Qatar National Library will host a variety of events, activities and classes for the community this August aimed at encouraging creative writing, social media skills and music appreciation. Throughout the month, regular book clubs and skills workshops continue to give visitors the opportunity to expand their horizons and meet new people.
“The Qatari Experience Abroad” on 3 August targets those considering living abroad for study, work or simply to try a new adventure. The talk is an opportunity to meet a group of Qataris who will share their stories about life abroad and how they overcame the challenges they faced, such as homesickness. The event, to be presented in English and Arabic, is an opportunity to pose questions to these veterans of life on other shores. The session will also touch on how the Library’s vast resources can assist anyone interested in living abroad to move ahead with their plans.
“Book Discussion: Siblings with Special Needs” on 7 August will discuss Special Brothers and Sisters, by Monica McCaffrey and Annette Hames. The book is a compilation of the real-life experiences of children who grew up with a brother or sister with disabilities. The stories are honest reflections of their feelings of love, frustration, joy and sadness. The book is available on eBook Central, one of the Library’s numerous online resources. The discussion will be hosted in the Assistive Technology Room.
“Building with Bricks Challenge” on 24 August is a creative team-building activity with Lego bricks. Groups of five to seven participants ages 16 and above will work together to build an architectural structure of their own design. The event promises to be two hours of competitive fun in the spirit of creativity.
A series of Arabic creative writing workshops begins on 17 August, presented in collaboration with Radhi Al Hajri, founder of Zekreet Publishing and Distribution. The sessions will refine the creative writing skills of promising writers while strengthening the creative tools to support local literature. The workshops will be open to adults every Saturday from 17 August to 7 September 2019.
Muneera Al-Buainain, Senior Information Services Librarian at the Library, said: “Our programs in August are both engaging and educational, carefully curated to be of value to a wide audience of every age, background and interest. Everyone has the opportunity—whether they are students on their summer vacation, busy professionals, families or expats new to Qatar—to learn new skills and have a fun and educational time outside their classrooms and offices. We hope the events will encourage our community to come and spend more time at the Library.”
The power of music to express powerful emotions is the theme of “Homesickness in Classical Music” on 19 August, a screening of Symphony No. 9, "From the New World” by Czech composer Antonin Dvorak. The symphony was composed by Dvorak during his tenure as director of the National Conservatory of Music of America in New York from 1892 to 1895. It is a powerful testament of Dvorak's feelings abroad that ranged from excitement about the “New World” to homesickness for his home country. The music uses elements of Native American and African-American melodies, but also shows strong links to Czech traditional music.
The evening will begin with an introduction to the symphony, followed by a screening of the complete performance by the Berlin Philharmonic under Claudio Abbado.
Members who are unable to join can enjoy this concert and many other recorded performances for free using their Library membership card on Naxos Video Library.
This month’s Readers and Opinions Book Club meeting on 29 August will discuss I Saw Ramallah, by Mourid Barghouthi. The autobiographical work tells the story of Barghouthi's return to Ramallah after years of exile and presents a powerful meditation on the Palestinian experience.
The “Inspiring Individuals” series is an opportunity to meet individuals who have distinguished themselves in Qatari society and hear their inspiring stories. In the session on 29 August, engineer Mohammed Al-Janahi will share his interesting professional journey, which began in the oil sector before he went on to teach mathematics in Qatar’s schools. Young adults ages 12 – 18 can learn about his journey and how he is inspiring his students to enjoy mathematics.
The Library continues to support the community through skills workshops. An “Introduction to Google Drive” on 24 August will offer insights into one of today’s leading cloud computing tools. The “Social Media Self-Marketing Skills” workshop on 31 August will teach participants how to effectively self-market themselves on social media by expanding their digital experience and telling stories using social media as a channel to communicate with many different communities.
Several librarians and staff will have the opportunity to share their experiences of the Library’s successful first year with the international library and information science community at the International Federation of Library Associations and Institution’s 85th World Library and Information Congress, themed “Libraries: Dialogue for Change,” from 24 – 30 August in Athens, Greece.
For those who have not yet had a chance to visit it, the Library’s temporary exhibition, ‘The Holy Kaaba Exhibition’ continues, free of charge for all visitors.