The people of Qatar celebrate Independence Day by performing traditional dance and music in Souk Waqif. Qatar received independence from the United Kingdom. 2nd September 2011
Qatar is celebrating it's 40th anniversary of independence from the United Kingdom. The two nations remain close allies and trading partners, developing ties through business, oil & gas exports and notably through educational and cultural ties with Qatar Foundation.
The evening is marked by public performances of traditional music, the Oud being much associated with the rich Qatari culture of folk singing, dance and poetry.
Souk Waqif is the hub of much of this traditional aspect of the independence day celebrations.
September is the height of summer in Qatar, coupled with high humidity which can make for an uncomfortable mix to those visitors not acclimatised. Qatar National Day, celebrated on 18th December is a much bigger event, due in part to the mild weather during the winter months.
Many Qatari families come to souk Waqif for the evening performances, preferring to sit at the outside tables ensuring the best view while drinking Turkish coffee and smoking the Shisha pipes.
Further performances of dancers and musicians can be found within the air-conditioned comfort of the major shopping malls, such as 'The City Centre' mall in the heart of the West Bay business district of Doha, or at the Cultural Village development (Katara) which put on an impressive fireworks display for the evening.
The Emir Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani continues to lead his nation along the path of economic development, education and more recently as an international peace broker in some of the worlds more challenging conflicts, such as Sudan.
His wife Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned has become a leading light in the Arab world's new found drive for education, social development and the arts which is resulting in what can be described as an Arab renaissance.