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Posted on December 20, 2013

Qatari cultural performances and sporting activities marked the opening of the three-day Run The World (RTW) Festival 2013 yesterday afternoon, which was attended by thousands of nationals and expatriates. Groups of Qataris started performing the traditional sword dance – Ardha - on stage around 5pm. Some male students wearing black suits also showcased a Palestinian dance. Shala Sayeed, director of communications at RTW, told Gulf Times that they have dedicated the first day to Qatari activities and cultural performances at the Katara beach. “We have prepared Qatari programmes as this is part of our Qatar National Day celebrations,” she said. “Expect more exciting activities on Friday and Saturday.”

More than 200 participants have registered to participate in different sports competitions such as beach volleyball, beach football, beach tennis, basketball, horse-riding, skateboarding and BMX. Hundreds of people are also expected to join a mini marathon (open to all nationalities), which will be held tomorrow afternoon. Other attractions include Parkour performance and workshops and break-dancing shows. The Youth Company, organiser of RTW – which is now in its third year, has partnered with Qatar Charity to raise more than QR500,000 to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. A number of boxes have been installed around the venue where people can drop their donations. Goods and in-kind donations are also welcome.

A dozen booths in the area have been given to members of United Filipino Entrepreneurs in Qatar (UFEQ) to showcase products such as authentic Filipino food, a variety of clothes and printed t-shirts, artworks and other items. UFEQ chairperson Annie Barcelona Esmer told Gulf Times that some of the proceeds from the bazaar would be donated to typhoon victims. Philippine Ambassador Crescente Relacion, other embassy officials and members of the Filipino community are expected to grace the activities today. Various entertainment groups will perform at the venue in the evening. Activities such as street music, car shows and graffiti, as well as the crowd puller Youth Got Talent, will be held today. Sayeed said the singing and dancing contest has attracted more than 200 bands and solo performers, including Qatari youths.

A separate booth for the Sarang Plus cultural centre has been set up to promote Korean culture, language, food, music, dance and taekwondo. Sayeed said RTW is aimed at encouraging youth in Qatar to lead a healthy lifestyle. It is also promoting cultural exchanges among its members and volunteers. As the organiser of the annual festival, she said The Youth Company has involved about 20,000 students and accomplished 23 projects in three years. Established in December 2010, The Youth Company offers various learning opportunities that include internship, training and seminars. It also organises conferences and invites world-renowned speakers, trainers and business representatives to discuss an array of topics for its youth audience. This included the Youth Change Everything conference.

Source: Gulf Times