Katara Art lovers attending the UN Climate Change Conference in Doha are in for a treat with free performances of world-class music and theatre, as well as traditional Qatari storytelling.

5 December (8 pm) – Narration of hazawi, which are native folk tales

To be held at the Drama Theatre, these traditional stories of ordinary life that have been passed down for generations will be told by the acclaimed storyteller Khalifa Al-Sayed. The stories will be narrated live in their original Arabic and interpreted in English.

Hazawi are stories of ordinary life that transmit moral values and cultural wisdom, often through the actions of fantastical characters such as magical fish and mischievous donkeys. Qatar has a rich storytelling tradition, but in recent years this practice has begun to decline and there is a danger that these tales could be lost forever.  Mr Al-Sayed is a renowned storyteller, folklore researcher, and writer, and an avid protector of Qatar’s heritage. The columnist for Al Raya daily newspaper has published many books and articles on Qatar’s traditions and popular culture.

6 and 7 December (8 pm) – The Journey of Al Qumri: A Tale of Qatar
At the Katara Drama Theatre, the Qatar Heritage and Identity Centre will present The Journey of Al Qumri: A Tale of Qatar, a show based on the book Al Qumri by Dr Kaltham Al-Ghanim. It has been adapted for the stage by Dr Youness Loulidi, with original poems by Ismail Issa, and directed by Ali Saif.

The story of The Journey of Al Qumri: A Tale of Qatar centres on a local bird named al qumri, the collared dove, which in Qatari culture is the symbol of a better future. The play follows the bird as she navigates Qatar’s landscape and witnesses how the country has changed through the ages. Through poetry, song, and dance, the show brings Qatari history and tradition to the stage – from sheikhs and fishermen to pearl divers and market sellers – and illustrates its persevering cultural identity within breathtaking national change. 

 5 and 7 December (7-10 pm) – Traditional Cultural Showcase at Katara Esplanade
Experience traditional Qatari hospitality at the stunning waterfront of Katara esplanade, one of Qatar’s most prominent cultural hubs.  Qatar’s rich tapestry of cultural heritage will be on display with a showcase of colourful bedouin tents with an array of attractions including local artists, traditional crafts, henna, falconry, local perfumes and Arabian musicians.

For more information visit the Katara website.