The Year of Culture Qatar- Russia 2018 is nearing completion. It has brought many interesting and vivid events to both countries. One of these events happened in anticipation of the New Year, when all of us - both adults and children - want to plunge into the festive atmosphere and believe that miracles do happen. Seeing with your own eyes how the dream turns into reality was possible on December 15 and 16 in Moscow at the Central House of Artists, where the New Year Charity Fair Meet Qatar, which was timed to the National Day of Qatar, took place.
The organizers of the fair managed to create among the visitors a feeling that they were participating in the immersive staging of an oriental tale. The spectators, entering here, walked into an amazing oasis, as if by wave of a magic wand transferred to a frosty Moscow from a hot desert. The guests were greeted by an installation skillfully composed of huge openwork lamps and carpets, reflected in the mirrors with overflows of gold, lights and oriental ornaments. Exotic aromas filled the air. Hospitable owners warmed those who came with spicy hot tea. Ethno-musicians played traditional Arabic music on musical instruments nay, oud, percussion. Low sofas, pillows and carpets disposed to leisure, tranquility and peace.
In the Feel Qatar zone, guests were wrapped in oriental fragrances specially designed for The Year of Culture Qatar-Russia 2018. A limited collection of seven aromas dedicated to different parts of Qatar was presented here. For example, one could enjoy the aroma of “Al Rayyan”, named after the city, which is far from the sea, but the sea air walks in it like a ghost, and the warm ocean breeze reminds of summer. “Al Wajbah” is dedicated to a flourishing city, preserved in spite of all difficulties, and glorifies eternity enclosed in amber fragrance. “Al Udaid” tells the story of blue waters and sandy beaches. And the delicacy and temperament of the “Qatara” aroma is the quintessence of the old and at the same time modern Qatari culture.
At the fair, there was a temporary tattoos station where you could decorate yourself with pearls and patterns with oriental ornaments or Arabic script. In the Greet Qatar zone, there is a post office, from which it was possible to send a postcard with views of Qatar to any point of the Earth.
The organizers wanted the visitors of the fair to see with their own eyes how modern Qatar lives, and perhaps even destroy some stereotypes in people's minds. That is why they invited twenty young and promising Qatari companies to present their various traditional products in accordance with new time interpretation. Therefore, it was probably not an accident that many of the brands represented here had been founded by women and for women.
Jewelry is a characteristic element of the culture of the East. Brand Trifoglio chose clover flower as its brand name. Brand designer Fajr Al Attiya is looking for inspiration in natural beauty for her jewelry and leather goods. “We create our accessories in pure 18-carat gold. We use precious stones, opal, pearls and, of course, diamonds. We also produce bags made of exotic leather with 24-carat plated gold.”
The Maqdeem clothing brand was created for a modern woman who aspires to the future, based on the rich history of her ancestors and the culture of Qatar. The brand was founded in 2015 by two sisters, oriental beauties Aisha and Maqdeem, who talk with great enthusiasm about their company: “Maqdeemm is a traditional Qatari name. We specialize in making traditional wear, which combines traditional and modern styles. For example, in our culture we wear abaya (long Arab women's dress with long sleeves without a belt), which is represented here. We also produce dresses, skirts and shirts. We get inspiration from our environment - the desert, the sea, the sky, palm trees, as well as from our cultural heritage. We want any lady to feel beautiful in modern clothes and feel that they are made just for her. So the slogan of our brand is “Designed to be you.” And we are very proud to represent Qatar at this event.”
The founders of the company Noon, Nur and Nadia, create cosmetics for women. “Our skincare products are organic, natural and ethical. We use materials from around the world, thus supporting the local population, and we know our suppliers personally. We work with Morocco, Syria, Mali, India and, of course, Qatar. Everything in our products is very natural, no preservative, no perfume. And this totally corresponding to the new demand of people, especially the youth.”
Designer and founder of the shoe brand after her name Hissa Al Haddad believes that high heels are a sign of women's power and confidence. “For the first time the brand was presented at the Paris Fashion Week in October 2017. The brand is inspired by Arabic and Qatari culture, so that is why you see here the golden threads, the pearls, the crystals, delicate and shiny materials.”
The best way to feel the culture of the country is to taste national dishes and drinks, such as strong aromatic coffee from Roastado and Quinwan dates with various fillings.
Qatar cuisine at the market was presented by Al Manchab Restaurant, the name of which comes from the traditional meal of pearl fishers. Visitors were treated with Qatari Majbouss (rice with stewed chicken, pine nuts, vegetables and spices), stuffed chapati (flatbread) with various ingredients (cheese, potatoes or turkey) and Sago dessert (palm kernel crumb) with saffron and sugar.
As part of the celebration of Qatar’s National Day, Discover Qatar-Russia 2018 exhibition took place at the fair, during which artifacts from events held during this time were presented. Here, for example, you could see the traditional abaya made by famous Qatari and Russian fashion designers Wadha Al Hajri and Ulyana Sergeenko, handmade Wadha cape, Tatiana Parfionova palatine, a Noudar diamond set, 2 tickets on a tour of Boris Eifman’s ballet “Anna Karenina”in Doha and the soccer ball autographed by Arkady Dvorkovich, Denis Matsuev, Dmitry Malikov, Nikolay Fomenko, Leonid Yarmolnik and other participants of “Match-Premiere”. These and other exhibits have become lots of charity auction.
The warm atmosphere of the holiday, the splendor of luxury goods and the beautiful and true Oriental tale told by the Qataris were in the heart of the guests of the fair and warmed their souls in snow-covered Moscow. And the New Year's miracles continue, because all the funds raised here will be used to implement the programs of the Friends Charity Foundation.