A dialogue session about communication and media and their role in promoting Qatari culture and identity

11 April, 2021


With the participation of some entities of the country, Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture and Science organized a virtual dialogue session entitled “The Role of Communication and Media in Promoting Culture”. The dialogue session aimed at discussing the role of official and unofficial media in enhancing the value of Qatari identity, and standing on the importance of communication and media in introducing culture and its components. The organization of this session comes within the framework of celebrating Doha, Capital of Culture in the Islamic World 2021.

The session was moderated by Saleh Gharib, a journalist, and attended by : His Excellency Dr. Khaled bin Ibrahim Al-Sulaiti, Director General of Katara Cultural Village Qatar, Dr. Hamda Hassan Al-Sulaiti, Secretary-General of the Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, media Professor Jaber Al-Harami, Professor Khaled Al-Neama, Director of Digital Media and Official Spokesperson in the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Ms. Maryam Yassin Al-Hammadi, Director General of the Qatari Forum for Authors, Ms. Malika Muhammad Al Shuraim, Director of the New Media Department at the Katara Cultural Village Qatar, and Mayassa Al-Maamari, a journalist.

The session dealt with three themes: The first theme was “Communication and Media and their Role in Cultural Diversity”. The second one was “Communication and Media and their Role in the World Cup 2022 in Disseminating Qatari Culture”. While the last theme was “Unofficial Media and its Role in Disseminating Culture.”

The session was opened with a recorded speech of His Excellency Dr. Khalid bin Ibrahim Al-Sulaiti, who referred to the vision and strategy developed by Katara to promote culture, to support dialogue between cultures and peoples and to respect cultural diversity.  He also referred to the objectives of the Memorandum of Understanding ratified between Katara and the committee.

During the dialogue session, the Secretary General of the National Committee spoke about the important role of media in promoting identity, awareness of identity, and instilling values ​​and practices related to heritage and cultural diversity. She also talked about the paradigm shift brought about by technology in the media and the effects it has made. Moreover, she highlighted the role of social media celebrities and their great impact on society in serving the 2022 World Cup. Dr. Hamda Al-Sulaiti mentioned that it is important to take advantage of the social media celebrities’ views, experiences and distinguished practices of how to activate the media during the coming period of hosting the 2022 World Cup.

As for the journalist Jaber Al-Harami, he talked about the role of media that complements the work of society’s institutions and that media does not work in isolation from these institutions. He also added that the media openness, as a soft force, contributed to the transfer of cultural, humanitarian and sports activities.

Talking about the role of the new media and the role of individuals as a complete media platform, where an individual can transmit through his camera different images from reality and write news and photograph video clips, Al-Harami indicated that the diversity of media has contributed to the transmission of history, culture and societal traditions to others.

He explained that the official and unofficial media must be invested in transmitting the achievements, successful experiences, capabilities, culture and values of the state of Qatar to the world during the 2022 World Cup, and individuals must also be influential and convey the positive image of the State of Qatar.

On her part, Ms. Maryam Yassin Al Hammadi, Director General of the Qatari Forum for Authors, spoke about formal and informal communication in transmitting culture and the relationship with others in terms of willingness to transmit values ​​and ideas and accept difference which contributes to the development and prosperity of society and the further productivity of its members. In addition to that, she highlighted the role of writers and media professionals in promoting Qatari culture, whether by issuing books or writing articles about the Qatari culture and translating them in different languages ​​to reach different cultures and peoples.

Mr. Khaled Al-Neama – Director of Digital Media and Official Spokesperson of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy – discussed the role of media in spreading Qatari culture before, during and after the World Cup. He considered that the World Cup is the greatest incentive for society to make positive change and for growth and development in general. He pointed out that the committee has general frameworks for communicating with different peoples, such as working on media content and creating social media platforms, as the committee has currently provided more than 18 platforms on social media that communicate in four different languages, and other languages ​​will be added by the end of the year 2021. The languages will be chosen based on the important markets in the World Cup 2022, and also based on the countries and cultures which export spectators.

Ms. Malika Muhammad Al Shuraim, Director of the New Media Department at Katara Cultural Village Qatar, discussed the media content provided by Katara which holds various festivals and events, whether heritage, cultural, artistic, literary or sports events. The events aim to define the national identity, heritage, Qatari culture and other cultures, through social media, which has a major role in the speed of transmission of information and its delivery to a large segment of society, as well as in communicating with societies outside the State of Qatar.

As for the journalist, Mayassa Al-Maamari, she talked about the concept of national identity, and its dimensions, which are: religion, language, Qatari dialect, culture and the history of the State of Qatar. Al-Maamari also addressed the challenges facing media, whether traditional or modern means, and the challenges facing mass communication in finding a balance between globalization, openness, modernity, and adherence to values, customs, and traditions. In addition to that, she mentioned the role of media, which is not limited to dealing with community issues, but extends to have a social impact by emphasizing values ​​and establishing them, and affirming the elements of national identity. In this context, Al-Maamari gave emphasis to Qatar National Vision 2030, through which she mentioned sentences that include a balance between Openness, modernity, customs, traditions and Islamic values.

The journalist, Mayassa Al-Maamari, touched on the issue of cultural diversity, especially since the State of Qatar is about to host the 2022 World Cup, and explained that the individual must be proud of his culture and at the same time he must be opened to the world and to the different cultures in a way that suits the customs and traditions of the Qatari society. For instance, she mentioned the program ( Khuta Alrahala) presented by the traveler Ali bin Tawar Al-Kuwari, through which the traveler visits different countries to introduce viewers to the cultures of those peoples, thus  people of those countries feel safe to integrate with our Qatari culture.

The dialogue session witnessed interventions of the interlocutors, focusing on the role of the media in promoting culture, and the importance of the media and cultural openness witnessed by the country, which contributes to spreading Qatari culture and introducing the world to Qatari heritage and achievements in various field. They also emphasized the importance of developing media and cultural strategies at the time the country is preparing to host the 2022 World Cup.