ISL Qatar QND Celebrations a Success Despite COVID-19 Restrictions

Catherine Chiuco

This week, the International School of London Qatar’s diverse multicultural community held a 3-day celebration for Qatar National Day while safeguarding its community against COVID-19. Every year, Ahmed El-Hadidi, Arabic Pastoral Leader, with a handful of student and staff volunteers organises this spectacular event.

This week, the International School of London Qatar’s diverse multicultural community held a 3-day celebration for Qatar National Day while safeguarding its community against COVID-19. Every year, Ahmed El-Hadidi, Arabic Pastoral Leader, with a handful of student and staff volunteers organises this spectacular event. 

The festivities began with the opening of an outdoor exhibition featuring the works of Anny Ku, Artist-in-Residence, that explores both traditional and modern cultures of Qatar through the depiction of its customs and iconic landmarks. Most of the members of the community adorned themselves with maroon and white clothing to show their support and appreciation for the country; even Dr. Sergio Pawel, Head of School, was seen wearing the thobe complete with the agal and ghutra for two consecutive days. 

A photography competition with a central theme of A Celebration of Qatar! was launched by both the Primary and Secondary schools. This ensured that every member of the community can participate during the celebrations. Students were very keen to submit their entries. The photographs featured the hidden beauty and elegance of Qatar as well as an in-depth look at the life of its residents.

Since ISL Qatar is not able to host its annual Qatar National Day Assembly due to the restrictions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, a virtual assembly was live-streamed through YouTube. It was hosted by Noor Salman, Grade 11, and Noora Al Ghool, Grade 12. Mohammed Al-Kubaisi, Grade 10, marked its opening by singing the Qatar National Anthem with passion and pride followed by a video message from the students who sent their messages of gratitude for the country. Omar Fakhra, Grade 11, went to the popular destinations around the country to deliver information on how the country had progressed since acquiring its independence in 1971. As a tradition, a group of students performed the traditional sword dance. Yousef Fakhroo, Grade 6, brought his falcon—that he has yet to name—to explain the culture of falconry. The assembly was concluded with the whole community playing Kahoot on Microsoft Teams.

ISL Qatar National Day Celebration 2020 allowed the community to demonstrate their innovation and creativity, and their success in overcoming a world issue through their collaborative problem-solving methods.