Sunday, 18 November 2012

Dhow festival ends with award presentation

RAMY SALAMA

DOHA The second edition of the annual Traditional Dhow Festival concluded on Saturday with a fireworks display and an award ceremony where a team of pearl divers received prizes for nurturing their traditions.

Chairman of Administrative Control and Transparency Authority HE Abdullah bin Hamad al Attiyah, who visited the event on Saturday, toured a number of the pavilions, including heritage, boats and dhow stands.

Addressing the press, Katara General Manager Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim al Sulaiti said, “The second edition of Dhow Festival reflected the true heritage and history of the Qatari people. The festival highlighted the importance of the seas in Qatari culture. Till today, we still value the significance of our waters. The event showcased this heritage through various traditional and cultural performances.

It is a way to connect the Qatari people with their past and traditions.” The five-day event, which received high-profile visitors, including Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage HE Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz al Kawari, featured a series of lectures on the history of Dhow with a deeper understanding of its socio-cultural and economic significance.

The festival also included a variety of events including dhow cruises, pearl-diving competition, traditional performances, live dhow building shows as well as various children’s workshops and display of items from different museums across the Gulf region.

The pearl-diving contest, which was won by Al Rayyan team from Qatar for collecting the most pearls, saw 156 members from 12 teams embarking on a three-day journey to collect pearls, using the traditional methods and tools.

The festival showcased over 100 dhows of 13 kinds from Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Oman.

Dhow Festival Committee Manager Ahmed al Hitmi said, “It has been truly inspiring to see people of all ages and races come together and engage in the variety of activities on offer at this event. We thank the men who dedicated their lives to diving into the sea in search of pearls.”

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