Traditional Qatari music played and incense burned Monday on the lawn in front of Old Main at the Tempe campus as Qatari students shared their country’s past, present and future with ASU students and faculty.
Students in both modern and traditional clothing told people about development in Qatar and showed items from their culture, including dishes and jewelry, chemical engineering junior Hamad Al Marri said.
“We are trying to relate past to present, and then look to the future,” Al Marri said.
The exhibition was called “Qatar Between Past And Future” and was hosted by the Qatari Student Association.
Al Marri, the president of the association, said he hopes the organization will be able to hold more events like this in the future as a way to help the University understand the large population of Qatari students.
“This is the first time that we are holding this event,” Al Marri said. “There are many students from Qatar here, and people want to know about Qatar.”
Law graduate student Ibraheim Al-Maraghi, a member of the Qatari Students Association, said the event allows members to capture parts of his home for students to see.
“We did the event in order to give a picture of what Qatar is,” he said.
Qatar is a small country off the coast of Saudi Arabia which is working to create an economic oasis for companies and businesses in their country, Al-Maraghi said.
Qatar is working on revitalizing its downtown area to give it a New York City feel, Al-Maraghi said.
The country is also building stadiums and preparing for the 2022 World Cup, after beating out Australia, the U.S. and Japan to host it.
Al-Maraghi said Qatar is working hard to build the infrastructure necessary to hold the international event.
“We are in the best position to hold (the World Cup) and we are confident with (our abilities),” Al-Maraghi said.
Attendees at the exhibition were also able to watch a traditional Qatari dance of celebration.
Al-Maraghi said men did the dance at celebrations like weddings to “show their strength and show their happiness.”
Al-Maraghi said he hoped the event would prompt Qatari students “to raise our country’s flag high.”
“We want our students to feel like they are at home,” Al-Maraghi said.
Al-Maraghi, who came to ASU in August, said the only thing he misses about his home in Qatar is his family because of the large community of Qatari students at ASU.
“(I miss) family, other than that everything else is here,” Al-Maraghi said. “People from my country are here.”
Political science sophomore Jassim Al-Jufairi, one of the student workers at the exhibition, said he hoped the exhibition would let students know about Qatar.
“Our country is not known well,” Al-Jufairi said. “Every time people ask me where I’m from … (they say) ‘Where’s that?’”
He said he wanted Qatari students to remember the traditions of their country and use them as a reminder of home.
“Tradition isn’t just something that comes from your country,” Al-Jufairi said. “You have to take it with you. You have to have tradition.”
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