As part of the celebrations being organised by the Public Works Authority 'Ashghal' to mark Qatar's National Day every year, the authority has planned this year a programme that includes a number of initiatives and activities inspired by the Qatari heritage and culture. The programme is aimed at familiarising the participants, such as Ashghal’s employees, consultants, and visitors, with traditions and old customs, and strengthening their patriotism and spirit of belonging.
The authority has launched a new initiative under the slogan "Qatarna, Our Past and Present" which aims at creating the largest album showcasing images of Qatar's past and present. Through this initiative, Ashghal seeks to engage its employees and consultants, Qataris and expatriates, in addition to engaging students, whose participation and collaboration will enrich the event's activities being held on this important occasion.
The idea behind the album initiative which is called "We Make Our Album" is to share two photos of Qatar: one photo from the past and one contemporary photo. The staff and students can participate by choosing any two pictures depicting the past and present of any site, building, or landscape pertaining to the State of Qatar, or any projects implemented by Ashghal, such as roads projects and buildings projects. They can also participate with cash currency, stamps, or anything that embodies the culture, heritage and history of the State of Qatar.
The activity was launched by the Manager of Public Relations and Communications Department, Mr. Abdulla Saad Al Saad, who submitted the first participation entry for the album. The authority will honour the best five entries.
Ashghal’s activities for the national day celebrations will also include “Ashghal’s Heritage Village” which will be held for the first time this year. Ashghal’s Heritage Village is a small model of the real old Qatari village with its diverse cultural elements. The village will present popular legacies left by our parents and grandparents, such as Qatari customs, traditions, activities, crafts, businesses, among others.
Located in the authority’s headquarters in West Bay, the village will extend over an area of approximately 3,000 m2. It will welcome visitors including employees, consultants, customers, students and the general public, starting from Sunday 14th December to Wednesday 17th December.
The village will host a traditional market featuring many shops and boutiques of traditional crafts and occupations that were practiced on a daily basis in the past, such as “Al Hawway” or “Al Attar; a person who prepares and sells natural medications and herbs , “Al Saffar”; a person who cleans and polishes household utensils, “Al Naddaf”; a person who makes cotton upholstery, “Al Kharraz”; the shoemaker, “Al Akkas”; the photographer, as well as the baker and tailor.
The village will also include traditional food shops, where families will prepare and present food to the visitors of the village, and “Al Hannaya”; a woman who draws traditional patterns on ladies hands using Henna. This is in addition to exhibits of traditional tools, pottery, and clothing which were used before, and the heritage coffee shop where visitors can spend fun times and enjoy traditional food.
In addition, the village will comprise a number of other activities including the “Classical Cars Roadshow”, in which employees and consultants will participate with their cars, and the “Maritime Folklore Day” which will present maritime crafts and traditional songs of the sailors, as well as the activities of the “National Folklore” such as “Al Muradah” show, the “Falcon” show, and “Al Arda Al Qatariyya” show which will take place on the last day of activities. A photography contest, especially for Ashghal’s National Day activities, will also be organised.
Through this village, the Public Works Authority aims to demonstrate the meanings of loyalty to our beloved country, by taking care of the heritage treasures left by our ancestors, and upholding the inherited customs. Ashghal believes that these are part of an important wealth and a link between the present and the past that must be preserved and transmitted to future generations, to continue side by side with what Qatar has attained in educational, urban, and economical developments.
The authority will also host a number of schools and organisations as part of its National Day activities, under “Ashghal in the eyes of our children” initiative, where students from different age groups will visit the authority’s headquarters. This initiative comes as part of the authority’s efforts to enhance its communication with the young generations who represent an essential segment of the society, and to encourage their interests, and make them aware of their key role in developing the country.
The authority has developed a full programme for students, which begins by briefing them about the Public Works Authority, its departments, specialisations, and core projects. Ashghal’s officials and engineers will then give students a field tour to introduce them to the important areas of Ashghal’s projects, which are the Roads projects, the Buildings projects, and the Drainage projects. Engineers responsible for each area will give a detailed explanation to students through a presentation about the nature and components of its projects, latest achievements, and major projects implemented by the country through Ashghal.
The school visit will also include a tour of Ashghal’s Heritage Village mentioned earlier, where students will review and experience the traditional activities, crafts, and traditional products of Qatar’s history.
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