Posted on July 22, 2014

Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) excelled itself once again by delivering an impressive Ramadan Festival this year, filled with games, entertainment and religious activities enjoyed by thousands of people throughout 16 nights during the holy month of Ramadan.

Spiritual food during ‘Basha’er al Rahma’ festival

Aspire Zone organized the ‘Basha’er al Rahma’ festival in cooperation with Sheikh Thani bin Abdullah Foundation for Humanitarian Services (RAF). Under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla bin Nasser bin Khalifa al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of Qatar, dozens of religious Ulemas, preachers and reciters entertained the large crowds gathered at the al Sho’ala Hall at Aspire Zone during the festival.

Coming to a close last weekend,the festival also hosted a number of high profile Quran reciters who led the Taraweeh and Evening prayers at Aspire Mosque. Other activities to take place included religious and cultural competitions, traditional religious songs and a special Civil Defense awareness program. A special section was dedicated for women, and a games corner was available for children, ensuring the whole family was kept entertained.

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Commenting on the success of the festival, Mr Nasser Abdullah al Hajri, Corporate Communication Manager at Aspire Zone Foundation, said: “One of Aspire’s main goals in organizing the Ramadan Sports Festival was to provide a destination for everyone in Qatar to enjoy during the holy month, so we were particularly keen to provide a variety of activities for the whole family.” Mr al Hajri continued: “Spiritual part during Ramadan is equally as important as sports and fitness. And since 2012, religious activity has been one of the pillars of our Ramadan Sports Festival.”

Presentations were not confined to Arabic, as English presentations were delivered by Sheikh Bilal Philips, a famous US preacher; Dr Haitham al Haddad, a London-based scholar; and the Malaysian Astronaut Muthaffar Shakour, who spoke about his 10-day trip in space.

Garangao night celebrations

Thousands of children from across the country flocked to the specially-constructed open air Aspire Fan Zone to celebrate the mid-Ramadan children’s Garangao festival. Wearing traditional attire,the children wandered around the open, air-conditioned zone collecting sweets and nuts in cloth bags while Garangao songs and traditional videos played out from large screens. Khaled Hadi, a Qatari father who came to the event with his three daughters, praised the festivities, saying: "The event has been extremely well organized, making it a huge success. My daughters particularly liked the playing zone prepared by Qatar Gymnastics and the Football Federations."

A competition was held for the best traditional dress, and valuable prizes were distributed to the winners. Held in collaboration with a number of sporting organizations, the festival offered a wide array of activities, including inflatable shoot-out stations, foosball, gymnastics obstacle courses and basketball nets. Garangao represents the most important social celebration in the month of Ramadan, and is one of the most prominent traditional celebrations across the Gulf countries. It is held to reward children for their efforts in fasting during the first half of the month of Ramadan, and to instill the values ​​of generosity and sharing.

1,000 participated in sports tournaments

Several fans and participants praised the selection of sports matches and contests at Aspire’s Ramadan Sports Festival. Around 1,000 people, including 246 females and 64 juniors participated in 11 tournaments. Activities included men's and junior football,men's and women's basketball, men's and women's volleyball, along with beach football, handball, flag football, remote radio-controlled car racing and table tennis. This year, basketball, football, table tennis and flag football coaches were present to offer expert advice to participants. There was also 44 professional referees to officiate events and ensure the games were played fairly and without hindrance.

In a comment on Aspire's Facebook page, Amer Al Salali said: "There were many wonderful surprises from Aspire during the wonderful Ramadan nights. Thanks Aspire Zone. Thanks Qatar."

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Aspire Dome is a heat retreat for all sports fans

Alongside sports activities taking place under the air-conditioned Aspire Dome, hundreds of people also participated in the ‘Walk in Aspire Dome’ as part of Aspire’s ‘Step Into Health’ initiative. While parents enjoyed the running and swimming events of ‘Splash and Dash’, a special zone within the Aspire Dome ensured children were entertained with coloring, drawing,bouncy castles and toys.

Aspire Fan Zone offers an exciting experience for World Cup

In order to enjoy the 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilTMgames, Aspire Zone set up a special zone for fans to watch all the excitement unfold on huge screens set up in an open zone using advanced cooling technology. More than 4,500 fans witnessed the final match in which Germany beat Argentina to be crowned the World Cup champions.

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