A wonderful program of activities lies ahead at Qatar National Library this February as the year kicks into full gear. The Library has chosen sustainability as the theme for a host of special events geared towards nurturing a holistic approach to the subject that can be applied in all areas of life—from how we do business to our everyday lifestyle choices.
Those on the fence about making significant lifestyle changes may find inspiration in the compelling stories of individuals who have successfully made the change to sustainable living. Their experiences are the subject of the 2018 documentary Living the Change: Inspiring Stories for a Sustainable Future, which will be screened on 14 February.
To further inspire us to rethink choices that may impact our environment, the Library welcomes the founders of the non-profit organization Green Mangroves to Qatar at “Saving the Blue” on 29 February. The grassroots group’s mission is to lead action to save our oceans, mangroves and other natural environments, with a local focus. The workshop is a chance to learn about the mangroves in Qatar, the state of the ocean today, and simple steps anyone can take to reduce their plastic use to protect the oceans.
Those looking to bring sustainability to the business world will benefit from “Sustainable Creative Marketing,” presented by Dr. Eman Al-Failakawi, on 13 February. Dr. Al-Failakawi will show entrepreneurs and business owners new ways to market their products or ideas in a professional way and achieve sustainable marketing effectively.
A full program of regular events is also on schedule at the Library throughout February. The Qatar Youth Choir and the younger Junior Choir, performing together at the Library for the first time, will present a set of Arabic and Western folk songs on 1 February.
Highlighting an issue which is of importance in every community, a two-part lecture on 5 February, “Be Conscious: Mental Health,” held in cooperation with the Mental Health Friends Association WEYAK, will focus on the importance of caring for our mental health. The talk will also review the provisions of Law No. 16 of 2016, which reflects the State of Qatar’s interest in caring for individuals and their mental health.
Everyone interested in future technologies is welcome to attend the Second Student Robotics Exhibition on 8 February, where high school students will take the stage and show off their robotic-related projects.
“Football: Beyond Sports” on 10 February will consider the considerable political influence that football wields today. Matthias Krug, longtime Qatar resident and author of Journey on a Football Carpet, will discuss the history of football in Qatar and the process of bidding for the FIFA World Cup 2022. He will be joined by Bora Milutinovic (ambassador for the 2022 World Cup); Shaima Abdullah, Qatar Women’s National Team goalkeeper; and Qatari football icon Badr Bilal to talk about the role of football in politics and society.
Turning the focus to personal growth, the Public Speaking and Debate Workshop on 16 February will teach students what constitutes good public speaking and argumentative skills. Also on 16 February, in collaboration with Sidra Medicine, the Library hosts the inspirational Dr. Ahmed Hankir, to deliver his presentation “The Wounded Healer,” a theatrical performance that has inspired thousands across the globe. Dr. Hankir authored the evidence-based and data-driven anti-stigma program that describes his personal journey as a survivor of psychological trauma to becoming an award-winning “wounded healer.”
“Our focus at the Library in February is highlighting the positive impact of individuals and organizations who can inspire and challenge us to keep doing better, and especially to be more aware of simple steps we can take to become more sustainable in our daily lives,” said Eiman Al Shamari, Information Services Librarian at the Library. “As always, we have programs that encourage lifelong learning to master skills that help us meet the demands of modern life, from public speaking to taking care of our mental health. We are all about empowering people of all ages and backgrounds.”
Other regular Library events in February include the Science Book Forum, which tackles the fascinating subject of natural hazards on 18 February, tracing the origins and the impacts of volcanos, earthquakes, tsunamis and floods on the lives of millions of people.
The monthly Philharmonic at the Library series presents “A Night at the Vienna Opera Ball” on 20 February, while budding Arabic writers can learn how to develop their screenplays with the help of Dr. Majd Khalid on 22 February.
“The Indian Navy and the Mapping of the Gulf, 1612-1947: Talk & Exhibition Tour” on 25 February presents a talk about the history of the Indian Navy’s involvement in the Gulf since 1612 and its role in the mapping of the shores of Eastern Arabia during the 1760s to the 1860s, to be followed by a tour of the "Qatar, India & the Gulf" exhibition, open until the end of February.
Younger readers are never left out, and a children's puppet show, "Bushra and the Sea", is certain to delight little ones on 28 February.