Even though summer is officially here, weather-wise, there are still plenty of things to do around town over the weekend, including cheering on Olympic athletes, checking out a free open-air movie screening, swapping books while sipping coffee and eating for a cause.
Here are our picks:
Diamond League opens
Some of the world’s best track and field athletes will be in Qatar this weekend for the opening of the IAAF Diamond League, including reigning Olympic champions Christian Taylor, Aries Merritt and Ezekiel Kemboi as well as several others who will be competing in the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The tournament kicks off on Friday, May 6 from 6pm onwards at the Suhaim bin Hamad Stadium at the Qatar Sports Club in West Bay.
Men’s events include the 100m, javelin, hurdles and more, while the women’s event also has shot put and pole vaulting, among others. Children below four years old are free but must sit on parents’ laps. Tickets cost QR50, QR100 and QR200 and can be bought online.
Free movie screening
It will show the animated film Zarafa. Set in the early 19th century, the movie narrates the story of Maki, a 10-year-old orphaned Sudanese boy who is sold into slavery. He escapes the slave trader and comes across a young giraffe who is later named Zarafa.
Seating is free but on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you’ve got cash and guts to spare, or just feel like gawking at those who do, a new skydiving center is now open at the Al Khor airstrip north of Doha.
Skydive Qatar is open through the month of May, and will return in early winter after breaking for Ramadan and summer.
For QR1,899, beginners can jump with an instructor from 13,000 ft above ground. There are morning and afternoon slots on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The package includes photo and video footage of the jump.
Bookings can be made through the company’s website, or tickets for sessions can be bought from Novo Cinemas at The Pearl-Qatar (from 4pm until midnight daily), or from the Landmark branch of Virgin Megastore.
Palestinian heritage festival
Opening ceremonies for the second Palestinian Heritage Festival will kick off at Katara Cultural Village, tomorrow (May 5) at 4pm.
The theme for this year’s event, which will be held in Building 3, is “Our history, our heritage…steadfastness,” Katara said on its website.
The last festival was held in April 2014 and this year’s edition will include popular Palestinian folk performances, songs, dabkah dance and a look at a Palestinian wedding.
There will also be shows of Palestinian popular fashion, traditional Palestinian food, cultural lectures related to history and heritage and fine art photography of Palestinian lands and history of Jerusalem.
The event runs through Saturday, May 14 from 10am to 1pm and 6pm to 10pm.
The Short Dragon’s Code
Katara Cultural Village in cooperation with the Greek Embassy in Qatar and the Qatar Music Academy is hosting an interactive theater performance for three days starting May 5.
The free show will be performed by the Greek theatrical group Logou Paignion, with music and puppets based on the book of Panayiotis Tsirides. It runs from 5:30pm to 8pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The performance tells the tale of a wise but short dragon who stumbles upon an old chest that changes his life.
The play’s “purpose is to show that solidarity and collaboration among people helps them overcome difficulties and live a happy and fulfilling life,” Katara’s website states.
Books, coffee and friends are the focus of the next Doha Tweetup meeting, which will take place on Saturday, May 7 at the Meesh Me-Time Cafe (in front of the Crowne Plaza hotel).
The event will be run from 10:30am to 12:30pm and give attendees a chance to swap books with other readers. The cafe will supply free coffee and muffins to all, but space is limited.
Register to attend for free online.
For those going out to eat this weekend, several Aspire Katara Hospitality restaurants around Qatar have promised to donate 100 percent of their cash revenue on Friday, May 6 to help the people of Aleppo, Syria.
Massive bombing campaigns have increased the humanitarian crisis there, and several charities in Qatar are already on the scene to help.
— كتارا | Katara (@kataraqatar) May 1, 2016
Participating eateries in Aspire Park and Katara Cultural Village include Burgeri Doha, Chapati & Karak, Mamig, L’Wzaar and Salad Boutique.
- Protecting art from pests: Aristoteles Georgios Sakellariou, head of Conservation at the Museum of Islamic Art, will give a talk about protecting art from the moment an object arrives, until its placement in a gallery or storage facility. Sakellariou will also speak about what happens when bugs and other uninvited visitors turn up. The event is tonight at 7pm at DESS.
- Magical Festival Village ends: After being open during the cooler winter months, the “dream village” marketplace next to Katara Cultural Village will close on Saturday, May 7, organizers said. The village is open from 3pm to 11pm daily through then.
- Free chamber music: Members of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra will perform a free concert at the Museum of Islamic Art atrium at 5pm on Thursday, May 5. All are welcome.
What are your plans for the weekend? Thoughts?