Posted on December 09, 2017

Qatar National Library (QNL), a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), will host a concert by the Marasi Ensemble in the library’s auditorium on December 13, from 7pm-8pm. Open to the public at no cost, the hour-long performance will feature several traditional Qatari songs.

The Marasi Ensemble was established by Qatar Music Academy (QMA), also a member of QF, in 2011 to focus on authentic interpretations of traditional maqam music, a style used in traditional Arabic music. Its compositional and improvisational techniques are unique to non-Western musical cultures.

As part of QNL’s National Day celebrations, the concert will demonstrate its dedication to preserving and promoting the culture and heritage of Qatar and the Arabian Gulf region. QNL has hosted several cultural events since its opening last month, including an Arabic creative writing workshop and Arabic Language Day celebrations. “We are pleased to welcome the Marasi Ensemble to QNL to share their unique musical style that is such an important part of Qatar’s culture. This concert is an excellent opportunity for locals and expats to experience a key component of Arabic heritage, one which underscores the richness of our history,” said Dr. Nouf Khashman, Outreach and Community Engagement Manager, QNL.

The ensemble is made up of faculty members of QMA’s Arab music department and performs on traditional instruments such as the oud, nay, qanun, violin (kaman), and a variety of Middle Eastern instruments. They will play 10 songs, including the Qatar national anthem. “Qatar Music Academy’s participation in QNL’s National Day celebrations is an integral part of showing our solidarity with Qatar as a unified collective. It’s also one of the many facets on QMA’s journey towards championing Qatar’s musical heritage and to building musical awareness in the country, as well as furthering Qatar Foundation’s mission to promoting a progressive and diverse cultural landscape. The Marasi Ensemble is excited to provide the audience with a glimpse into Qatar’s rich musical history,” said Dr. Abdul Ghafour Al Heeti, Director, QMA.

Visitors inspired by the concert can take advantage of QNL’s musical instruments and recording studio, one of the ‘Innovation Stations’ designed to foster creativity in the community, particularly among young people. Additionally, for those who wish to learn more about Qatar’s and the region’s history, QNL’s Heritage Library comprises rare and valuable texts and manuscripts related to Arabic and Islamic civilization. It contains a wide range of Arabic and foreign language books, manuscripts, maps, globes, historical photographs, serials and archival collections, and writings by travelers who explored the Arabian Gulf over the centuries.

QNL’s vision is to be one of the world’s preeminent centers of learning, research and culture, a guardian of the region’s heritage, and an institution that promotes discovery and fosters social engagement.