Qatar National Library Celebrates Qatar National Day with Comprehensive Series of Events

Nov 29, 2020 by QNL

Qatar National Library celebrates the country’s unification in 1878 with an actioned-packed line-up of learning opportunities this month

Qatar National Library has something for everyone this month as it celebrates Qatar National Day with its biggest-ever roll call of lectures, discussions and interactive forums.



Also on 5 December, the Library will run an Instagram Live event looking at the achievements of Qatari author Eissa Abdullah, featuring a deep dive into his most popular books and his upcoming new release. Abdullah is an active contributor to several Arabic newspapers, as well as a lecturer on reading and writing for Qatar's future generations. He will also examine the success of Dar Roza in publishing for Qatari authors.


On 7 December, Khaled Al-Maadid, Deputy Director General of Al-Urban Center, will present a special lecture looking at educational pioneers in Qatar from 1890 to 1957. The session will highlight the education system in Qatar through different eras, demonstrating a chronological historical narrative about the establishment of education in Qatar and focusing on the pioneering figures in the educational sector.


Patrons can join the Library on 8 December for a talk with Ali Al-Fayyadh, owner of the Ali Al-Fayyadh Library. He will discuss his experience in creating a private library and offer insights into putting together a collection of wonders from the world of literature.


Beginning 10 December, aspiring young wordsmiths can join the “Children’s and Young Adults Writing Challenge.” Participants in two age groups—9 to 12 and 13 to 18—can pen a story in Arabic or English on the theme "Qatar in a time before you were born.” The story can be based on true events or fiction and needs to be set in Qatar, while containing imaginative ideas, memorable characters and an exciting plot. Winning stories will be shared on the  Library’s social media channels. Adults can also take part in “Celebrate Qatar Through Storytelling” by sharing an original short story or piece of writing expressing their love of Qatar in 1,000 words, in Arabic or English.


Also on 10 December, Qatar National Library will run an interactive contest about Qatar's history, culture, traditions and economy. The challenge requires participants to correctly answer a set of 20 questions in 30 seconds. That same day, patrons will have the opportunity to share their hopes and ideas for making Qatar a better place for all. People will be invited to hang their ideas on a tree placed in the Library’s Main Plaza.


On 13 December, join the Library online for a cup of coffee with librarian Latifa Al-Amri. She will interview Qatari athlete Mariam Farid, who represented her country at the 17th World Athletics Championship, held in Doha in 2019, where she ran in the women's 400 meters hurdles. She will talk about her experience as one of the first female Qatari athletes to take part at the World Championships.


On 14 December, the Library will run a virtual event looking at the contribution of Sheikh Jassim Al Thani, the Founder of Qatar, to printing and publishing books in the Arab and Islamic worlds. The following day, patrons can join a talk with Instagram account owner "Turath Lawal" about the significance of preserving Qatari heritage through social media.


On 15 December, join our Artificial Intelligence experts to meet a robot who will perform the “Ardah” dance, in collaboration with Hamad Bin Abdullah bin Jasim Secondary School.  Ardah is a folkloric dance performed by a group of individuals (or robots!) facing one another, which is accompanied by drums or spoken poetry. On the same day, the Library invites people to join an online lecture covering Qatar’s many initiatives to protect and maintain the Arabic language. This lecture will shed light on the different ways in which the state maintains Arabic as the official language, including contributions from the educational, media and legal sectors.


On 16 December, the Library will explore the poetic diwan of Sheikh Jassim the Founder and the different themes in his poems, including religion, politics, courage and power. On 17 December, children and their families can enjoy “Qatar Through My Five Senses” by learning through a variety of fun activities for Qatar National Day. Adults can help spread the word about Qatar by taking part in the Wikithon, where they’ll edit articles and topics on Wikipedia related to the country.


On 20 December, patrons are invited to join a virtual lecture looking at the history of Qatar on maps. Qatar has been identified on European maps for around 2,000 years and was even represented as a peninsula on some 16th-century maps, but then disappeared completely for over 200 years. This talk will discuss this history and how these maps can provide unique information about the history of Qatar.


On 28 December, join manuscript specialists and guest lecturers at the Library for a chance to learn about the rich collection of the Heritage Library’s manuscripts, in addition to its virtual and digital services. Join Muhammad Yasir Shaheen, a researcher at the Center for Islamic Research and Studies in Turkey, and learn about Tabaqat Mujtahid, by Ibn Kamal Pasha, and other treasures in the collection.


On 29 December, patrons can learn about the changing role of Qatari families past and present, in cooperation with the Family Research Center and with the participation of Dr. Fatma Al Kubaisi of Qatar University. What does a typical Qatari family look like in 2020, and how has this changed throughout history? Find out more in this special lecture.

On 30 December, sign up for a seminar with Mohammed Jassim Al-Baker, the presenter of the Al-Rayyan TV program Birds of Qatar, to explore migratory and native birds in the area. In this lecture, Al-Baker will also share how he prepares for his trips to take pictures of wildlife.

Finally, the list of events cannot be complete without something about COVID-19. On 2 December, patrons can join Ziauddin Sardar, a Pakistani-British polymath, writer, cultural critic and founder of the post-normal times theory, for a special lecture looking at how the world is dealing with the global pandemic, and offering guidance on making sense of the future. The world is grappling with an unprecedented economic and public health emergency, while at the same time many nations are experiencing growing polarization, bigotry, hate and xenophobia. Uncertainty, complexity and ignorance are making it hard to see the future, but this lecture will reveal the potential for a light at the end of the tunnel.

Abeer Saad Al Kuwari, Director of Research and Learning Services at Qatar National Library, said: “Our program of events throughout December caters to people of all ages and interests to celebrate Qatar National Day. In this most challenging of years, we have made sure we continue to offer as wide a range of events as possible to educate and entertain. We hope that people of all ages can join us to learn something new and exciting about Qatar during this time of great celebration.”

For more information on all of the events taking place in December, keep an eye on the Library’s website and social media channels for the latest.


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