Athletes from five Qatari sports federations showed their dexterity in an exciting live performance which officially opened the months-long Arab Games Exhibition at the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) Gallery at Katara last night.
Sportsmen and women from the Qatar Gymnastics Federation, Qatar Athletics Federation, Qatar Fencing Federation, Qatar Handball Federation and Qatar Cycling Federation impressed the audience with their exceptional agility in their chosen sport.
H E Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of QMA graced the opening event, along with the Secretary-General of Qatar Olympic Committee H E Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, the Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage H E Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari and the CEO of QMA Abdulla Al Najjar.
Organised by the Qatar Olympic & Sports Museum at QMA with the support from Qatar Olympic Committee and Egyptian Olympic Committee, the expo shows the strong impetus the country puts on sports and culture and art.
“This is one of the events that we would like to continue developing and organising in the QMA to support the relationship between sport and culture and art. I think those two elements come under one umbrella,” said Al Najjar.
He said the director of the Qatar Olympic & Sports Museum is collaborating closely with different sports institutions around the world to help us set up not only this exhibition but also other events coming up in the future.
The exhibition, which is open to the public from today until December 23, coincides with the 12th Arab Games to be held from December 9 to 23 in Doha, setting another milestone for Qatar as the first Gulf country to host the Arab Games.
Demonstrating a chronological narrative of the Games, the exhibition features items from the games, including medals, posters, programmes, films and interviews of athletes, photographs, and educational activities that inform visitors about the history and evolution of the Arab Games, which first took place in Alexandria, Egypt, back in 1953.
The exhibition is divided into five sections, each portraying different periods of the Arab Games since their inception in 1947.
The first section titled ‘Birth of the Arab Games’ showcases the political agenda behind the concept of the Arab Games. Following is ‘The Establishment of Arab Sport, which features an era of Egyptian regional leadership.
Titled ‘The Unique Games’ the next section highlights a period of decline which affected the consistency of the Games from 1965 to 1985 because of political turmoil in several Arab countries.
A re-organisation of the Arab Games with a new vision is featured in the fourth section which is called ‘New Order, Old Challenges’.
‘Sport Mega Events’, the last section in the expo showcases the period between 1999 to the present which is characterised by international recognition of the Arab Games. It took the QMA one and a half years to gather all the objects that are featured in the months-long exhibition.
While 50 percent of the objects on display come from the Egyptian Olympic Committee and 20 percent from the QMA collection, a good part of the exhibits are from athletes themselves, the International Olympic Committee and Olympic museums.
The Arab Games expo is a travelling exhibition which will be brought to Egypt and Arab countries and is likely to travel to other Asian and European countries as well.
“This will give necessary push to the Arab Games and create good impression to Europe and other Asian countries,” said Dr Christian Wacker, Director of Qatar Olympic & Sports Museum.
In addition, the Arab Games Exhibition sheds light on the participation and achievements of Qatari athletes in past Arab Games, showcasing some of their trophies, medals, and pictures. Alongside the exhibition, a series of educational activities catering to school children from various age groups are also planned during the exhibition period.
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