Ibrahim Al Sulaiti (right), General Manager of Katara, and Kabalan Abi Saab, Ecuadorian Ambassador, during a press conference at Katara yesterday. (Shaival Dalal)
BY RAYNALD C RIVERA
DOHA: Katara visitors are set to sample a slice of Ecuador’s unique culture as Ecuador Cultural Week, featuring more than 80 artists and performers, opens tonight at Katara Amphitheatre.
“The concept is to bring to Qatar a piece of cultural diversity of Ecuador’s mixed ethnic ancestry,” said Ecuador Ambassador Kabalan B Abisaab, at a press conference yesterday at Katara.
The ambassador highlighted the significant role art, music and gastronomy play in Ecuadorians’ way of life and stressed cultural expression as an effective tool in promoting mutual understanding among individuals and groups.
This is the second major cultural event of the Ecuadorian Mission in Katara. The first was a photography exhibition late last year by two prominent Ecuadorian photographers, highlighting the country’s rich biodiversity and ethnic heritage. Ecuador is a diverse country with 27 ethnic groups including 13 indigenous people.
A rich lineup of activities is in store for the general public at the five-day event organised by Katara together with the Ecuadorian Embassy and Qatar Tourism Authority.
Most of the events are scheduled to be held at the Katara Esplanade from 5pm to 10pm starting tomorrow until Saturday. Highlights of the events comprise solo and group performances by Ecuadorian musicians including Amadeus group and six-member band playing indigenous musical instruments made from bamboo.
Colourful carnival parades, acrobatic shows and ballet performances are set to add vibrancy at the Cultural Village throughout the week.
In addition the event will take visitors in a gastronomic journey into Ecuador’s authentic cuisine through a food festival.
Handicraft made by the South American republic’s artisans, traditional fashion and footwear, nuts and dried fruit can also be found at the venue, along with an exhibition of wildlife and birds which cemented Ecuador’s reputation as one of a few mega-diverse countries in the world.
Documentary film screenings and exhibitions would be held at Katara Building No. 3 while lectures and demonstrations by artists are scheduled at Katara Art Studios. Activities for children will also be held at a dedicated Kids Zone.
Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, General Manager of Katara, said the event was aimed at deepening cultural ties between Ecuador and Qatar.
“Culture is one of the most vital sectors that promote bilateral relations between countries which must continuously be developed,” said Al Sulaiti, adding it was for this reason that Katara had been organizing cultural weeks in cooperation with various embassies here.
These events, he said, provide a forum which opens windows into the cultural heritage of various countries promoting understanding among people.