BY RAYNALD C RIVERA
DOHA: Katara Cultural Village has brought a slice of Morocco to Qatar through the first-ever Moroccan Handicraft Week which opened yesterday at Katara Building 3.
Authentic Moroccan products are displayed at the venue specially designed to exude the ambience of a real Moroccan market.
Many people flocked to the opening of the 11-day event and everyone was impressed of the festival including Katara General Manager Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti.
“Once you enter the gallery, you really feel you are in Morocco because of the design of the shops. In addition, you see how the handicrafts are done perfectly with very high professionalism,” Dr Al Sulaiti told The Peninsula after inaugurating the festival.
He expressed optimism people who would come to the festival would be satisfied of what can be found there from Moroccan handicraft and food to traditions and music.
Dr Al Sulaiti said it is part of their plan to organise festivals that reflect cultures from around the world. “Once in a while we usually hold festivals related to a particular part of the world. We have already done a couple of festivals on Latin America, now we are doing something on Africa. We have already done something for Africa in general but now we are focusing on one African country for people to see their culture closely and in detail.”
Present at the launch event were Deputy Ambassador of Morocco Jalal Al Khamlishy, Chairman of Qatari Morrocan Friendship Club Shaham Al Ashrafi and Director General of Dar Al Sana Abdullah Adnani in addition to representatives of diplomatic missions.
“It is a good opportunity for the public to be introduced to the Moroccan culture and we welcome any initiative which brings different cultures and people together,” said Al Khamlishy.
“This event shows a small picture of the history of the Arab-Islamic civilization in Morocco which reflects the cultures of different parts of the country. It is the outcome of the Moroccan innovation and creativity. We are presenting here our art, innovation, heritage and folklore and we are expecting to host a similar week in Morocco to showcase Qatari culture and heritage,” said Al Ashrafi.
Moroccan lamps, textile, jewellery, wood craft, bags, footwear, carpets and furniture in addition to food and art are among those that can be found at the festival.
The opening also featured andalusian music and traditional Moroccan folk dances.
Running until January 5, the expo provides visitors a glimpse of Morocco’s traditions, culture and socio-economic activities.
It is open from 2pm to 12 midnight and features other activities such as storytelling, and workshops for kids and on cooking embroidery, Moroccan sweet and wood craft, among others.
People who would visit the festival today would enjoy Moroccan music, kids’ workshop, traditional dance, henna, andalusian songs and traditional Moroccan marriage ceremony.
More than 55 artisans, artists and folkloric singers representing different regions of Morocco are presenting at the event.