Celebrating Qatar National Day in a new fashion

By: Faten Azzam,
Senior Information Services Librarian - Children
Translated by: Haggag Bachir
Children in traditional dress

Being close to our children has given us many skills, opened many doors to us and offered us many opportunities to make their lives full of fun, warmth, learning and knowledge.

Our celebration of this year's Qatar National Day will be in a new fashion. We will celebrate with our children at home and in doing so, we can enhance their identity, enrich their knowledge, refine their skills and answer their questions.

We have handpicked many resources that you can use for wonderful activities with your children. Through singing and storytelling, artwork and adventures to learn about Qatar's heritage and culture.

Qatar's heritage is rich in games that teach health and social values. Among these is “Al-Modoud,” a game for girls in which they make dolls from simple materials available at home, such as wooden sticks, cardboard and old rags. Then they play-act using the dolls, teaching them self-expression and speech.

For physical activity, try the game “Wolf and Sheep,” a sort of hide-and-seek game. In this game, children—the sheep—hide behind the mother while another player, the wolf, knocks on the door to eat the children. The mother protects them and the children, who run around and have fun. Another game, “Al Qais,” enhances motor skills and stimulates the mind and memory. In the game, numbered squares each represent a house, and children play using flat stones and jumping.

jump play

More information on these folk games and others can be found in the Arabic book Grandma and Me: Popular Games (in Arabic) by Qatari writer Mariam Jomaa Al Mansouri. To access the book, click here.

Folk songs are an important part of Qatar's heritage, instill religious and family values, and teach children about life in the past. The onset of the winter season and the good rains are an opportunity to revive these old songs. Let's have fun and join our children in singing the rain song from the Arabic book Traditional Songs for Children, compiled by Dr. Kaltham Al-Ghanim. To access the book, click here.

“Pour Rain Qatar

And the sun is rising,

Pour rain on Qatar.

And the sun is rising.

After the rainbow of the rain appears, and the rain comes to a halt, we sing:

Oh, rain with rainbows rays,

Make us water ponds and bubbles.

Oh, rain with rainbows rays,

Make us water ponds and bubbles."

Grandparents' tales have a profound impact on our children, who feel warmth and familiarity when family members gather around the grandfather and grandmother to listen to traditional and folk tales and stories. As a parent, you can play the role of the grandfather and the grandmother by wearing traditional clothes and narrating one of the traditional tales. You can use the library's resources, including the book Ya heyatya ya beyatya, by Qatari writer Maryam Al-Subaie. In this stimulating book, children will get to learn about one of the customs to welcome returning pilgrims by cultivating Al Heyya Beyya and singing to express joy, longing and happiness for their return. Al Heyya Beyya is a small basket made of palm fronds, in which girls grow grains and cereals.

heyya beyya

Youm Al Khatma [(Day of Finishing Memorization of the Quran],)  by Qatari writer Hessa Al-Awadi, has a great role in inculcating teaching children religious values and teaching the child the folk/traditional words/names. The author narrates the story of the child Amna, a child who completed the memorization of the Glorious Qur’an with the help of her mutawiaa (Qur’an female teacher), and how the people of Fareej celebrated this occasion. To access the book in Arabic, click here.

Dr. Sama Al Hajri focused on teaching children about Qatari heritage in her unique portfolio of books that reflect daily life in the past with its using simple language and vocabulary. Examples of her works are Al Daza [(Wedding Singing)], The House of Mud and The Kharraz [(Shoe s Fixer/Repaireer]). To access these books (in Arabic language), click here.

We must not forget to boost our children's knowledge of Qatar’s environment through simple, interesting and fun educational activities and games such as puzzles, riddles, and “Do You Know?” questions that encourage research and reading to find the answers. Here are some examples below:

  • Did you know that dates only grow on female palms?
  • I heard from one of my friends that a bat is a mammal even though it is a bird. Is this true?
  • I wonder why shy dugongs live in the waters of the Arabian Gulf?
  • Have you ever seen the nightingale bird? Can you recognize it among the birds?

All answers to these questions can be found in the Qatar Nature Explorer series by Frances Gillespie, which consists of 6 books with different titles. To access the book, click here.

In conclusion, we wish you a happy Qatar National Day full of fun and knowledge.


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