Aspire Zone came alive on Friday as thousands of children from across the country converged in a specially-constructed Traditional Village to celebrate the mid-Ramadan children’s festival, ‘Garangao’.
Children wandered the open, air-conditioned zone collecting sweets and nuts in cloth bags from women in traditional clothes, while huge screens played the Garangao song and traditional videos.
Saoud Mansour, a 14-year-old Qatari boy, attended the event with his younger brothers, Omar and Hamad.
The young boys were dressed in traditional clothing, and were captivated by the surrounding activities. “It’s perfect,” Saoud said.
“Everything about the event is great. I am here for my brothers, so they can experience Garangao.”
Mashael Abood Alkhalaf, a six-year-old girl from Syria, came with her father. She wore traditional clothes, and had henna sketched across her hands.
“I am having lot of fun; I have collected lots of gifts, nuts, and sweets. And it isn’t hot inside. I am very happy to see other children my age wearing traditional costumes like me!”
A competition for the best traditional dress was held were the first won an IPad and the second won a sport watch. Tamim from Qatar won the first prize for boys where Meshal from Qatar too came the second.
For the girls, Sarah Al-Dossary from Qatar came the first and the infant Amal was the second. The festival was held in collaboration with a range of sporting organizations from across Qatar, including Qatar Olympic Committee, El Jaish Sports Club, Lekhewya Sports Club, Qatar Stars League, Qatar 2015: The 24th Men’s Handball Championship, Qatar Athlete Federation, BeFit Campaign, Doha Goals, FINA and the Qatar Gymnastics Federation. Each organization played host to a specific activity, ranging from inflatable shoot-out stations and foosball tables, to gymnastics obstacle courses and basketball nets.
Many of AZF Senior Management were keen to attend the event and share with the people the joy of the special night. Eng. Hilal Al-Kuwari, AZF President, and Mr. Khalid Abdullah Al-Sulaiteen, AZF’s CEO were amongst the first to participate. AZF Corporate Communications Manager, Nasser Abdullah Al-Hajri attended the event, and said: “At Aspire Zone we regularly host events designed to honor the local customs and traditions, and tonight’s Garangao festivities are a perfect example. It also serves as a great opportunity to bring together people of different nationalities to teach them more about this country’s local traditions. Therefore, I am delighted with this evening’s turnout of over 8,000 participants.”
Khalid Hadi, a Qatari father, accompanied his three young daughters to Aspire Zone to celebrate Garangao.
“I try to go to as many Aspire Zone events with my family as I can. This is the second time that I have attended the Garangao celebrations here, as it really is the most creative and enjoyable event on offer and it gets better each year! Plus my daughters like to come here,” he said.
Khalid continued, praising the organization: “The event has been really well organized by Aspire Zone. I am also very impressed with the Village design. Although the arena is open, it is air-conditioned. The temperature is perfect. There are a number of fun games on offer, but my daughters enjoyed the gymnastics activities the most.”
“We inherited the Garangao tradition from our ancestors, and it represents a number of very important values in our country. Children across Qatar love this celebration. It is an important event for us,” he finished.
Maria D’Souza, from India, commented on the event: “I have lived in Doha for over 20 years, and so I do know a little about the celebration. But this is really the first time I have attended a Garangao event. I am really enjoying this evening, as are my two children.”
The Garangao celebrations are part of Aspire Zone’s Ramadan Festival. The festival, now in its third edition, is in-line with AZF’s commitment to providing year-round activities to the local community. This year, activities include a range of sports, social, and religious events that have been designed to be enjoyed by the whole family.
Saturday, July 12- 2014 @ 16:18 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.