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Theater critic Hassan Rashid calls for the return of Qatari theater to its previous era

The writer emphasized that Qatar is not gas and oil, but it is thought and art, referring to the role of the Katara Foundation in hosting a large number of international events, competitions for the Prophet’s poet and the Arabic novel.

Qatari theater writer and critic Dr. Hassan Rashid expressed his deep regret at the stalemate that controls the theatrical movement in the country, stressing the need to get out of this setback and not to rely on the saying “what the audience likes”, because the audience loves all good deeds, and if they come back and learn they will support everything He sees it well.

Hassan Rashid holds a PhD in Philosophy of Arts from Cairo University on theatrical criticism. He is the first broadcaster who said “Qatar Radio from Doha”, presented a group of dramas and two sets of short stories, and wrote a number of plays for Qatari theater, in addition to studies and articles in newspapers. He is a member of the jury in many festivals, whether in the theater or in song.

Rashid said – in an exclusive interview with Al-Jazeera Net – that uncertainty is controlling the reality of theater in the country, calling for the need to search for ways to get out of this crisis and return the Qatari theater to its previous state, and he asked about the reasons for the absence of Qatari theater from festivals and events outside the country, as well as the absence A number of distinguished names such as Abdul Rahman Al-Mannai, Hamad Al-Rumaihi and Ghanem Al-Sulaiti; Which represents a great frustration due to the great talent that these people have.

The Qatari theater critic confirmed that Qatar is not gas and oil, but it is thought and art, pointing to the role of the Cultural Village Foundation (Katara) in hosting a large number of international events, as well as the competitions of the Prophet’s poet and the Arabic novel, which have become one of the strongest novel competitions not only in Qatar but also In the Arab world in general.

Rashid: Mystery dominates the theater scene (Al-Jazeera)
  • Can you tell us about the beginning of theater in Qatar and how it developed?

Theater in Qatar began modestly through simple teams in clubs, or from teams in companies, and they presented a group of comedies through young people enthusiastic about theater, and then through teams of scouts, and schools also played a role through Doha Secondary School or a school House of teachers and the religious institute, and a group of names that were inspired by Islamic history contributed a lot to this, and whoever turns in the pages of the Qatari theater will discover that we were the first to exhume the memory when we presented the biography of Bilal, the Muezzin of the Messenger or Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s play “A Scientist and a Tyrant” Through it, the biography of the brave scientist Saeed bin al-Jubeir confronting the tyrant Hajjaj bin Yusuf, and it was a projection of reality at this time.

  • Does the educator have a role in developing the artistic sense of the youth?

Yes, the breeder has a big role; The family, the teacher and the school have an important role in developing the artistic sense, when we were in the elementary stage, the great teacher and educator of generations, Ahmed Ali Mansour, was teaching and educating in all fields, and we were in Qatar adopting the classroom educator system that continues throughout the school stage and not only in one year, and we learned from it What is related to life, he was the father, the teacher and the educator, and he influenced our lives and our memory, as well as dozens of other names that contributed to the formation of the consciousness of the generations.

  • In one of your articles, you talked about how darkness is dominating the theater scene in Qatar … Why?

To get out of that by being lovers of theater, and to present the theater as it was in our beginning, there was a struggle between the four teams present in Qatar one day to present works that are worthy of the Qatari theater, but there was a setback that we are still living in until now, as for why this fogginess is asked. About that stakeholders; Why is the Qatari theater absent from international festivals? How is the way to get back to it again? Also, the absence of a symbol of the Qatari theater, such as Abdul Rahman Al-Mannai, constitutes for us a great frustration due to the great talent that this artist has, and also where are Hamad Al-Rumaihi and Ghanem Al-Sulaiti? Unfortunately, I think it’s blurry.

Katara recently honored Rasheed for his great cultural role (Al-Jazeera)
  • However, why is the Qatari theater absent from the international festivals arena?

We do not have a presence in any event, with the exception of puppet theater, but this is their decision, and I wish there would be activity in the teams, and that we would present melodramas and dodramas, and all countries present these forms even in the Corona period. You should not rely on what the audience likes; The audience loves all kinds if it teaches him and his return, but comedy has its own magic undoubtedly, and we have on the scene in Qatar Ghanem Al-Sulaiti alongside a number of young people who present themselves in several theatrical works, such as Faisal Rashid, Muhammad Al Sayegh, Rashid Saad and a large number of artists who continue to present their message For the recipient, and I think we are in dire need of someone who continues this framework.

  • Does Arab theater generally suffer from the same crises?

I think that the television drama has attracted a large number of artists, when you find the wages that are paid to the actor (Nombra 1 or Number 2) in television series, for example, and compare them with what Youssef Wahbi and Duraid Lahham received throughout their artistic lives, you will not find that the percentage reaches 1% at most; We are living in a different time, and my generation could be the most fortunate because we were guests of the festivals of Damascus, Baghdad, Carthage and others. The theater is now going through another stage, a different stage, but there are some hopes for a return to the earlier era.

  • What do you think of the new experience launched by Katara, represented by Ibn Al-Rayeb Street?

Ibn al-Rayb Street is a beautiful thing, and Katara always offers the wonderful thing in this country, and the people in charge of this matter form rings of Qatari creativity, and they presented an acquaintance card to the whole world that this is the entity that represents Qatari culture, thought and art; Qatar is not gas and oil, but it is thought and art, so it is sufficient for Katara to host all the international events. Of inviting large groups in the framework of symphonies or competitions of the poet of the Prophet or the Arabic novel, which turned into the most important prize not only at the level of Qatar, but also the entire Arab world.

Studies in theater and drama … Hassan Rashid’s latest publications (Al-Jazeera)
  • She recently announced a new cultural project .. What is it?

I am currently working on a cultural project that includes documenting 100 personalities who excelled in several fields. I shed light on those people who genuinely served the Qatari community in all contexts, whether they are Qataris or residing on its land, and I have chosen 100 personalities according to specific criteria, and through my reading of their biography Whether in poetry, literature, sports, or all kinds of arts.

  • Among your recent publications are also studies in theater and drama .. What is this version about?

This publication presents the efforts of an entire generation that has contributed to elevating the Qatari theater, with its determination and strength, and I try through the book to preserve their commitment and role and preserve it for future generations, we need a theater that nourishes the memory, and this does not come from a vacuum, so we own the school theater and we have a youth center For the theater that nourished the arena with many names, all the present generation is a product of what was previously; Salem Al-Mansoori, Fahad Al-Baker, and dozens of names, in addition to Fatima Al-Shorouki, Hanan Sadiq, and many other names.

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