Dr. Abdelali Boutayeb: Novelists have developed Qatari literature

Within the initiative “Read me, I am this book” supervised and directed by Dr. Abdelhak Belabed, Professor of Literature Issues, Critical and Comparative Studies, the Qatari Forum for Authors hosted Monday evening Dr. Abdelali Boutayeb from the University of Meknes, Morocco to shed light on the issue of women’s contribution to Qatari fiction writing. The episode was broadcasted via the forum’s YouTube channel and social networks.
At the beginning of the session, Dr. Boutayeb said that he chose this topic due to the special nature of the Qatari fictional scene, represented by the strong and remarkable presence of the participation of women. As happened and commonly occurs in all Arab countries without exception, this participation is not only vigorous in enriching the creative foundation in authorship, but also in establishing this Literary type and inculcate it in the Qatari cultural soil. “The Qatari cultural scene is unique among the contemporary Arab cultural movement, since most of the narrative, authorship production is found under feminist literature” said Boutayeb.
This unique feature can be found in its most tangible manifestations by reviewing the history of fictional writing in the State of Qatar. It is noted that the inception of novel writing was purely feminine, with Dalal Khalifa’s novel “The Myth of Man and the Lake” published in 1993. Khalifa kept on writing and issued a second novel in the following year named “The Last Trees of the Prairie”, then in 1995 added to these series a third novel called “From the old sailor to You”.
In this context, Boutayeb explained that the women’s founding effort in the authoring scene in Qatar is exceptional. “Novelist, Shuaa Khalifa, shared her sister’s passion for writing. She released in the same period in 1993, her first novel “Old Dreams of the Sea,” and in the same year, followed it up with a second novel entitled “ Crossing over to the truth, ”. She followed her sister Dalal Khalifas’ footsteps,  releasing a third novel named “ Waiting for the Whistle, ”in 1994” he emphasized.
“Male fictional works did not appear on the Qatari literary scene until nearly a decade later, specifically in 2005. This was represented in the “Embrace of the Exile” novel by Dr. Ahmed Abdel-Malik.
Female and male works of fiction kept on with a greater flow in recent years. This is evident from the dedicated bibliographic lists” he further explained.

Dr. Boutayeb considered that this phenomenon constitutes a strange paradox that deserves socio-cultural research and study to uncover the secrets of this strange abnormality in a conservative Gulf society. This is especially since Women’s contribution in this creative production is not limited to paving the way to this art but extended to development as well. This matter is evidenced by the efforts of Later generations of female novelists, such as the works of Noura Al Saad, Amal Al Suwaidi, Sumaya Tisha, May Al Nisf, Noura Muhammad Faraj, Dana Al Obaidly, Zakia Mal Allah, Shamma Al Kuwari and other Qatari female novelists.
Through his input, the professor focused on “The Myth of Man and the Lake” novel by pioneering novelist Dalal Khalifa in establishing the Qatari novel, and “No one but you” by Shamma Shaheen Al-Kuwari on the development of the Qatari novel. Through his in-depth critical reading of these two works, he concluded that women’s efforts has proven their value, to the point where it can be asserted that the young Qatari fictional scene, whose age does not exceed three decades, has today become comparable to many Arab novelist scenes, which until recent past were many decades ahead.
The critic review sessions “Read Me, I Am This Book” were launched since the beginning of home quarantine. Throughout the months of this period, the sessions hosted the finest critics, researchers and academics from all around the world to shed light on Qatari literature and delve into it with insightful critical reading. Finally, the activities of this initiative will carry on during August.

Receiving Artificial Intelligence Contestants

Al-Khor Girls Centre of the Ministry of Culture and Sports continues to admit participants in the “Artificial Intelligence concept and areas” contest. With an intention to achieve the Ministry’s vision (A self-aware society with social conscience and a healthy body), the contest targets 15-25 year old girls. Admission to the contest has several conditions put in place, primarily that only participants within Qatar are approved, following the center’s accounts on social media, plus liking and sharing the contest post on the participants’ account are a perquisite.  The conditions also include a number of pages to be submitted from 10-15 maximum, and no copying from other scientific researches. The contestant’s research should be submitted in a form of PDF, along with a copy of the ID and phone number.
The competition is based on the fact that artificial intelligence is continuously opening new portals of knowledge, which is what Al Khor Girls Center is keen to achieve by enriching the perceptions of its female members, and developing their awareness of the importance of artificial intelligence.

“Your Book to Your Doorstep” Promoting the reading culture

Aimed at keeping girls nourished in reading and avoid quitting the activity during social distancing, The library of  AlWakra Girls Centre has announced the launch of  “Your Book to Your Doorstep”  event during August for youngsters. The initiative’s idea is based on supplying the girls with a number of distinguishably selected books that the centre chooses, where a set of activities relevant to the books’ subjects are readily available for each participant. Registering for the event is through a link posted on the centre’s social media pages, books will be distributed to registered members after being sanitized to ensure the girls’ safety. Subsequently, each book will be weekly discussed with trainer Maha Freija, who is in charge of the library events. A Whatsapp group will be created under the centre’s name for these events for members to share their thoughts on the book in discussion and the benefits they gained.

“Azizia Youth” Teaches Culinary Arts

Included within the activities of the summer program,  Al Azizia Youth Centre, girls section, organised the “Learn to Cook” workshop. The program is held under the slogan “Challenge and Pioneering”, with Qatari chef Nour Al-Mazroui remotely presenting the workshop in line with the precautionary measures taken by government authorities to reduce the spread of the new corona virus.
Organised to improve the skills of female members of the centre in the culinary area, the workshop has introduced the participants to the basics and arts of cooking, particularly of popular dishes in Qatar that most girls are keen on mastering, since these dishes are considered a main course in several social events.  The workshop presenter explained the steps for preparing healthy meals with the right ingredients for that, and provided many advice to girls who seek to enhance their skills in this area.
The girls ‘section at the Azizia Youth Centre is also keen to organize such kind of workshops, whether during the summer activity program or even as part of the centre’s general activity program in order to develop girls’ life skills.

Qatari Forum for Authors celebrates International Friendship Day by highlighting translation and promoting cultural exchange among peoples

On the occasion of the International Day of Friendship corresponding to the 30th of July, the Qatar Forum for Authors will organize on Tuesday 28th July, 2020 a special session entitled “Translation and Promoting Cultural Exchange between Peoples” to be broadcast on the YouTube channel. A group of writers from Qatar and abroad will participate in the session to talk about their experiences in translation. The Director General of the Qatari Forum for Authors, Professor Mariam Yasin Al-Hamadi, will start this special session, which is divided into two sub-meetings with a speech to welcome the guests. Then, Director of Publications and Translation Management, Mr. Mohamed Hassan Al-Kuwari, will give a talk entitled “Role of the Ministry of Culture and Sports in Promoting Translation” to highlight the Ministry’s efforts in this field.
The first session entitled “Role of Translation in Promoting Cultural Excahnge”, moderated by Programs manager, Writer and Media figure Saleh Gharieb will host researcher and writer Dr. Raghdaa’ Zeidan of Turkey. She will present a paper entitled “Importance of Orientalist Studies, How they Originated and What their Role is in Cultural and Cognitive Exchange.” This is followed by an talk entitled “Role of Participation in Translation Prizes in Promoting Cultural Exchange” given by Dr. Xue Qing Guo of China winner of the Sheikh Hamad Translation Prize. Then comes the talk given by writer, translator and university professor Dr. Ishraqa Mustafa from Austria entitled “Translation as a Bridge between Peoples, Symphony of the Empty Quarter as a Model.” Next, Dr. Muhammad Abed, Translator, University Professor from India, presents a paper on literary exchange between Arabic and other languages (the Malayalam language as an example).
The second session, entitled “Experiences of Transfer in Heritage and Culture through Writing”, which is run by writer and poet Ms. Samira Obeid, will be attended by another group of writers and researchers. These include Indonesian writer A. Asma Nadia who will give a talk entitled “Experience of Cultural Exchange through Writing and Authorship.” She will be followed by writer, translator, and university professor from Iran, Prof. Ati Abayat, who will talk about “Translating Qatari Literature into Persian, Models and Experiences.” Then Indian writer, translator and media writer, Mr. Obeid Tahir, sheds light in the Indian experience in translation through his paper, “Indian literature Open to World Nations”. Then  focus is directed to the Iraqi experience in translation with writer, translator and poet Dr. Hussein Nahba from Iraq who presents a talk entitled “Importance of Translation and Attending Exhibitions in Other Nations’ Languages.” Lastly, Qatari writer, Mr. Jamal Fayez, concludes this session with a talk about “Qatari Experience in Translation.”

Writing for People of Special Needs Initiative hosts Faisal Al-Kooheji to discuss role of state institutions in educating the blind.

Within the second session of the Writing for People with Special Needs Initiative supervised and managed by Professor Mukhtar Khawaja, the Qatari Forum for Authors on Sunday evening hosted on its YouTube channel Mr. Faisal Al-Kooheji, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Qatar Social and Cultural Centre for the Blind, to discuss ways to educate the blind.

Professor Al-Kooheji said on the role of state institutions in educating the blind, that the Qatar Social and Cultural Centre exerts more effort in this field, as it directs its services to two different groups, the first being people with special needs, which is the main target group of the Centre’s activities. The second part is directed at institutions and the society in general. For people with special needs, the centre is concerned with the activities and initiatives it adopts to raise the cultural level of this group, whether through the establishment of cultural activities such as workshops and cultural meetings or highlighting the topic of reading for the blind. In this context the Centre has a set of contributions, particularly in the field of developing writing. A set of courses was organized, the most important of which was the short story writing course presented by writer Dalal Khalifa. Also, with the beginning of the pandemic, the forum organized a session entitled Reading in a Time of Social Distancing for People with Visual Impairment through which the most important books directed to them were highlighted as well as the methods that help them to read and make good use of time, especially in these exceptional circumstances.

Mr. Faisal Al-Kooheji added that the Centre seeks, through its activities, to introduce visually impaired people to the most important writers in the State of Qatar as well as to their books. The writer introduces his work and reads excerpts from it to the attendees in order for them to discuss i. The last of the activities carried out by the Centre in this context were the discussion of “Return of Justice” by Professor Mukhtar Khawaja during the month of June.

In the same context, he explained that among the main objectives of the Centre is the integration of the blind in society, and that is why the general public is invited to the Centre’s activities. Furthermore, attendance is no longer limited to the State of Qatar, but is rather directed to interested people in various countries of the world, especially with that shift to broadcasting activities through social media platforms since the beginning of the pandemic.

He further expressed his pride in the affiliation of a group of writers with special needs to the Centre, as the Centre has contributed to the development of many talents in the field of writing. He also commended the role of state institutions in supporting the Centre’s activity and supporting people with special needs, noting that there are strenuous efforts to facilitate the blind’s access to sources of knowledge and culture in all their forms and types.

Moreover, Mr. Faisal Al-Kooheji called for more references for the blind, whether as audio productions or in Braille, noting that there are many difficulties facing the issuance of books for the blind, including their high cost and the fact that they are directed to a small group.

 

Session to Discuss Ways to Educate the Blind

Within the activities of its second session, the “Writing for People with Special Needs Initiative” hosted Faisal Al-Kooheji, Chairman of the Qatar Social and Cultural Centre for the Blind to discuss ways to educate the blind.
Faisal Al-Kooheji referred to the importance of the role of state institutions in educating the blind. He further explained that the Qatar Social and Cultural Centre exerts more efforts in this field. It directs its service to two different groups: The first is people with special needs, as it is the main target group of the centre’s activities, while the second is aimed at society in general. The Centre, through its activities, and the initiatives it adopts, aims at raising the cultural level for this category, in addition to shedding light on the topic of reading for the blind. In this context, the centre has a number of contributions, especially in the field of developing the faculty of writing. Consequently, A set of courses, the most important of which was the short story writing course were organized presented by writer Dalal Khalifa.
“We seek to introduce visually impaired people to the most important writers in the State of Qatar,” Faisal Al-Kooheji added “The writer introduces his work to the audience and reads excerpts from it and then they discuss it. The Centre’s last activity in this context was to discuss the book “The Return of Justice” by Mukhtar Khawaja.” He further explained in the same context that among the main objectives of the Centre is the integration of the blind in society, and that is why the general public is invited to attend the centre’s activities, and that attendance is no longer limited to the State of Qatar, but rather has become directed to interested people in various countries of the world, especially with the shift to broadcasting activities through the social media platforms since the beginning of the Corona pandemic crisis.
Mukhtar Khawaja expressed his pride in the affiliation of a group of writers with special needs to the Centre. They in turn have contributed to the development of many talents in the field of writing. He commended as well the role of state institutions in supporting the Centre’s activities and supporting people with special needs. He further noted that there are strenuous efforts to facilitate the blind’s access to knowledge and cultural resources in all its forms and types.
At the end of his speech, Mukhtar Khawaja called for more references for the blind, whether audio or in Braille, noting that there are many difficulties facing the issuance of books for the blind, including their high cost and the fact that they are directed to a small group.

Cultural activities at the Al-Jumailiya Youth Centre

The Al-Jumailiya Youth Centre of the Ministry of Culture and Sports will organize a group of various cultural and religious activities and programs during the month of August “remotely”, with the aim of investing the energies of Youth during the summer holidays. The activities offered by the Centre include a course in creative writing presented by the media writer Ahmed al-Maliki, which will be held in mid-August. The centre also organizes a lecture entitled “Family Problems: Causes and Solutions”, presented by Islamic Preacher Sheikh Shaqar Juma Al-Shahwani on  August 19th, on the Centre’s Instagram, as well as a lecture entitled “The Child’s Right from its Family for Upbringing and Education” presented by Islamic preacher Sheikh Abdullah Al-Sada on 24th of the same month.

Al-Duhail GA discusses the future of “football”

The ordinary GA of Al-Duhail SC will be held today, Tuesday at 7:00 pm to discuss items on the agenda. The GA will not have elections. The meeting at the club’s headquarters will only be dedicated to discussing a number of matters, on top of which are the first team and its achievements, as well as the football age groups that dominated the tournaments this season and the rest of the club’s teams. The meeting will begin with the endorsement of the previous meeting minutes and then approval of the strategic plan and discussion of the club’s president’s report on the work of the year ended and the New Year programs and action plan. The meeting will also discuss the this years ending final financial statement and the draft budget approved for the coming year (2020/2021). In addition, there will be a discussion of the auditor’s report and the appointment of an auditor and assessment of his fees for a year. Further matters discussed will be the organization, administrative, technical and financial regulations, the human resources list and the consideration of the issues suggested by the members, whether they were presented at least ten days before the meeting of the GA or which the club’s president considers fir to be  presented to the GA. Members who have the right to attend the GA meeting are the founding members, active members who have paid the annual fees and whose membership has been active at least six months before the date of the Club’s GA. Signature in the meeting register begins one hour before the meeting. The GA meeting may not be attended by proxy. IDs or membership cards must be presented, and the member may receive a copy of the agenda documents and their attachments from the Club Secretariat a day before the meeting. The OGA meeting is valid in the presence of an absolute majority (50+1) of the members who have the right to attend. If the quorum is not complete on the fixed date, the meeting will be postponed to another date, after the holy Eidul-Adha holiday, on Tuesday, August 11th.

Al Arabi elections…. Two lists towards the fund

Last evening, candidates for the Board of Directors of Al-Arabi Club for the 2020 -2024 round closed. Two lists of Al-Arabi elections, the first headed by Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hamad Bin Jabr Al Thani, the current club chairman, and Abdullah  Jumaa Al-Hami, as deputy and the second is “Al-Arabi” list that includes Abdul-Aziz Al-Sulaiti, as president and Fahd Abdullah Al-Mal as deputy.
The Membership Affairs Committee headed by Ahmad Hilal Al-Khalifi is expected to start from today with the help of the two members Ahmed Al-Sayed and Ahmad Al-Sulaiti by examining the two lists’ nomination files over three days while appeals, if any, will be opened within days. The elections race will start to attract members of GA within the coming days till the date of elections on the 31st of next August.
For his part, Ahmad Al-Sayed confirmed that 158 members paid their membership fees and have the right to vote, indicating that this number will witness a big rise in the coming days considering the importance of these elections in determining the fate of Al-Arabi SC for a coming four-year period.