Posted on January 31, 2014

A series of programmes, art exhibitions and recreational activities for families were among the highlights of the first day of Leshtah (Winter) Festival 2014 at Katara – the Cultural Village before yesterday.

Being held at Katara Esplanade, the five-day festival opened with a programme for youth at 9am. Many of the families who came to witness the winter celebration lauded the event, saying it opened numerous opportunities for their children as well as young adults to showcase and improve their talents and skills.

One of the organisers, who refused to be named, reiterated that Leshtah Festival 2014 aims to educate children about Qatar’s rich history through simple and effective techniques. Organisers have set up an area for children who want to draw and paint. They have also built a wooden wall for hand-printing by using water-based paints.

Qatar Armed Forces and Al Fazaa officials have engaged children on stage to educate them on things like the art of driving cars and first-aid. Other workshops are also being held. “This is very interesting - the culture is so diverse, there’s a bit of everything that is absolutely wonderful,” said Christina Douglas from Newcastle, England.
She described the activities at the event as “fantastic and absolutely fabulous, which give many people the opportunity to learn new things about this country”. “They have everything for children as well,” added Douglas, whose granddaughter is studying in Doha. “She is also trying to learn the Arabic language.”

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This is Douglas’s second visit to Doha and she loves going to Katara to relax and watch festivals. Sports activities for physically-challenged people such as wheelchair racing, basketball, and mini-football have attracted dozens of visitors and spectators at the venue.

For those who want to test their reflexes, a table has been set up for table tennis enthusiasts near the basketball court. An Egyptian national, Amrah, who was seen playing table tennis with his colleagues and people from other nationalities said the festival’s activities cater to all people in Qatar. “Table tennis is one of the safest (games) and I should say a lifetime sport because you can play it even when you are old,” he stressed.

In another area, both children and young adults have been given the chance to showcase their dancing prowess in front of an audience. A mobile (bus) library containing dozens of colouring books and reading materials is also attracting families and passersby. It is being supervised by staff from the Childhood Cultural Centre. Another stage has been set up for various exciting games in which children can participate.

source: Gulf Times