Talks and activities at the Library focus on myths, legends, fairytales, and traditional folklore

Local Folklore, Myths and Legends Revived at Qatar National Library’s Events in September

Local Folklore, Myths and Legends Revived at Qatar National Library’s Events in September

Qatar National Library will host a variety of events and activities this September aimed at reviving famous legends and traditional fairytales for the reading community. Talks and workshops will highlight the significance of local folklore in Qatari society. Visitors can also join in a host of other events and be a part of global celebrations to mark International Literacy Day and the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing.

This month, “Storytime at the Library” will evoke the magical world of fairytales both traditional and newer. Young readers ages 6 to 11 are encouraged to enjoy the vivid storytelling at the Children’s Library every Monday on 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30 September, and the sessions are in Arabic.

“Your Fairytale Painting” on 5 and 19 September is a fun workshop with creative artist Mariana Mohsen, where participants will be inspired to draw and paint their own rendition of scenes from classic fairytales.

Qatari fairytales or “Hazawi Al’Awalyeen” will be the focus of a unique event for adults, ‘(Qatari Stories: Between Reality and Legend’, on 14 September. Amena Al-Bader will narrate the stories often told by grandparents and passed on from one generation to the next. Author Asmaa Al-Kuwari will explore which of these fairytales are based on real events and which are myths and will also share the way they have affected Qatari society.

On 18 September, in cooperation with the Qatari Authors’ Forum, Mr. Saleh Gharib will present “Qatar’s Old Tales”. The talk will highlight the dialogue between important traditions, proverbs and legends, to explain their meaning and when to use them, with a focus on those quoted most often in Qatari society, to restore memories and the past.

‘The Legend of Gilgamesh’ on 25 September will discuss the myth of the great flood in the Epic of Gilgamesh, a Sumerian epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia. The lecture by Dr. Haya Al-Thani, Director of Museum Affairs at the Qatar National Museum, and moderated by Dr. Sherine Al-Manshawi from Qatar University, will highlight how the Arabian Gulf (Dilmon) forms an important part of the mythology of Mesopotamia, and is described in the legend as the pure, sacred land of immortality.

The Library’s regular program continues throughout September, and events include “Little Muslims Pray” on 4 September, open to children ages 7 to 10. The session introduces children to prayer and reinforces the importance of worship in Islam.

The Young Adults Film Club will meet on 5 and 19 September, another opportunity for movie buffs to learn how to watch films from a filmmaker’s perspective.

The Arabic creative writing workshop series concludes on 7 September. Organized in collaboration with Mr. Radhi Al Hajri, founder of Zekreet Publishing and Distribution, these workshops aim to refine the creative writing skills of promising writers and build a strong foundation of creative tools to support the production of valuable literary works.

For artists with drawing skills, “Draw a Photo from Qatar's History” on 7 September is an opportunity to draw one of the Library’s ‘History of Qatar’ photos under the guidance of Qatari artist, Fahad Almaadheed. The drawing class will be preceded by an introduction to the Qatar Photographic Collection at the Heritage Library by Information Services Librarian, Maryam Al Mutawa.

Hind Al Khulaifi, Manager of Children's and Young Adults' Library said: “The Library’s events provide a tremendous opportunity for every member of the community to learn and remain engaged, which is part of the Library’s broader mission. The program is sure to offer an activity or experience to suit everyone, whether they are seeking to learn more about society, ancient legends, or important human achievements.”

September also marks the occasion of International Literacy Day. The Library will contribute to this global effort with ‘International Literacy Day - Our Children and Books’ on 7 September, open to parents, educators and those interested in child development. A team of librarians will provide simple, effective ideas on how to build a home library and encourage reading throughout daily life. The event will be held in Arabic.

Building on the theme of literacy, and in collaboration with the Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, the Library will present a lecture “Literacy and Multilingualism: Future Prospects” for adults on 8 September. Dr. Hassan Ali Diba will speak about Qatar's efforts to combat illiteracy and highlight the importance of learning languages throughout history. He will also speak about the impact of continuous technological progress and the desired role of national commissions and the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in the literacy of future generations. The lecture will be followed by an introduction to the Mango languages database.

Celebrating one of mankind’s most significant achievements, the Library, in collaboration with the US Embassy in Qatar, marks the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing with a presentation on 18 September by Dr. Mary Ellen Weber, a former NASA astronaut who flew on two space shuttle flights, including one to the International Space Station. She has also served on the NASA Advisory Council Committee on Technology, Innovation and Engineering. Dr. Weber will speak on her experiences during the event, ‘The Moon and Beyond: The Experience of Space and the Future of Exploration’.

Music lovers can enjoy a new season of the Library’s concerts, which resume on 19 September with ‘Philharmonic at the Library: Music for Wind Ensemble’. Featuring works for wind instruments, members of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra will perform Johann Christian Bach: Sinfonia No. 4 in B-Flat Major, W. B10; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Arias for Woodwinds from "The Magic Flute" and "Don Giovanni"; and Ludwig van Beethoven: Sextet in E-Flat Major, Op. 71. Members interested in recapturing the experience can access the music online for free at http://qatarphilharmonicorchestra.org/playlists.

Jewelry lovers are invited to attend the lecture, ‘A Journey Through the World of Diamonds’, presented by jewelry designer, Einas Mohammad, on 21 September. The talk will focus on how diamonds are extracted from the ground as well as countries most famous for diamonds. The lecture will include tips from designers on how to buy or choose diamonds and discussions with specialists in this field.

The Library’s Science Book Forum on 30 September will focus on ‘Evolution: Between Science and Myth’. With the origin and evolution of several species including humans continuing to be a subject of wide debate, the forum will shed light on the principles of evolution in nature, the founding evidence as well as scientific questions. The discussions will also focus on the public perceptions and misconceptions of evolution.

In September, the Library will offer several hands-on workshops including ‘Introduction to 3D Modelling’ on 12 September, which will introduce the basic techniques and concepts of 3D modeling and 3D modeling software. Participants will learn how to create 3D models using specialized software (Fusion 360) and how to prepare the files for 3D printing. On 19 September, middle and high school students can take part in an online database training to learn about the Library's various online resources including research tools, ebooks, audiobooks and periodicals.

For those who have not visited as yet, the Library’s temporary exhibition, ‘The Holy Kaaba Exhibition’ continues, free of charge for all visitors.