Author and media figure Saleh Gharib, Programs Director in Qatari Authors’ Forum, Dr. Abdel Haq Belabed, Professor of Criticism at Qatar University and student Mohamed Abdel Moneim, winner of the storyboard competition held by the Forum last March participated in the forum, moderated by writer Maryam Yassin Al Hammadi, Director General of Qatari Authors’ Forum. Writer and poet Saeed Al-Saqlawi, President of Omani Society for Writers and Literati as well as Kuwaiti writer Dr. Hanan Al-Nasser also participated in this virtual council.
At the beginning of the media council, Saleh Gharib spoke about the atmosphere of Eidul-Fitr this year and how it is different from the previous years due to the current circumstances. Eidul-Fitr is featured by popular rituals in the Qatari society, including: preparation, early lunch, neighbours and families’ visits as well as gatherings that are absent this year due to the Coronavirus outbreak and in response to the measures and precautions put in place by Ministry of Public Health to limit the spread of the virus. Therefore, communication this year will be electronically.
He also talked about Eidul-Fitr’s social and popular activities as well as songs accompanying this important occasion. The most important of these is “Oh Al-Aydwa” song. Further, he stressed that Qatari community has preserved the characteristics of its local folk costumes distinguishing it from others, namely way of sewing and embroidery, both for men or women’s clothes.
For his part, Dr. Abdel-Haq Belabed made an overview about the criticism project adopted by Qatari Authors’ Forum within the MCS’s directions and vision, to enhance criticism culture. Additionally, he indicated that throughout a year the Forum presented a project to promote culture of literary criticism, with the aim of involving intellectuals, writers and journalists in critical work. He also pointed out that the project continued during the month of Ramadan through “Read Me, I am this Book” initiative. In this initiative, a number of Arab critics were hosted to focus on Qatari narration. Dr. Belabed further indicated that the initiative will continue. Critics from the Arab world and outside it, including Sweden, India, Ukraine, Turkey and others will also be hosted during the coming period. This is to place Qatari relation to story or novel at its deserved position in the field of Arab criticism. He pointed to the importance of investing in the quarantine period in promoting the culture of reading, in general, and literature and criticism in particular. Furthermore, Dr. Belabed talked about celebrating activities of Eidul-Fitr in his State, Algeria, and fashion that Algerians in various regions are keen to wear during Eidul-Fitr. This is in addition to caring for children, especially girls through Henna Night. Therefore, they enjoy Eid al- Fitr Henna Night. Grandmothers tell children aspects of the prophetic biography (Al-sīra Al-Nabawiyya) and the prophets’ biography. This night ends by applying henna as well as songs and words that are sung by everyone. He also spoke about key Algerian dishes and desserts in Eid.
Additionally, Kuwaiti writer, Dr. Hanan Al-Nasser, talked about the atmosphere of Eid in the State of Kuwait during Coronavirus crisis. It does not differ from many countries. She noted that she invested home quarantine in increasing her knowledge and self-development. Thus, she wrote 4 books. She further pointed out that Coronavirus crisis has positive sides. The role of doctors, health teams and volunteers in our lives and caring for value of health were also highlighted. Furthermore, the crisis highlighted family’s role and the importance of its solidarity. Dr. Al-Nasser also indicated the importance of technology investment in producing everything that benefits our cultural life.
For his part, writer and poet Saeed Al-Saqlawi spoke about the atmosphere of Eid in the Sultanate of Oman as well as cultural activities organized by Omani Society for Writers and Literati remotely. Omani cultural activities continued and cultural discussions were held. Several people from inside and outside the Sultanate of Oman participated in this discussions. He pointed out that the crisis is developing intellectuals ’ideas, trends as well as technological tools. This is in order to be able to continue creative giving. Student, Mohamed Abdel-Moneim, winner of the Storyboard Competition held by the Forum last March, said, “I like drawing and literature and so I participated in a number of writing competitions, including a current competition for story writing. I also participated in drawing competitions.” He expressed his pleasure in winning the first place in the Forum’s competition for story drawing. He also indicated that he had read the story and highlighted the events to form the pictures telling it.
Furthermore, Abdel-Moneim thanked Qatari Authors’ Forum, indicating that he will work to develop his writing and drawing skills during the coming period.