- Special Pages
Doha: The relevance of the ‘majlis’, the traditional hall in homes where family members and friends sit together, is gradually diminishing as the issues and challenges faced by young Qataris are not taken up in them, say young Qatari men.
This is also in part because youngsters prefer to spend time with gadgets such as smartphones and tablets rather than with their family members in a ‘majlis’, some elders complain.
“No intelligent man can deny the importance of the ‘majlis’ because it keeps families and the social fabric of a country together,” Tariq Rashid, a young Qatari, was quoted as saying by an Arabic newspaper yesterday.
Rashid, however, noted that most elders did not consider the opinions of young men at ‘majlis’ gatherings. He said the ‘majlis’, which is by convention seen as a source of learning, needed to offer more in order to capture the attention of youngsters.
“Our elders need to realise that the concerns of the new generation are completely different from theirs,” Rashid said, adding that the elders needed to take into account issues of interest to the younger generation at ‘majlis’ gatherings.
Many families have upgraded sitting arrangements in the traditional family halls by installing television sets and indoor games in them.
“The youth today prefer to go to the kind of ‘majlis’ that is equipped with modern technology. You will even find people from different neighbourhoods visiting them,” Rashid said.
Abdullah Mohammad, one of the community elders, said the issues discussed at ‘majlis’ gatherings had changed.
Earlier, a ‘majlis’ gathering, for both men and women, served as a platform where families discussed the history of tribes and nations, economic issues as well as stories of hunting. Youngsters, in turn, learned about their traditions and customs by being in the company of their elders. The focus of these gatherings nowadays seems to be national and international news.
“Children used to enjoy being in a ‘majlis’ earlier, but now they want to use their smartphones and tablets. It appears no one wants to discuss the traditions of the community anymore,” said Mohammad.