The British Festival 2015 was a month-long celebration of UK culture and attracted an audience of 11,000 throughout Qatar. The festival featured events organised by the British Council, the British Embassy and several independent community groups celebrating British-Qatari friendship, partnership and collaboration. In 2015 our events included art exhibitions, inter-schools sport competitions, education fairs, public science communication events, music concerts and debates.
International Women’s Day Dinner
On the occasion of International Women’s Day on 8th March, and as part of the British Festival 2015, the British Council and the Qatari Businesswomen’s Association hosted the Springboard Networking Dinner. Springboard helps women realize their potential and achieve success in their personal and professional lives.
On the British Festival’s annual ‘Scotland Day’, Scottish folk band Breabach performed alongside Qatari artist Mohamed Al-Saegh at the Al Rayyan theatre in Souq Waqif to an enthusiastic audience. We supported these emerging Scottish and Qatari artists by introducing them to a new audience, and providing them with an opportunity to learn about each other’s musical styles and traditional instruments.
Café Scientifique with top UK scientist
The year’s Café Scientifique ‘Shedding Light on the Universe’ featured Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE in conversation with the distinguished Professor Ilham Al-Qaradawi. This was the fourth Café Scientifique in Qatar organised by the British Council. In 2015, we aimed to promote UNESCO’s International Year of Light and attracted a diverse audience of students, science enthusiasts and the general public to the event.
Qatar-UK Alumni Networking Dinner
Alumni from over seventy five UK universities joined us for a sumptuous dinner at La Cigale Hotel where they were treated to a networking reception followed by a sit down dinner featuring a top guest speaker from the UK: the historian, traveller and journalist Justin Marozzi.
HADAF 5-a-side football tournament
The British Council organised the HADAF 5-a-side schools Football Competition on 14 March 2015 in partnership with the Evolution Sports Academy and Qatar Football Association. The competition saw four Under-15 British Schools Teams playing against five under-15 Qatari Schools Teams in this fun event. The event created more engagement between British and Qatari schools through football, and helped to raise awareness around sports and healthy lifestyles.
British Festival Debate
The British Festival Debate brought together world class debaters from the UK, Qatar and the rest of the world to discuss an important topical issue: ‘Should parents have access to their children’s social media accounts?’ For this event, we partnered with Debate Mate and Qatar Debate, two organisations inspiring young people across the globe to take part in debating.
Flatlands Remix Art exhibition and Artist Talk
The ‘Flatlands Remix’ exhibition showcased the work of David Batchelor, a Scottish artist well-known for pioneering abstract colour paintings. The exhibition brings his work to the Middle East for the first time, and was held in partnership with VCU and the Scottish government.
Study in the UK exhibition
The British Council offered potential students, local schools and interested parents the opportunity to meet and engage with 32 of the UK’s leading higher education institutions, with the intention of growing educational ties between Qatar and the UK. In a separate event, we invited accomplished UK alumni to a networking dinner featuring celebrity UK and Qatari guest speakers.