Saber, the supervisor at the Qatar Guest Center said they offer the mosque tourism event for non-Muslim foreigners. Their volunteers speak eight to 10 different languages, allowing them to interact with visitors and introduce them to Islamic culture.
Iranian Cultural Exhibition
Also as part of the festivities for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, Katara Director General HE Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim Al-Sulaiti, inaugurated the Iranian Cultural Exhibition in Hall 12, in the presence of the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the State of Qatar, HE Hamid Reza Dehghani. The exhibition will run until 18 December.
The Iranian Cultural Exhibition showcases various pieces of art, crafts and handicrafts that highlight the nobility of traditional arts famous in various Iranian regions. The pieces were made by skilled Iranian craftsmen – rose water, saffron, ring art, copper plates, handmade carpets, traditional textiles, painting and metal engraving.
A section is also dedicated to traditional Iranian costumes made of pure silk and embroidered with golden and silver threads and made over four long years – reflecting part of its ancient civilization. There is also a plastic arts pavilion which includes the works of the Iranian artist Muhammad Khazaei, which combines the authenticity of heritage, the beauty of decoration, the charm of letters, and the sweetness of nature and the environment.
The exhibition is also hosting a range of cultural activities, concerts and craft workshops.
Ode to Oud
Meanwhile, the Oud Instrument History Exhibition at the Katara Oud Center, behind the Golden Mosque, is witnessing a great turnout from lovers of the musical instrument. The exhibition features a 30-minute Oud performance, which is held about three times daily – at 1:30 pm, 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm.
The exhibition showcases many types of the Oud instrument from different historical eras, including archaeological manuscripts about the oud. There will be a lecture which will be led by Katara Oud Center Director, Dr Majid Nazim, and courses on how to play the Oud instrument.
Traditional Dhow Festival
The 12th edition of the Katara Traditional Dhow Festival also continues to attract audiences of different nationalities. Featuring traditional crafts and industries inspired by Qatar’s maritime heritage, the festival will also allow visitors to discover traditional Qatari cuisine and performances by the Omani folk band at the Katara Beach promenade.
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