University of Huddersfield celebrates the culture of Qatar
Students from Qatar at the University of Huddersfield were treated to an elaborate celebration on campus for Qatar National Day this month.
Qatar National Day celebrates the culture of Qatar, an exotic land that borders Saudi Arabia and which has also become the world’s richest country by GDP per capita.
Qatar National Day marks the date in 1878 when Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani rallied the tribes of the peninsula into a unified people.
In The University of Huddersfield, however, it is a way for Qatari students to maintain their appreciation of Qatar’s traditions and bond over a shared heritage, even though the students are miles away from home.
Special guests included the VIP Cultural Attaché Dr Mohammed Al-Kaabi of the Ambassador’s Office at the Qatar Embassy in London and professional footballer Ali Al-Habsi, a goalkeeper for Wigan Athletic Football Club.
Around 250 students wore traditional dress – such as Arabian thobes – and took part in native sword and flag dancing. Food stalls were set out, offering traditional sweet and savoury food like ‘Kabsa’ – rice meat and vegetables mixed with spices and ‘Om ali’ – a bread and rice pudding.
Students also played traditional board games like ‘Dama’, which looks similar to the English game of Draughts, but has completely different rules. Traditionally, Qatari fisherman would play the game on the seashore.
As a way to celebrate the World Cup being hosted in Qatar in 2022, the students brought with them an imitation trophy, as a quirky way to mark the event.
President of the University’s Qatari Student Society, Jassim Musa Almahmoud, was extremely happy with how the celebration was received and is looking forward to holding a similar event next year.
He said: “It was a dream for us to celebrate such an event at our university. We even made the Qatari media because of the event’s huge success. I would like to offer a big thank you to everyone who came and special thanks to our VIP guest Dr Al-Kaabi for his most welcome visit.”