Katara to host traditional maritime singing contest ‘Al Nahma’ from April 26

Katara to host traditional maritime singing contest ‘Al Nahma’ from April 26

QLNews
By QLNews

Katara Cultural Village Foundation will organise the fourth edition of Al Nahma Musical contest — Naham Al Khaleej — from April 26 to 30, announced organisers on Thursday.

Al Nahma, which means ‘traditional maritime singing,’ aims to revive the country’s and the Gulf region’s rich maritime folklore and music heritage.

The event is aligned with Katara’s mission to preserve and promote long-forgotten traditions.

The Al Nahma Musical event will take place from 6.30pm to 8.30pm at the Drama Theatre. Top performers stand to gain substantial rewards. While the top singers will take home QAR50,000, those who finish in the next three places will win QAR40,000, QAR30,000, and QAR10,000 respectively.

The competition will be held in two categories — Work Arts: Duwari/Al Yamal/Al Khattab/Al Jib/Al Makhmous, and Lafjri Art: Adasani/Haddadi/Hassawi/Al Mukhlafi/Al Bahri.

Each song, with its unique rhythm, narrates different stages of a pearling trip, from setting sail to diving and rowing.

The collective singing is important in motivating crew members during these voyages, offering both solace and encouragement amidst the challenges of the sea.

Al Nahma will showcase the maritime culture deeply rooted in the country’s history and will give the public an immersive experience of Qatari heritage.

Qatar and other GCC countries boast a wealth of folk music, especially maritime work songs. Pearl diving chants hold particular significance in the Qatari context, as they formed an integral part of pearling expeditions.

Each dhow would have a designated singer, or Nahma, who would uplift the crew’s spirits through songs.

Through festivals, competitions, and voyages such as the Traditional Dhow Festival, Senyar Traditional Pearl Diving and Fishing Competition, and El Meyna (Al Mina) Pearl Diving Competition for Children, Katara has been at the forefront of efforts to revive the country’s maritime heritage.

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