Operetta portrays ‘old Qatari life’, highlights rich heritage
January 20 2017 11:33 PM
(TOP LEFT) The Souq Waqif Spring Festival 2017 in Doha features a variety of performances and shows daily. PICTURE: Shemeer Rasheed. (RIGHT) The fireworks display light up the sky at Wakrah. PICTURE: Ram Chand. (BELOW LEFT) Stilt walkers dressed in colourful costumes entertain young visitors. PICTURE: Ram Chand

An operetta that portrays ‘old Qatari life’ has become one of the highlights at the Souq Al Wakrah Spring Festival 2017. The 50-minute show, which starts at around 5.30pm at the souq’s beach area, takes spectators back in time to an era before the discovery of oil and gas, in an interesting and entertaining way.
“In this operetta, we want visitors and residents of all ages to know and understand the sacrifices and struggles of our forefathers in the past,” director Faisal al-Tamimi told Gulf Times.
He explained Qatar’s old story also portrays how the pearl divers faced many challenges and suffered loneliness while in the sea for a couple of months.
The actors and actresses also performed several traditional songs and dances in a number of scenes that enthralled the crowd.
The operetta aims to showcase Qatar’s rich cultural heritage and tradition, according to al-Tamimi, as he urged visitors to watch the show until the concluding part. “The whole story is important and nothing should be missed,” he noted. “We hope to broaden the knowledge of our audience, particularly our children, they have to know how we lived before and how we reached this stage, it is not from nothing.”
As a form of ‘edutainment’, al-Tamimi hopes to attract more spectators in the coming days and throughout the festival, which started on January 19 and will run until February 2.
Bushra, a Sudanese expatriate for 20 years, told Gulf Times that he learned a lot from the show, realising how difficult life was in the Gulf decades ago when there was no electricity and modern technology.
“The dhows and pearls have become symbols of their heroism, courage, and hard work,” he opined.
Bushra hopes that more people will take time to visit Souq Al Wakrah and watch what he described as “a very educating and entertaining show for all.”
The second day of the festival saw a large number of spectators enjoying the entertainment and musical shows, cultural activities and several attractions at the venue.
The festival features a huge children’s play area, an animal show, stilt walkers, riding pony, a popular singing band, exhibitors and popular games walkway, and horses and camels walkway.
Cafes, restaurants and eateries, as well as other shops and stores, have been benefiting from the influx of local and foreign visitors who also witnessed the fireworks display at 8pm at the popular tourist destination.
Back in Doha, the Souq Waqif Spring Festival also continues to attract a large number of families and children to several shows and attractions, including musical parades and cultural performances on stage.

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