During the month of May, which also sees the beginning of the Holy Month of Ramadan, visitors to Qatar National Library will be able to engage in activities, highlighting the topic of faith. The full schedule of events will provide many opportunities for community members to prepare for Ramadan.
Running from 1 May to 1 October, the “Holy Kaaba Exhibition” will display more than 50 carefully curated items from the Library’s Heritage Library collection, including photos, works of art, books and manuscripts, offering insights into the history of the Holy Kaaba, the stages of its construction, its architectural features and adornment, and its religious and spiritual significance.
To coincide with Ramadan, the second edition of the “Annual Beautiful Athan Contest” will be held from 1 to 16 May. All members of the community may submit their recordings, and the top three places will be awarded prizes.
The Library will offer a variety of workshops to help the community prepare for Ramadan. On 2 May, a workshop will offer a practical activity on how to organize your time during this month. With the theme, “Ramadan is here”, on 4 May, families will have the chance to attend an informal gathering at the Library to share their customs and traditions used in preparing their homes for this special time of the year.
In keeping with the theme of faith during May, and emphasizing the importance of reading and studying Qur'an during Ramadan, a lecture and visual presentation, “Writing the Quran Through the Centuries,” is organized on 4 May, which will explore the history of the written Qur’an from the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) up to the print and digital eras. Dr. Ahmed Khalid Shokri, Professor of Qur’anic Studies at Qatar University and Mahmoud Zaki, Information Services Librarian at the Library, will deliver informative presentations at the event.
“The Holy Month of Ramadan is an opportunity for everyone to reflect on their personal and social lives, and learn new aspects of living successfully. Whether you like to read, engage in arts, or attend an informative lecture, the Library has something for everyone during this month,” said Maryam Al-Khalosi, Information Services Librarian at the Library. “We welcome our visitors to join us at the Library throughout the month, attend our activities, or simply sit back and read their favorite books from our collection.”
A variety of handcraft workshops throughout the month will focus on using and exploring creativity to express faith and the joy of celebrating Ramadan as a family.
A handcraft workshop on 4 May will guide participants on how to make their own Ramadan lamps out of beads to decorate their homes. Ramadan decoration design workshops on 11 May, 18 May and 25 May will offer children aged 6-12 years a hands-on experience using special machines to make decorations for celebrating Ramadan at home.
Adults also have a number of interesting offerings to explore their creative side in Ramadan. “Coloring for Adults: Islamic Patterns” on 15 May, is an open session for participants to use coloring as a form of meditation, and to create focus and increase mindfulness. The special coloring session will focus on creating Islamic patterns using craft tools provided to all participants. A workshop, “Clay Art: Islamic Art”, on 16 May will show participants how they can use clay to create Islamic art.
As part of the focus on faith during the month of May, the Library will use storytelling to present the community with unique aspects of Islamic history. On 8 and 22 May, the Library will explore stories of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions. The public are invited to listen to the history of early Muslims and engage in group discussions.
Young adults aged 12–18 are encouraged to get competitive at the “Ramadan Word Search Challenge” on 9 May, 11 May, 16 May, 18 May, 23 May and 25 May where they can test themselves with a word and search related ones to various aspects of Ramadan.
The Library will join the community in marking the midpoint of Ramadan with a Garangao celebration on 18 May, an occasion for celebration across Qatar. Members of the community are invited to come to the Library in traditional Qatari dresses, and celebrate with Garangao songs and cultural arts and crafts. Artist Samar Saeed will offer a special “Garangao Box Activity”, showing participants how to design and create a Garangao box, which can be filled with sweets and nuts.
Visitors to the Library will have the opportunity to also attend events, which focus on science, community and art.
On 2 May, a lecture, “Leonardo Da Vinci as Seen by his Contemporaries: Remarks about the Mona Lisa and Other Portraits,” will be delivered by Carmelo Occhipinti, art historian and critic, and Associate Professor of Museology and Art Criticism and Restoration at the University of Rome Tor Vergata in Italy. The lecture will highlight the early history of some of the artist’s most famous paintings.
An informal panel discussion on 3 May will discuss the role of the Indian education system and its progress in a talk, “Indian Schools: Their Journey in Educating the Indian Expat Community”. Alumni based in Qatar will share their memories and talk about how the schools continue to shape their lives and that of the future generations.
The Science Book Forum will hold its monthly session on 12 May. The lecture, “Dust Storms from Mars and Titan to Qatar,” will explore the origin, and evolution of dust storms, and how they have shaped Qatar’s landscape and environment.