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24 March 2015 07:49 am

The British Festival 2015 has more to come

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This year’s British Festival, organised by the British Embassy in collaboration with the British Council, is well under way with a number of events designed to celebrate the Britain and Qatar partnership. Many great events have already taken place over the last three weeks, and there is plenty to be excited about leading up to 5th April, including some of the Festival’s biggest events.

Nicholas Hopton, British Ambassador to Qatar said “I’m delighted so many people have attended British Festival 2015 events during the Festival’s first three weeks.  Events have illustrated the growing and strengthening partnership between the UK and Qatar.  Please continue supporting Festival events and don’t forget to tell your friends and ourselves about your experiences via our social media channels.  There is still more to come and a chance for you to be involved.”

Scottish artist and writer, David Batchelor’s Flatlands Remix exhibition is scheduled to run 25th March until 21st April at the Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar.  Batchelor is a highly celebrated British artist whose work relates to his long-term interest in colour and urbanism. This will be his debut exhibition in the Gulf region after recent exhibitions of Flatlands in the UK.

Local science enthusiasts will get the opportunity to meet leading UK space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock as she leads a Café Scientifique celebrating the International Year of Light 2015 at Georgetown University on 30th March. Guests will take a voyage through time and space to look at how ideas of the universe have evolved.  Across all cultures, the universe has been observed using light that is emitted by objects.  Lately, humans have started looking at materials that don’t interact with light; such as dark matter; this journey will be explored in a talk called “Shedding light on the universe”.   

Fans of classical music will not want to miss the Qatar National Philharmonic Orchestra presenting a British style Proms Night at the Qatar Foundation’s Ceremonial Court on 3rd April at 19.30, conducted by Scottish born conductor, Bob Ross.  Ross will direct the Philharmonic through a programme featuring surprise special guests.

Marking the end of what has been a spectacular month-long celebration of Qatar and Britain ties in art, commerce, sport, culture, education and science, award-winning five-piece traditional Scottish band, Breabach, accompanied by Qatari musician Mohamed Alsaegh, will perform in a one-off concert at the Al Rayyan Theatre on 5th April 2015. The concert will give audiences a chance to see award-winning musicians from the UK and Qatar playing together, and taking inspiration from each other’s music.  Tickets for both musical events are available at the Virgin Megastore and online atwww.tickets.virginmegastore.me 

The British Festival has already surpassed last year’s showcase of the UK in Qatar.  Here we look back at some of the selected highlights of the British Festival 2015.  

The Festival officially kicked-off on 3rd March in a launch event at the British Embassy. Media, sponsors and other special guests were invited to a traditional high tea in the Embassy garden and heard speeches from invited British and Qatari guests.  In the weeks following the launch, there have been numerous events across Doha aimed at strengthening ties between Britain and Qatar, encouraging locals to engage with British culture and visit, study and do business with the UK.

On the occasion of International Women's Day on the 8th March, the British Council together with The Qatari Businesswomen Association, one of the leading women’s organisations in Qatar and the region, mounted a Networking Dinner for their “Springboard” course alumni and their guests, to celebrate the successes of both the network and individuals.

The launch of Red Rock International’s presence in Qatar took place on 9th March at the British Embassy and was attended by over 50 corporate and educational specialists with an interest in developing their staff’s leadership and management capabilities.

Other highlight events included the Baroque Choral Society’s concert and dinner event at the British Embassy on 10th March; an International Debating Competition, between UK and Qatar championship teams, in partnership with Qatar Debate, Debate Mate, and Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar, held on 16th March; The Hadaf five a side football competition on 14th March in which five under-15 teams from British Schools played against five under-15 local Independent Schools' teams at the International School of London; the Study in the UK Exhibition at the Radisson Blu Hotel which invited those interested in studying in the UK to explore courses available and meet representatives from 31 UK Universities, higher education institutions and English language course providers; and the Doha Player’s dramatic rendition of Shakespeare’s Macbeth at the Black Box Theatre.

To keep up to date on what is happening at the British Festival, including the opportunity to win great prizes, stay tuned to our Festival social media channels - Facebook British Festival Qatar; Twitter and Instagram @BritFestQa and #BritFestQa15.