Father Emir receives Fath Al Kheir 2

 18 Nov 2015 - 1:07

Father Emir receives Fath Al Kheir 2
Father Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani witnessed last evening the arrival of Fath Al Kheir 2 at Katara Cultural village beach. The event was also attended by H H Sheikh Jassem bin Hamad Al Thani, the Personal Representative of the Emir.


By Raynald C Rivera

DOHA: The Fath Al Kheir dhow arrived at Katara Beach amid a festive atmosphere marking the launch of Katara’s fifth Traditional Dhow Festival yesterday.
The 30 sailors of the dhow were welcomed with traditional songs by folkloric groups and flowers from their families during Al Qafal ceremony, as they left the dhow after 44 days in the sea which took them to India and back.
Father Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and H H the Emir’s Personal Representative H H Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani attended the ceremony, along with dignitaries, officials, ambassadors and representatives of diplomatic missions.

Dhow Captain Hassan Issa Al Kaabi and sailors shook hands with Father Emir who thanked them for their efforts as they faced difficulties in their journey to revive their maritime tradition and the memory of their ancestors who toiled in pursuing livelihood.
Katara General Manager Dr Khaled bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti hailed the presence of Father Emir at the event and his support to the festival through the years.
“Without his support, it would not have been possible for this festival to excel in Qatar, the Gulf and the world,” he said, adding the festival has seen more and more participants in every edition. 
“They are from different Gulf states, which asserts the strong connection between the people of these countries and their endeavours in reviving their heritage,” he said.
Maritime heritage is integral to Gulf culture and tradition of the Gulf and it is for this reason that Katara has taken keen interest to preserve it through the festival and allied events, he added.
Katara Beach Manager and Festival Committee Head Ahmad Abdullah Al Hitmi said this edition of the festival will be a great opportunity for visitors to learn more about maritime heritage in details from maritime professions to social and cultural customs.
Over 100 traditional dhows of different types and sizes from all over GCC are moored at the beach in addition to others displayed around the festival site. 
The festival includes traditional maritime competitions such as dhow race, fishing, rowing and pearl-diving from tomorrow.
A traditional village showcasing items related to maritime heritage and featuring GCC craftsmen demonstrating traditional maritime professions are among other highlights of the five-day festival.
New to this year’s festival is a market with a dozen stalls for traditionally crafted jewellery made from gold and pearls. There are also performers from Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia to entertain visitors with folkloric songs.
Dhow cruises and other educational activities are provided to schoolchildren from today.
Artists in a fine art competition yesterday started creating paintings at the venue of the festival which also includes a photography contest.
The Peninsula