Republic Day 2020 – Indians celebrate 71st Republic Day with gaiety and gusto

Indians celebrate 71st Republic Day with gaiety and gusto

George Julius Williams | Consulting Editor

DOHA: Hundreds of Indian residents gathered at their embassy premises to witness Ambassador HE P. Kumaran hoist the tri-colour in celebration of the 71st Republic Day of India, on Sunday 26th at 8 am.

The celebrations started with the hoisting of the Indian flag by HE P. Kumaran followed by the singing of the National Anthem by the choir and the assembled audience.

The Ambassador then read out excerpts from the speech by the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind who had addressed the nation on the eve of 71st Republic Day stating: “Our constitution has given some rights to all of us as citizens of an independent democracy. But within the Constitution itself, we have also taken the responsibility that we should always be committed to the fundamental democratic ideals of justice, liberty and equality and brotherhood.”

The Indian Ambassador also welcomed Inspector General Anwar Khan -Tatraksha Medal, who commands the Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Samudra Paheredar which is visiting Hamad Port in conjunction with the  Republic Day celebrations.

HE P. Kumaran stated that the visit of ICGS Samudra Paheredar during the celebrations of India’s 71st Republic Day will further strengthen the time-tested friendship between India and Qatar, and enhance maritime co-operation between the two countries.

Also, present on the occasion was Subordinate Officer (SO) S K Singh, who on 12 August, in the face of unknown danger saved precious lives in a successful operation whilst dealing with fire and salvage of OSV Coastal Jaguar thus averting incomprehensible maritime distress, off the coast of Visakhapatnam.

SO S K Singh was felicitated by the ambassador for his courageous and valiant act of bravery.

Several embassy officials including First Secretary – Hemant Kumar Dwivedi, Defence Attache – Capt. Kapil Kaushik, office bearers from various bodies connected with Indian Cultural Centre, Indian school faculty members, prominent local businessmen and other distinguished guests attended the two-hour function.

The programme ended with school children singing various patriotic songs that had the audience joining in and cheering the youngsters.

In a special message to readers of QatarIndians.com, the Indian Ambassador HE P. Kumaran said, “I sincerely wish you all a very happy 71st Republic Day and am proud of the immense contribution our community has made and are making to this nation of Qatar. I also thank the Qatari government for their continued support and appreciation of the Indians living and working in Qatar.”

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Sonu Nigam – all set to thrill music lovers today (23 Jan 2020)

Sonu Nigam – all set to thrill music lovers today (23 Jan 2020)

A musical journey Doha audiences will remember

George Julius Williams | Consulting Editor

The Ras Laffan hall of Concorde Hotel yesterday evening was abuzz with a melodious ring as Bollywood’s highly popular singer par-excellence Sonu Nigam spoke to the media, at a packed press conference, ahead of his much-awaited concert today.

The multi-talented singer/composer/actor/performer/anchor/celebrity judge will perform tonight in the Asian Town Amphitheatre at 7 pm.

Nigam has sung in practically every Indian language as well as English and his 3-year journey in the music industry has witnessed a repertoire of over 10,000 songs and an amazing record of over 40 mainstream awards, including the prestigious National Film Award. 

Answering the first question of the evening put forth by this writer on whether Nigam would like to sing in Arabic, the singer replied, “I would definitely want to if the opportunity came across. In fact, I started last year with a devotional song and ended with an English song with Polish singer Natalia Lesz which became immensely popular and that was the time I started thinking about singing in Arabic, Russian and Chinese also.”

Replying to QatarIndians next question about his career as an actor, Nigam stated that there is much more involved in achieving success than just the craft itself, one should make sure that it is also part of a great project.

“For example, it not enough to just sing a great song but also to ensure it is part of a credible project so that it reaches out to a larger audience,’ he pointed out.

“I am a firm believer in destiny and don’t take credit for right or wrong choices but rather just work hard and leave results to the Almighty. After I acted in a couple of movies, I realized that I was not enjoying being part of the project. So I made a pact with myself that only, and only if, I am convinced that is a credible project, I will invest my time and effort into it. A movie takes about 100 days to shoot and that is followed by promotions, premiers, etc and I have probably been one of the most busiest human beings on the planet for a very long time. I have worked hard and God has made me work hard. I am thankful to the Almighty that at a time when people are finding it difficult to find work, I have been extremely busy. So there is no point in wasting time over projects I don’t believe in. If things have to happen, it will. Like last year I did a short film that won the best actor’s award also.  You can probably watch it if you want.”

(My research shows that the short film is Saurabh Pandey’s 2019 award-winning movie Spotless which also stars Shweta Rohira). 

Answering another question on whether he will do a similar video to the one where he appeared incognito as an old beggar, Nigam replied he has no such plans at the moment. But if he does plan one than it has to come naturally from within.

“I used to do stuff when I was in my 20s as I was young and aggressive and wanted to try everything. Then I realized that I will not enjoy my life if I pre-calculate my every move. Now I act impromptu if something interests me then I will do it and if I do, you will know about it.”

Nigam further went to elaborate that in the last couple of years he has completely stopped taking singing assignments, as he has “found himself.”

“Some people can’t even claim that they have found something like this, in their entire lifetime. I have been leading a very peaceful, blissful and blessed life. I have not accepted offers for singing in films but prefer to do live performances. Having said that, I have no problems taking singing assignments, if I think it’s credible. After achieving a standard of success due to God’s grace I do not want to lower it my taking on below-average songs,” Nigam added.

Answering another query about remixes, Sonu said, “I have no problems singing re-mixes. Good and bad songs have always existed in films, the only difference is earlier the composers, lyrists, singers would give it their personal touch. Nowadays, it’s much more commercialized with everyone more interested in doing the “launch song” of the movie. But even today there are good songs and good singers.”

Nigam added that he has nothing against re-mixes as he has done it before when “I did not know how to say no.”

The current society seems to enjoy remixes but he personally does not ‘feel it is the right thing’ to do. However, in case a credible remix project comes along, he would definitely think about it.

Dr. Tejinder Singh, CEO, and founder of Q-Tickets who are the organisers, earlier welcomed Sonu Nigam and said, “I love Sonu’s song, his voice and his passion for the playback singing. So when Shop Qatar organisers requested us for a concert, the only name I could think of was Sonu Nigam who has been entertaining us for the past 27 years with memorable songs. We are looking forward to an exciting evening of entertaining songs at tomorrow’s concert.”

Dr. Singh also thanked his team members for all the time and effort put in to organize the event. Abhinav Upadhyay spoke on behalf of Sonu Nigam’s team and thanked the press for turning up and promoting the event.

The press conference was hosted by popular local MC Anshu Jain who also mentioned the tremendous behind-the-scenes efforts of Aarti Mahajan, co-founder of Q-Tickets in organizing the gigantic task of bringing in Sonu Nigam and his crew of 32 members which includes musicians, dancers and top visual, light and sound engineers to ensure that Doha is treated to a concert of a lifetime.

Tickets are starting from as low as QR 30 and the Sonu Nigam concert is bound to be a musical journey to remember. Click here to book your tickets now!

Tickets are available on Q-Tickets and selling fast. QatarIndians are media partners of the event.

Image Credit: q-tickets

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A Passage to India | Thousands throng to ‘A Passage to India’ Community Festival

A Passage to India | Thousands throng to ‘A Passage to India’ Community Festival

Doha: Thousands of Indians thronged to the Museum of Islamic Arts (MIA) Park over the weekend to witness the Indian Community Festival, under the theme, ‘A Passage to India,’ bringing the curtains down to the Qatar India 2019 Year of Culture.

The festival was organised by the Indian Cultural Centre (ICC) in collaboration with the Embassy of India and MIA with the participation of other associated Indian organisations.

A 4 metre-high and 8 metre-long model replica of a famous Indian monument, the Red Fort was the key attraction. There were several cultural programmes highlighting the culture, traditions, and diversity of India.

A Passage to India | Thousands throng to ‘A Passage to India’ Community FestivalSeveral Indian expatriate organisations presented a number of cultural items varying from folk and classical dances to musical programmes, as well as written quiz competitions among others.

A number of food outlets provided various Indian delicacies from different states of India.

One of the attractions on the concluding day was a police dog show organised by the Ministry of Interior highlighting the skills of the canines in searching bags containing drugs or explosives, identifying criminal offenders and standing guard for children among others security-related activities.

About 25 long-term residents of the Indian community, who have completed 40 years or more in Qatar, were honoured during a formal function for their outstanding contributions to Qatar and the Indian community.

According to A.P. Manikantan, ICC president, “We have had great participation from all sections of the community and everyone contributed to the success of the festival. It was great to see people joining the event in large numbers and taking part in many of the events making it one of the most remembered Indian community events in Qatar.”

All the apex bodies of the Indian embassy, such as the ICC, Indian Community Benevolent Forum, Indian Business & Professional Council and Indian Sports Centre had their presence at the event to highlight their role in the community.

Associated ICC organisations such as Indian Women’s Association, Bangiya Parishad Qatar, Rajasthan Pariwar Qatar, Qatar Tamizhar Sangam, Maharashtra Mandal Qatar, and Cetaaq presented their specialties at their respective state stalls.

The main sponsors were LuLu Hypermarket Qatar, gold sponsors Teyseer Motors & JC Valves, silver sponsors Doha Bank and BDP International, associate sponsors Petrotec, Desert Line Group, Al Tawfeeq Travels, Qatar Oxygen Co, Hempel Paints, Jersey Group, and Naseem Al Rabeeh Medical Centre.

The event manager for ‘A Passage to India’ is Music Lounge Events.

Image Credit: gulf-times.com

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Year of Culture | Qatar Museum wraps up Qatar-India 2019

Year of Culture | Qatar Museum wraps up Qatar-India 2019

2020 edition to celebrate ties with France

DOHA: Under the patronage of its Chairperson, HE Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, Qatar Museums (QM) has wrapped up another successful edition of its annual Year of Culture programme.

The Qatar-India 2019 saw an exciting array of exhibitions, festivals, competitions and events that took place in both countries over the past 12 months. The carefully curated programme was specially designed to promote mutual understanding, recognition and appreciation between both India and Qatar.

The programme began with the award-winning Ticket to Bollywood performance in Qatar which paid tribute to Bollywood – one of the world’s biggest film industries. The performance was produced and directed by award-winning director Shubhra Bhardwaj and choreographed by the talented Pravarsen Yesambare. Back in India, QM kickstarted the year with a showing of the hugely successful Monsoon Wedding Musical, known as the anthem of modern India.

Additionally, a variety of exhibitions of various themes took place over the past year. These have included:

Still More World by Delhi-based Raqs Media Collective, which presented 13 installations, two of which were created especially for the show in Doha. The exhibition was curated by Senior Curator Laura Barlow and drew on the energy of Doha’s urban landscape of light. The installations, ranging from videos to textiles and sculptures made between 2011 and 2019, were presented in three galleries at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art. The two newly created pieces were titled, Dohas for Doha and To People, and were displayed on Burj Doha.

Set in Stone: Gems and Jewels from Royal Indian Courts was curated by Dr Tara Desjardins, with the support of Nicoletta Fazio, Reem Aboughazala, and Tamadur Tariq al-Shamlan. The exhibition is currently on show at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) and features more than 100 pieces of magnificent gems and jewellery from India. These objects also form part of QM’s various collections, including several masterpieces that have never been displayed before. The exhibition is open until the 18th of January 2020.

See the Unseen opened at the Fire Station and was an exhibition by Qatari artist Faraj Daham, after the artist returned from his month-long residency at “What about Art?” Foundation in Mumbai, India. This exhibition addressed the concept of historical concealment and exclusion through a qualitative approach between what is visible (meant to be revealed) and what is real (meant to be concealed).

Where Cultures Meet: A Photographic Encounter Between Qatar and India is on show at Katara – the Cultural Village until December 31 in Gallery 18. As part of Qatar-India 2019 Year of Culture, two Qatari photographers – Hamad al-Shamari and Aisha al-Sadah – travelled to the Himalayan region of Ladakh, India, for two weeks. The aim was to create an inspiring portfolio that will help foster mutual understanding and cultural relations between the two countries. Alongside it, two Qatar-based Indian photographers – Ajeesh Puthiyadath and Salim Abdulla – were selected as part of an open call to participate in the exhibition.

The final event of the year was the award-winning musical Mughal e-Azam, one of India’s most iconic performances.

Qatar India 2019, sponsored by Qatar Airways, was planned in collaboration with leading institutions in Qatar and India, including the Embassy of Qatar in New Delhi, the Embassy of India in Doha, Qatar’s Ministry of Culture and Sport, Qatar Foundation, Katara, The National Tourism Council, Qatar National Library, Doha film institute and many more.

Heading towards its 9th year, the 2020 edition will celebrate Qatar’s ties with France. The year is expected to have a host of exciting events, exhibitions and activities that will introduce audiences in France to Qatar’s rich heritage while bringing some of France’s most inspiring cultural acts to the country.

Image Credit: Qatar Museums

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Sonu Nigam all set to regale music lovers | 23 Jan 2020, Asian Town Amphitheater

Sonu Nigam all set to regale music lovers – A musical journey to remember

DOHA: Sonu Nigam the popularly versatile Indian playback singerlive performercomposer, TV reality host and actor is all set to entertain music lovers on Thursday, 23rd January 2020 at the Asian Town Amphitheater from 7.30 pm onwards. 

He sings predominantly in Hindi and Kannada language films. He has also sung in EnglishBengaliManipuriGujaratiTamilTeluguMarathiTuluAssameseOdiaNepaliMaithiliMalayalam and various other Indian languages. 

He is often referred to as a “Modern Rafi” and considered as one of the most versatile and greatest singers of the Hindi film industry of all times – apart from being one of the highest-paid Indian singers.  

Nigam who has also acted in a number of films, released Indian pop albums is regarded as the “Lord of Chords” 

Nigam’s crew of 32 members which includes musicians, dancers and top visual, light and sound engineers will ensure Doha audiences are treated to a concert of a lifetime 

Q-Tickets is bringing this super talented singer as part of Shop Qatar and tickets are starting from as low as QR 30/- with early bird price till 13 Dec 2019. (VVIP QR 1000 (Early Bird Price QR800)  

The Sonu Nigam Live show is a musical journey to remember and not to be missed! 

Image Credit: q-tickets

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Qatar and India cultures meet in pictorial encounter | Qatar India 2019 Year of Culture

Qatar and India cultures meet in pictorial encounter | Qatar India 2019 Year of Culture

Qatar and India cultures meet in pictorial encounter | Qatar India 2019 Year of Culture

Qatar India 2019 Year of Culture

* Qatar Museums inaugurates “Where Cultures Meet: A Photographic Encounter Between Qatar and India” exhibition

George Julius Williams | Consulting Editor

Doha: A photographic encounter between Qatar and India entitled “Where Cultures Meet” was inaugurated yesterday evening by Qatar Museums (QM) at Gallery Number 18 of Katara Cultural Village, as part of its annual Year of Culture programme.

Under the leadership of Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of QM, the initiative – “Year of Culture” was developed as an annual international cultural exchange programme designed to deepen understanding between different nations and their people.

Previous years of culture include Qatar-Japan 2012, Qatar-UK 2013, Qatar-Brazil 2014, Qatar-Turkey 2015, Qatar-China 2016, Qatar-Germany 2017 and Qatar-Russia 2018.

As part of Qatar-India 2019 Year of Culture – two talented Qatari photographers Hamad Al Shamari and Aisha Al Sadah travelled to the Himalayan Region of Ladakh, India for two weeks to snap brilliant pictures. While two Qatar based Indian lensmen Ajeesh Puthiyadath and Salim Abdulla were selected from a locally held photographic competition to participate in the exhibition.


The aim of the pictorial display of images of Qatar and India under one roof was to create an inspiring portfolio to help foster mutual understanding and cultural relations between the two countries.

According to a QM press release – The exhibition presents common themes like architecture, landscape, portraits and street life both in Ladakh – a remote land tucked in the valleys among barren mountains and where communities known for their tolerant and generous manner live in peace – and in Doha, a bustling metropolis made up of century-old markets and futuristic buildings that line its waterfront.

Aisha Al Attiya, Head of Years of Culture at QM said: “The annual photography exhibition is an important milestone in the Years of Culture programme. It promotes an appreciation for our similarities with partner countries and celebrates the differences between our two cultures and perspectives. We hope that the trip to Ladakh will continue to inspire Hamad Al Shamari and Aisha Al Sadah for many years to come.”

Present at the opening of the exhibition was India’s ambassador to Qatar His Excellency, P. Kumaran along with embassy officials and other distinguished community members.

Speaking at the opening, P. Kumaran thanked Qatar Museums, Katara Village, Years of Culture department and all other stakeholders who helped making the event a success.

The Indian ambassador congratulated the four photographers for their stunning images and stated it was commendable that the two Qatari photographers had braved extreme cold weather conditions in the high altitude of Ladakh and still managed to take brilliant pictures.

QatarIndians spoke to the four photographers –

Hamad Al Shamari, one of the Qatari photographers said he was completely mesmerized by the breath-taking scenery of Ladakh and inspite of hazardous weather conditions was eager to go back to the region for another amazing experience.

Qatari photographer Aisha Al Sadah, the only lady in the foursome said although she did have breathing problems at the high altitudes of Ladakh, it was indeed an awesome experience to witness first hand the colourful culture, traditions and language of the predominately Buddhist region.

Indian lensman Ajeesh Puthiyadath who has been in Qatar for three years said he was fortunate that as an IT professional his straight shift work timings provided him the liberty to go around taking pictures after office hours. Most of his photographs are centered around Souq Wafiq where the light is just right to take spectacular pictures, especially on Friday mornings.

The other artist Salim Abdulla is a professional photographer and a passionate award-winning painter. Although, he concentrates now more on clicking pictures than on painting –  his uncanny eye for world of colour and images stands him in good stead while using his camera.

The exhibition entry is free and opened for the public until the 31st of December 2019.

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Aqua Park Qatar Offer | Only QR 75 includes QR 30 meal voucher

Aqua Park Qatar Offer | Only QR 75 includes QR 30 meal voucher

Entry ticket only QR 75 includes QR 30 meal voucher*

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Aqua Park Qatar Offer | Only QR 75 includes QR 30 meal voucher. Entry ticket only QR 75 includes QR 30 meal voucher | QatarIndians.com

Aqua Park Qatar Offer | Only QR 75 includes QR 30 meal voucher

Aqua Park Qatar is the first theme park in Qatar with amazing outdoor adventure and fun. Don’t miss the biggest Aqua Park Qatar offer!

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Aqua Park Qatar Offer | Don’t miss the biggest offer from Aqua Park Qatar

Aqua Park Qatar Offer | The biggest offer ever from Aqua Park Qatar

Entry ticket QR 100 includes QR 50 meal voucher*

Click here to book your tickets online or call 44905872 (Online booking – http://store.aquaparkqatar.com)

Enjoy Stingray Surfing, Wave Pool, Lazy River, Lagoon Pool, Speed Lines, Boomerango, Tube Slides, Space Boat, Kids Pirates Bay, African Village, Bumper Boat, Kids Driving School, Jacuzzi Cave at Aqua Park Qatar (Click here to Get directions to Aqua Park Qatar)

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Aqua Park Qatar | The biggest offer ever from Aqua Park Qatar. Entry ticket only QR100 includes QR50 meal voucher.

Aqua Park Qatar | The biggest offer ever from Aqua Park Qatar. Entry ticket only QR100 includes QR50 meal voucher.

Aqua Park Qatar is the first theme park in Qatar with amazing outdoor adventure and fun. Don’t miss the biggest Aqua Park Qatar offer!

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Indians in Qatar celebrate 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi

Indians in Qatar celebrate 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi – Qatar Post releases commemorative stamp to mark the occasion

Indians in Qatar marked the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi -‘Father of the Nation’ with a special event yesterday, at the Indian Cultural Centre in the presence of a huge number fellow countrymen, including Indian ambassador P Kumaran, Doha Bank Group CEO Dr R Seetharaman and ICC president A P Manikantan among other dignitaries.

Indian ambassador P Kumaran paying respect to the ' Father of the Nation.' Pic by Gulf Times

Indian ambassador P Kumaran paying respect to the ‘ Father of the Nation.’ Pic by Gulf Times

The event showcased an exhibition highlighting the life and activities of Mahatma Gandhi. It featured some of the major milestones in his life and his efforts for the freedom of India from British rule.

Students from Indian schools also presented a number of cultural programmes during the event to mark the occasion.

Some other events marking Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary have already been organised by the Indian Embassy during the past few months, including ‘Experiments with Truth’-  a photo exhibition at Katara, and a rendition of “Vaishnava Jan Te”, Gandhiji’s favourite bhajan, by Qatar-based singer Abdul Rahim.

Ambassador Kumaran highlighted Gandhi’s contribution to India and the world and remarked that the values practiced by Gandhi are very much relevant even in modern times.

“As we mark the sesquicentennial year of Mahatma Gandhi, several of the principles followed by him are honoured around the world even today. His ideals of non-violence and simplicity are time-tested and followed by many. He used very different and unique methods to fight injustice and oppression. Satyagraha, civil disobedience, non- violence, non-cooperation among others, were his powerful weapons to disagree with authorities as well as to express his innate desire to withstand injustice,” Kumaran added.

Chief Operations Officer, Qatar Post, Hamad Mohammed Al Fahida (left) presenting commemorative stamps of Mahatma Gandhi, to the Ambassador of India to Qatar, P Kumaran. . Pic by: https://twitter.com/qatar_post

Chief Operations Officer, Qatar Post, Hamad Mohammed Al Fahida (left) presenting commemorative stamps of Mahatma Gandhi, to the Ambassador of India to Qatar, P Kumaran.  Source: https://twitter.com/qatar_post

He noted that Qatar Post had released a commemorative postal stamp to mark the occasion and thanked the government of Qatar for the honour.

mahatma-gandhi-150-birth-anniversary-stamp-release-qatar

Qatar Post releases commemorative stamp to mark the occasion – Source: https://twitter.com/IndEmbDoha

The postage stamp was launched by Hamad Mohammed Al Fahida, Chief Operations Officer at Qatar Post and Indian Ambassador P Kumaran on the eve of Mahatma Gandhi’s sesquicentennial birth anniversary, at an event dubbed “Celebrating Khadi: The Fabric of Freedom” at VCUarts Qatar on Tuesday.

The event also featured an exhibition and fashion show organised in commemoration of Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary and in line with India-Qatar 2019 Year of Culture.

“For us, this is a very special year because it’s India-Qatar Year of Culture and also the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, so we wanted to present something which projects Indian culture, Indian fashion, Indian textile industry and also link it to Mahatma Gandhi in some way,” said Kumaran speaking to the local media.

He also pointed out that Khadi, the favourite clothing of Gandhi is a sustainable and most eco-friendly fabric, and is becoming highly popular around the world.

The event showcased the creative use of the khadi, a fabric deeply associated with Gandhi and which played a pivotal role in India’s freedom movement, thus it has become known as ‘fabric of freedom’.

The exhibition paid tribute to the Father of the Nation while tracing the history of khadi and showcasing India’s vibrant khadi culture over half a century after Gandhi’s death.

Bidapa, a well-known Indian fashion guru and creator of high-profile fashion events, said he had been known for doing khadi shows in India as well as in cities around the world such as London and Tokyo but this was the first time for him to bring such event in the Middle East.

Dozens of khadi creations by some of India’s top fashion designers such as Abraham & Thakore, Rimzim Dadu, Abrar Ali, Bibi Russell, and Hemant Trvedi were met with ovations as models wearing the stunning designs sashayed the runway during the fashion show attended by ambassadors and representatives of diplomatic missions, VIP guests, Indian community leaders and fashion connoisseurs.

The event was organised by the Indian Embassy in association with VCUarts Qatar and the Indian Community Benevolent Forum.

Mahatma Gandhi, born on October 2,1869, is acclaimed internationally for his principles of non-violence. October 2 is also observed as the International Day of Non-Violence.

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ICC Qatar unveils plans for new cultural programmes

ICC Qatar unveils plans for new cultural programmes

The prestigious Indian Cultural Center (ICC) working under the aegis of the Embassy of India in Qatar has been organising different cultural activities coupled with welfare services for their larger community.

The ICC Qatar office bearers recently organised a press conference at its Mumbai hall and according to the Gulf Times, office-bearers who addressed the press were Manikantan A P, President; Vinod V Nair, Vice President; Bhumeshwar Padala, Head of Consular Services & External Events: Jaffarkhan M, Head of Premises, HR & Sports: Rajesh Singh, Head of Finance & Sponsorship; Mohsin P, Head of Affiliation & Membership; and Nirmala Shanmugapadian, Cultural Coordinator.

The GT report further stated that all expatriate communities always like to enjoy and engage themselves in cultural activities in Qatar. The Indian community – the largest expatriate community here, is no exception to that.

The ICC Qatar office-bearers highlighted various new programmes their team wants to introduce for welfare and cultural activities. They talked in detail about cultural programmes, welfare projects, and educational activities.

Talking to the media, Manikantan said: “First of all, we are having [already started] cultural programems on every Wednesday – from 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm. The weekly programmes are about dance, music, and art of India. These events will be organised by 19 different organisations, affiliated with ICC.

We are providing a chance to the affiliated organisations to present their cultural programmes. There are many Indian schools and they can also come and perform in ICC Qatar on every Wednesday. There are many institutes that are also interested in carrying out cultural programmes. They will first get registered with ICC and then they will offer their performances. We are allotting them slots accordingly.

“Last two weeks, we have had our programmes. We will have a one-month summer break – from July 3 to the first week of August. We have already booked 15 Wednesdays. We have done our work to spread the news about performance opportunities. Every week, we will be sending press releases on Monday highlighting what cultural programme is going to take place on Wednesday making sure that the news reaches maximum number of Indians. We will prioritise cultural programmes according to their quality. We are trying to inform more and more people to come and enjoy the shows. Mostly cultural programems in Doha take place on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. We have arranged it on Wednesday, giving people a chance to enjoy cultural activities during weekdays.”

The president added that the ICC had already been conducting different classes for dance, karate, chess and music. “This summer we plan to have some crash courses for Indian expatriates.” Manikantan also talked about privileged insurance cards for the ICC members. “We have around 4,000 members. With different associated organisations, we have over 100, 000 members. Now, we are planning to give privilege to some members. First of all we are going to announce a group insurance facility. This will be helpful for all the community members. We have observed that if someone dies here, his or her family finds it hard to deal with the situation.

We are planning to the insurance plan with minimum premium. We are in negotiation with different Qatar based insurance companies. We are trying to keep the premium up to QR100. The insurance will be valid for two years and can be extended. We are planning to launch this scheme in August.

“Further, we are also reaching out to different businesses in Qatar seeking concessions for the ICC members holding privileged cards.”

He added: “We are also going to upgrade the website of ICC and the new website will be launched on June 25. Indian expatriates will be able to apply for ICC membership online. We are also creating a job portal in the website.
Indians living in Qatar or visiting the country will be able to upload their CVs on ICC website. We have been in talks with managers of the different businesses and companies to give preference to these CVs. The job applicants must have Qatari identity card or visit visa number.”

The ICC president also shared that they were going to set up different clubs such as science club, drama club, photography club etc. “We want to get our children to interact with known and professional people visiting Qatar from India.”

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Image Credit: Google.com.qa

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