(MENAFN - Gulf Times) The spirit of Qatar National Day was on full display at Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) recently as the university celebrated the upcoming holiday with a day of learning, food and fun for students, faculty and staff, as well as the entire Education City community.
Georgetown's Qatar National Day celebrations were held early as the university would be on winter break for the holiday. The heritage festival, held on the grassy manicured grounds of the school, was organised by a team of Georgetown's Qatari students.
"Qatar National Day is an occasion when people meet to express their love and loyalty to the nation. That's why we wanted to celebrate with our colleagues, and at the same time, share our culture with them," said one of the student organisers, Kholoud Hayder, a sophomore majoring in Culture and Politics.
In a bid to welcome expatriates and locals alike to the spirit of the holiday, attendants of the festivities were encouraged to come dressed in traditional Qatari garb. Extra abayas and thobes were also made available on site for anyone wanting to take part.
In a paved area outside the main building, the students set up a traditional Qatari majlis. A few steps away a "dukkan" or small traditional market stall, displayed several food items. Besides, preserved animal specimens displayed the wide diversity of Qatar's desert wildlife.
Throughout the day, a local Qatari craftsman worked on constructing a detailed model dhow as he was surrounded by several finished boats on display. The role of fishing on Qatar's seaside communities was also represented by a fisherman on hand to answer questions.
Qatari women poured ladles of creamy batter onto sizzling black metal plates to make the local delicacy known as crepes, which visitors followed with steaming cups of fragrant and sweet karak tea. Traditional gahwa, or coffee, as well as dates and several other local culinary treats were offered free of charge to guests.
The memory of customs and traditions were captured with a photography booth where visitors could get their pictures taken in front of a backdrop displaying colourful local textiles and woven rugs. The highlight of the celebrations were the spirited performances of a traditional sword dance by one of Qatar's most celebrated troupes.
Georgetown University is also taking part in the Darb Al Saai events inside the Qatar Foundation tent until December 20. Visitors are able to meet members of the Georgetown community to learn more about the school, and fun quizzes and temporary flag tattoos are available for young visitors.
The Georgetown community also takes part in the national celebrations organised along the Corniche in Doha, which are traditionally capped off with a brilliant display of fireworks.
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