Posted on October 01, 2019

Qatar National Library will host an exciting program of activities this October to develop knowledge about subjects both close to home and out of this world. The mysteries of space are the subject of several events, as the Library takes visitors beyond the frontiers of Earth. For a more local flavor, throughout Gulf Architecture Month, a series of lectures, along with a conference and exhibition, will be held to explore the different dimensions of traditional architecture in the region, both past and present.

With schools and universities returning for the fall semester after the long summer break, people in Qatar and across the Arabian Peninsula look to the Suhail star to know the beginning and the end of the summer season by dividing the star into four parts. On 2 October, a special talk, “Suhail Star,” will be hosted in cooperation with the Qatar Authors’ Forum, the Astronomy Club at Qatar University and the Thuraya Planetarium at Katara. Attendees can learn scientific details about the Suhail star to better understand its significance.

Continuing with the space theme, on 19 October, Sheikh Salman bin Jabr Al-Thani, one of the most distinguished astronomers in Qatar, will present a lecture, “The Earth Is Not Flat.” In the talk, Sheikh Salman will share his response to claims that the Earth is not spherical, but flat. On 26 October, Library visitors can see the challenges—and rewards—of space exploration with the screening of the award-winning 2017 documentary The Farthest: Voyager in Space. The movie follows people and events around the Voyager mission, the first human-made object to leave the solar system and enter deep space.

October is also Gulf Architecture Month, and the Library is celebrating with a series of weekly talks that take a closer look at different aspects and dimensions of architecture past and present in the region. The public talks will be held in English every Wednesday starting on 9 October. The Gulf Architecture Conference and Exhibition, organized by the Library, in collaboration with Liverpool University’s School of Architecture, Qatar University’s Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, and Ibrahim Jaidah, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Architect, Arab Engineering Bureau, will be held from 10 to 13 October. Academics, researchers, architects, historians and students are encouraged to attend.

Throughout October, visitors to the Library can enjoy free events for all ages. In cooperation with the Economic and Cyber Crime Combating Department at the Ministry of Interior, the Library will host an awareness workshop on 14 October, “Be Conscious: Cybercrimes.” The workshop will focus on Qatar's cybercrime laws and highlight the dangers of these cybercrimes, the common behaviors and actions that could lead to legal accountability, how to report cybercrimes, and the role of the authorities. The event will be presented in Arabic.

Maha Al Naimi, Information Services Librarian, said: “With the summer break over, and work, school and home routines busier than ever, the Library is an environment where everyone can continue to maintain a balance, stimulate their creativity, meet like-minded people, and broaden their knowledge and understanding of what makes our world turn. The Library’s program of free events and activities includes a broad range of interests, cultures and languages, and we encourage our visitors to come along and be engaged and enlightened.”

A Science Book Forum lecture on 14 October, “Glaciers, Sea Ice and Ice Shelves: Why the Ice Poles Matter to Qatar” will discuss how the Earth's ice caps play an important role in the stability of temperatures and seasons on our planets, especially how their changes have had measurable impacts on Qatar throughout its history. To celebrate the International Open Access Week 2019, the Library will organize a series of workshops: “Citizen Science Workshop” on 20 October; “Academic Writing and Publishing Workshop” on 23 October; and “Open Access Week 2019: Open for Whom?” on 27 October.

Lovers of classical music can enjoy the dulcet tones of “Philharmonic at the Library: String Trios from Bach to Ragtime” presented on 18 October, featuring Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra performers Benjamin Gould as narrator, Raluca Gette on violin, Edita Fabek on viola and Harald Georgi on cello. The efforts of the Digital Library of the Middle East (DLME), the result of a partnership between the Library and the Council on Library and Information Resources, will be discussed on 30 October at an information event, “DLME: The Strength, Capacity, and Promise of Digital Libraries.”

The Library, in partnership with the Embassy of Italy in Qatar, will host “Italian Language Week” starting on 21 October. The series of events celebrates Italian culture and history while giving participants the opportunity to learn basic Italian words and phrases. The week kicks off on 21 October with “Learn Italian Through Song” and “Evolution of Italian Opera Between 1800 and 1900: Convergences and Contrasts.” “Learn Italian Through Food” will be presented on 23 October by Claudio Trovato, chef at Cucina, Marriot Marquis, and Il Caffè Letterario: Novecento on 24 October is a chance for Italian speakers to informally meet over coffee at the Open Lounge Terrace to read Novecento, a theatrical monologue by the contemporary Italian author Alessandro Baricco.

The National Novel Writing Month Kickoff on 26 October is designed to motivate and support all writers to start thinking ahead and planning for “NaNoWriMo.” Participants are asked to bring their laptops for the warm-up writing exercises. Sessions will continue to be held every Saturday morning in November. Aspiring local writers are also encouraged to attend the Second Annual Qatar National Library Forum for Qatari Writers on 16 and 17 October. As part of the forum, a story-writing workshop will be led by distinguished author Jamal Fayez.

The Library’s regular program includes meetings and fun activities during October. The Chess Club meets on 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 October. “Arabic Calligraphy for Young Adults” on 4 October will train participants ages 12 to 18 to continue the great tradition of Arabic calligraphy with its deep cultural and religious roots. Fun Robotics is presented for young adults ages 10 to 17 on 5 October. Saturday sessions throughout October will culminate in a mini-challenge day on 2 November for participants to show off their creations. The Film Club once again gets together on 11 and 25 October.

For those who have not visited yet, the Library’s Holy Kaaba Exhibition continues, free of charge for all visitors, in the Heritage Library.

To find out more about the Library’s events in October 2019, please visit