- Title: Doha dhow festival showcases maritime heritage
- Date: 17th November 2016
- Summary: DOHA, QATAR (NOVEMBER 16, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PARTICIPANTS DANCING TWO PEOPLE SINGING FOLK SONGS MAN DRUMMING
- Embargoed: 2nd December 2016 11:10
- Keywords: Doha dhow festival Qatar marine sail boats folk songs sailors
- Location: DOHA, QATAR
- City: DOHA, QATAR
- Country: Qatar
- Topics: Arts/Culture/Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA00158TYD79
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Visitors to a Qatari beach took a trip back in time for the 6th annual Dhow Festival, with traditional sailboats at sea and songs and dances of old performed on shore.
The event aims to preserve the maritime heritage of the country and keep it alive by introducing it to younger generations.
The festival was organised by Katara, an organisation that says it is a guardian of the heritage and traditions of Qatar.
"We have nine or more competitions in total. They all aim to educate and connect the youth, not only from Qatari society, but Gulf youth and society, with their past and educate them about pastimes and professions that have now disappeared. We are bringing it back to life on this beach," said Mubarak al-Khyareen from Katara.
In addition to the traditional dhow boats moored on the beach, the festival featured several small shops and stands, each displaying an old profession or craft.
"I make fishing nets. I also have experience in boat making. I teach youth and students the names of old marine tools and show them how to use it, how people used to dive and how life used to be in the past," said craftsman Azzam al-Subaei.
The festival has grown bigger year on year and attracts hundreds of visitors, many also from abroad.
But it's among Qatari youth that the participants hope to have the most impact.
Boat crew member Saeed says he's noticed a difference.
"Youth didn't know names of shells or its types. Now they do. Since the festival was launched they learned a lot and started to participate in contests. At first they didn't participate and had no experience, but these years they learned a lot. Now they make boats and dive on their own. The festival taught them," he said.
Pearl diving and fishing were among the main sources of income for Qataris before the oil era.
Today, professions like ship making, fishing and sailing have diminished and all but disappeared.
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