Qatar National Library Celebrates Diversity of Cultures, Identities and Artistic Voices This November

30 October 2019
Qatar National Library Celebrates Diversity of Cultures, Identities and Artistic Voices This November

Qatar National Library celebrates people, cultures and events that have shaped our world in a comprehensive program of events this November, which includes a remarkable exhibition and displays of art, poetry and music.

The highly anticipated “Qatar, India and The Gulf: History, Culture and Society” exhibition opens on 31 October. Running for three months, the exhibits examine thousands of years of connections between India, Qatar and the Gulf, and is part of the Library’s celebration of Qatar India 2019 Year of Culture.

On 13 November, in cooperation with the Qatari Authors Forum, the lecture “Qatar and India: Common Customs and Traditions” will delve into shared customs and traditions, and how time and societal developments have changed them.

Modern Indo-Arabic numerals have evolved over many millennia, and this history is unraveled in “A Brief History of Indo-Arabic Numerals” on 16 November. The lecture will be presented by Nahuel González, the cofounder and chief technical officer of ADGS, a high-tech Qatari startup successfully incubated at Qatar Science and Technology Park, and the creator of Strokk, a password verification system now used across the region.

González will also present a workshop, "Ancient Numeral Systems: Arithmetic the Hard Way," on 16 November. Participants will better understand how successively improved number systems can be sped up with algorithmic improvements only made possible by Hindu-Arabic numerals.

Celebrating the life of a man known as the father of India, the Library and Qatar Foundation Community Engagement have partnered to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi 150 years ago. Dr. Faisal Davji, Director of South Asia History at Oxford University, will deliver a lecture on 28 November that traces Gandhi's ideas of non-violence and their relevance today.

Arab identity and its preservation is the compelling theme of the 3 November event “Before It Is Too Late: Protecting and Preserving Arab Audiovisual Heritage.” Dedicated to safeguarding cultural heritage, and in cooperation with the University College of London-Qatar and the British Library-Qatar Foundation Partnership, the Library is organizing the event to celebrate the unique audiovisual heritage of Qatar and the Middle East.

Dr. Sohair Wastawy, Executive Director of the Library said: “The themes of this month’s events are as rich in diversity as our community. The Library has collaborated with a host of institutions and partners, and the result is to produce a program with a strong international flair. We are delighted to celebrate the heritage and traditions of a nation such as India and it’s shared a history with Qatar that dates very far back. We encourage our visitors to visit and engage with our speakers and our exhibitions and find a path for their individual self-development and enjoyment through lifelong learning.”

“Fire up Your Imagination” with author, illustrator and performance poet Chris White on 7 November promises to be a creative hour of imaginative ideas. White will reveal how he became a writer and share tales of his global travels performing poetry. He will then guide participants as they pen and illustrate a poem of their own.

For a musical treat, join the Ministry of Defense Music Battalion Unit for a concert of Qatari music on 12 November, where they play pieces inspired by the Qatari arts, using traditional instruments to reflect local culture.

“Poetry Night Doha 2019: Flavors and Aroma” on 15 November is a local edition of an international event created in 2016 by the Arab World Institute in Paris, in memory of the attacks in the French capital of November 2015. This event is organized as a joint collaboration between the Library, l’Institut Français du Qatar, the Embassy of Senegal in Qatar, the Embassy of Mali in Qatar and the Qatar Poetry Center “Diwan Al Arab” of the Qatar Ministry of Culture and Sports.

The Library hosts the “Young Writers Program: Open Mic Night” on 16 November in collaboration with Doha Learning Days, the country’s first experiential learning festival organized by the World Innovation Summit for Education. Members of the public can submit a piece of writing of up to two minutes to be performed. Pieces must interpret one of the themes of Doha Learning Days: Re-centering Learning Around Human Values; De-constructing Existing Learning Frameworks; or Re-learning to Build Thriving Societies.

Other events in November are “Mapping Planets,” presented by the Science Book Forum, on 17 November with Dr. Alessandro Frigeri. The monthly Philharmonic at the Library concert series presents “Clara Schumann: The Artist and The Woman” on 21 November.

In collaboration with the British Council, the Library presents “Edifice // Artifice” on 20 November, as part of the Qatar British Festival “Reading the City: program. On 22 November, Every Thing Every Time will ask what kind of stories urban data can tell about a city, its citizens, workers and visitors.

Turning to current and contemporary issues; “The Arab Revolutions” on 24 November hosts Dr. Shafeeq Ghabra, professor of political science at Kuwait University, to talk about his book The Arab Revolutions and reflect on different dimensions of the 2011 revolutions. On 25 November, the Library and Georgetown University in Qatar host “The Blockade Against Qatar: A Blessing in Disguise?.” Alexis Antoniades, Chair of International Economics at Georgetown, will examine the impact the blockade has had on Qatar’s economy and the policy responses that followed.