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Pearl Diving in Qatar

Pearl Diving in Qatar

Qatar is considered as one of the Arab countries located in the region of the Middle East. Furthermore, it is situated close to the Arabian Peninsula. As for the borders, Saudi Arabia is the nearest country in addition to the Persian Gulf. On the other side, the governmental system in the state of Qatar is emirate which means that the Amir is the president of the country while the Prime Minister is the main person in the government. Moreover, the Qatari economy contains different and various sectors like planning and methods of designing strategies based on centralization as well as governmental rules and laws. As a matter of fact, one of the main activities Qataris used to do in the past in order to revive their economy and be able to eat was pearl diving. Fortunately, this activity is still practiced in the state in order to attract more tourists and achieve progress and development. The following lines will involve pearl diving in details and the methods needed in order to increase tourism and attractions.


Qatari Cultural Heritage:

Due to the warm weather and climate besides Arabic music, arts and handicrafts, Qatar turned to become one of the main destinations for tourists hence they like to go there in order to enjoy the Arabic atmosphere as well as blending in with Arabs and their culture. What is more, the Qatari heritage turned to be the pillar and the base on which the modern society of the country is formed. Therefore, the country has always been doing its best efforts in order to maintain this heritage and preserve the cultural elements and features there. For example, there has been works of recreation of old markets like Souq Waqif to show tourists the great Islamic and amazing Arabic architecture. Moreover, the government encourages young youth to craft in order to promote their products and catch the attention of more people. Besides, Qatar Foundation is considered as the organization responsible for preserving culture and heritage in the state as well as increasing the richness of traditions. In addition, people have the ability to reach a lot of libraries full of books and Arabic writings in order to do researches and studies. 

Qatar Culture and Heritage:

The following points will include some of the cultural elements and activities in the state of Qatar:

1- Falconry:

As a matter of fact, falconry used to be practiced by rich Qataris as a hobby and it is still nowadays considered as one of the basic activities in the country. Moreover, Qataris practice this sport through using falcons in order to hunt birds. Therefore, they attach a transmitter under their tails in order to be able to follow them during hunting. Actually, this activity is really hard because it takes a lot of time to train falcons hence they need a lot of power and energy to carry preys across huge distances. Besides, good falcons are really expensive and cost a lot of money because they are usually imported from foreigners outside the state. In addition, falconry is easy for Bedouins who have spare time while it is hard for business men to find time in their busy schedule for practicing such a sport.

2- Poetry: 

Surprisingly, Bedouin poetry is regarded as the source from which the majority of traditional music in the country comes. During the old times and ancient Islamic periods, the poetry used to show the standards, concepts, principals and ideals for the progress and development achieved in the field of literature and language.

Arabic Atmosphere: 

As for the Arabic atmosphere and habitat especially the Bedouin one, Qataris like to take well care of their visitors and tourists who come to the country to enjoy its heritage and culture as well as visiting its lovely amazing places.


Pearl Diving in Qatar:

In fact, pearl diving used to be the main source of income of the country before the discovery of oil. Besides, oysters remain there in the state’s water bodies in order to form pearls provided with shiny amazing illuminant appearance. Despite the fact that pearl diving used to be a job for many Qataris, it is regarded nowadays as a sport or an activity in order to celebrate the old culture and traditions.

As for the history of this kind of activities, pearling used to be practiced by ancient people since 2000 Before Christ. Based on historic texts and studies, Mesopotamians are considered the first people to dive in order to search for pearls. Although Qatar didn’t gain its independence till the seventies, Persian Gulf offered the entire region and people who used to sell pearls the space to trade and do business in a short time. However, Japan was able to start huge operations and processes in order to collect pearls. Therefore, the market began to become full of goods and stock. Unfortunately, a lot of Qataris don’t have the ability now to practice pearl diving due to the reduction of international prices of pearls because of the recession that happened lately in the economy.

On the other side, pearl diving is regarded as hard activity because it is very difficult to find pearls hence almost one of ten thousand oysters could contain one pearl. Moreover, this operation requires a lot of ships full of large numbers of divers who work between one to six months so that they could collect great quantities of pearls. In addition, those divers have to tie their foots and their waists with ropes in order to have the chance to dive in and out of water quickly as well as not wasting a lot of time. What is more, they could put covers on their fingers and clips on their noses in addition to carrying bags so that they could collect oysters. Finally, some of the best talented divers feel very proud of themselves hence they are able not to breathe for more than a minute under water.

As for the pearls nowadays in the state of Qatar, it is become rare due to the discovery of oil, achievement of success and development in economy and richness because of new inventions and technological methods. Furthermore, these elements have contributed in turning the life of a lot of Qataris into a better one in addition to increasing the standards of living and levels of social classes there. However, celebrations and festivals related to the cultures of seas and oceans remind Qatari youth of their traditions and how their ancestors used to live. On the other hand, a lot of festivals are held every year in the country like Qatar Marine Festival in order to commemorate pearl diving. In fact, this festival lasts for three days in which some contests are conducted as well as small voyages close to the shore for educational purposes. Moreover, the festival concentrates more on the culture connected to pearling such as remembering the music and performances used to be played and acted at that period.


Methods to Tourists Pearl Diving Attraction in Qatar:

The Qatari government always does its best efforts in order to attract the attention of more tourists so that they could come and increase the income as well as the revenue of the country. From these efforts are the following:

1- “Land of Pearls”: 

Some of the festivals held in Qatar in order to honor the culture of pearl diving involve premiers for movies and films like Land of Pearls which its director is named Mohammed Al-Ibrahim. As a matter of fact, this film is considered as one of forty premiers broadcasted in these festivals. Moreover, the plot talks about how the culture of pearl diving vanished from the Qatari heritage. In addition, the story is narrated by a father who explains to his son the old times in the forties before the country gained its independence in the seventies. According to Scandar Copti who works as a DTFF programmer and a DFI education director, people there started to create new plots, stories and tales in order to achieve change in society and standards of living as well as reminding Qataris of their heritage and old culture.

2- Competition of Pearl Diving: 

This competition was held in order to enhance and increase the income in the field of tourism through creating a lot of great events that could be liked and impressed by many people. Based on what was mentioned by Mohammed Al Tamimi who works as the General Manager of GMFOC that stands for Qatar Marine Festival Organizing Committee “the organization responsible for preparing this great event”, the organizers confirm the fact that this competition would have a great opportunity to catch the attention of many residents, expatriates and foreigners. Moreover, another ceremony named Al Qafal which occurs at the Cultural Village would achieve a lot of success in reviving and reminding Qataris with the ancient rituals and performances used to be performed by ancestors. He also added that the next ceremonies and festivals would provide tourists with a chance to go to the places where divers dive so that they could know more about their lives and have a background about the dangerous work they do.

Exhibition of Qatar Pearl: 

This exhibition is held in order to show visitors the various collections of pearls gathered from Arabian Gulf like Al Fardan and Al Majed. In addition, there is another collection which is the one related to Qatar Museums Authority hence it is considered as a unique one that contains a lot of pearls gathered from various mollusks. On the other side, this exhibition involves a necklace called Cristaux Perles.



Conclusion:

To conclude, Qatar is one of the countries in the region of the Middle East that used to depend on pearl diving in order to increase its income and revenues. However, after the discovery of oil, this activity turned to disappear. That’s why the Qatari government began to do a lot of exhibitions, festivals and competitions in order to honor and commemorate this practice. On the other side, pearl diving reminds Qataris of their ancestors and ancient performances related to it like music, arts and poetry. On the other side, it is very important that the government focuses on enhancing and boosting its economy through honoring these practices in order to allow more people to know a lot about the Qatari culture and heritage. In fact, all these efforts have contributed in increasing the standards of living there as well as improving the standards of living. Therefore, it seems that Qatar is turning to be one of the greatest countries in the region and between other Arab countries.


Recommendations to Develop Pearl Diving in Qatar:

Because pearl diving could be one of the amazing and least appreciated elements of culture in Qatar, the government needs to follow a lot of recommendations in order to improve this activity and provide people with more information about it. For example, the government has to employ experts in this field as well as divers in order to inform people and tell them about the procedures needed to be taken to do such a difficult practice. Moreover, they have to talk with them about the precautions required so that divers could dive quickly without facing any troubles or problems. By following these recommendations, Qatar would be able to revive pearl diving.


Bibliography:

CULTURE & HERITAGE. (n.d.). Retrieved May 28, 2015, from Qatar International Adventures: http://www.qia-qatar.com/content/culture-heritage
Hassan, M. (2012, November 19). Diving for pearls. The Peninsula.
Pearl Carpet of Baroda at Qatar Exhibit. (n.d.). Retrieved May 28, 2015, from KARI PEARLS: http://www.karipearls.com/qatar-pearl-news.html
Pearl Diving in Qatar. (n.d.). Retrieved May 28, 2015, from USA TODAY: http://traveltips.usatoday.com/pearl-diving-qatar-100698.html
Qatar: Introduction. (n.d.). Retrieved May 28, 2015, from globalEDGE: http://globaledge.msu.edu/countries/qatar


Pearl Diving in Qatar
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