To revive and preserve Qatar’s maritime heritage, the Cultural Village Foundation-Katara announced  the commencement of a new competition, The Art of Al-Nahma Prize, dedicated to the traditional maritime singing (sea shanties).

Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim Al-Sulaiti, General Manager of Cultural Village Foundation – Katara said that this new competition was aimed to build communication ‘bridges’ between people from all walks of life.

Katara’s keenness to revive and preserve its cultural identity is reflected in the Cultural Village’s launch of The Art of Al-Nahma.’

He added that aside from the competition rounds that the audiences will get the chance to see throughout the event, Katara has also ensured that the initiative represents the Qatari identity through a full-fledged programme of activities that consist of lectures and seminars reflecting the diversity of cultures in the GCC.

We need to remember that this type of tradition is rooted in our past. Our ancestors sang these songs when they were on their fishing trips or pearl-diving excursions, mostly to keep themselves entertained. Years passed and this tradition continues, becoming an integral part of the heritage of the Arab States in the Persian Gulf.’

The competition will have 21 contestants, five from Qatar, two from Bahrain, and four each from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab of Emirates.

Art of Al-Nahma prize organisers have allocated cash prizes for the winners.  QAR 100,000 will be awarded to first-place winner while the second-place winner will receive QAR 70,000. QAR 50,000 will go to the contestant who finishes third in the competition.

The award, exclusive to participants from GCC countries, is scheduled to last until 12 April.