JLF Doha celebrates literature and the power of dialogue

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The iconic annual Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF Doha) began in Doha to celebrate literature and the power of dialogue at the Qatar National Library, yesterday.    

Bringing spirit and splendour of the Jaipur Literature Festival to Qatar, the opening ceremony of JLF Doha was held in the presence of H E Sheika Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice-Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation (QF)  and several other dignitaries.

Held in the Middle east for the first time,  JLF Doha started with a musical recital by violinist and composer Sharat Chandra Srivastava and Ravinder Kumar Soni, which was followed by the inaugural address, ‘Each Other’s Stories.’

 

Dr Abdulaziz Al Horr, Director of Diplomatic Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; H E P Kumaran, India’s Ambassador to Qatar; Dr Sohair Wastawy, Executive Director of Qatar National Library;  Namita Gokhale, author and Co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival and Sanjoy K Roy, Managing Director, Teamwork Arts which produces the Jaipur Literature Festival, emphasised on the significance of JLF Doha for Qatar’s literary scene and the Qatar India 2019 Year of Culture.

 “We are thrilled that the long-awaited JLF Doha has finally arrived, and we are delighted to offer the global literary community space and freedom at the Library to unleash their ideas and creativity. The atmosphere at the Festival’s opening night was incredible, and we expect more of the same over the next two days as Qatar’s creative community joins its voices and ideas with those of the world’s greatest writers,” said Dr Wastawy.

Sanjoy K Roy said: “We are excited to bring a version of the world’s biggest literary event to Doha, which explores diversity and creates a platform to celebrate world literature and commonality between our cultures.” Also 50 books were presented to the Qatar National Library on behalf of  Jaipur Literary Festival as a token of appreciation.  Jeffrey Gettleman, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist presented the keynote during the opening session on ‘In Denial: A Betrayal of the Earth,’ in which he shared his experiences as a correspondent in Africa and South Asia and the pressing issues of famine, conflict and the perils to the environment.

JLF Doha has gathered prominent writers and artists for a spectacular weekend of creative discourse, music and cultural events  over the weekend. It offers a unique program of lively discussions, stimulating lectures, storytelling and theater workshops and live music performances. Also participants will  get to purchase gifts and books at the Library’s first pop-up store. The event is free and open to the public.

The JLF Doha will feature many activities today including William Dalrymple’s history of the East India Company and an evening with legendary Indian actress Sharmila Tagore. A theater workshop, ‘Shakespeare in Movement,’ presented by actor and playwright Kim Pereira, will immerse participants in a performance of Shakespeare’s verse and prose.

The third and final day of JLF Doha opens with the delicate musical renditions of Barnali Chattopadhyay and Debjit Patitundi. Award-winning Qatari writer and poet Kaltam Jabor M Al Kuwari will take part in a multi-vocal reading of poetry in which different languages and styles converge in a joyous celebration as six poets read from their work.  

The Festival is sponsored by the Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ooredoo, Qatar’s leading telecommunications operator. Often known as the ‘greatest literary show on earth’  the festival has hosted over 2000 writers  in international venues with editions in London, Belfast, New York, Boulder, Houston, Adelaide, Toronto and now Doha, recreating the Jaipur Festival’s spirit and magic across the world.

Source: www.thepeninsulaqatar.com

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