Qatari artists showcase their talent at Al Thumama Stadium
The finishing touches are being made to Qatar’s FIFA World Cup™ stadiums as the country gears up to host international football’s flagship tournament.
The 40,000-capacity Al Thumama Stadium is one of eight host venues for the World Cup, which will take place between 21 November and 18 December.
As well as hosting matches up to the quarter-finals stage, the stadium is also a showcase for local artistic talent. Al Thumama’s precinct is decorated with a host of art installations produced by some of the most skillful creators in the country.
The artwork is located in the main entrance, VIP areas and Amiri lounge, with all the works inspired by elements of Qatari traditions and heritage – much like the stadium itself. Designed by Qatari architect Ibrahim M. Jaidah, Al Thumama’s design is inspired by the ‘gahfiya’ – a woven cap worn by men and boys across the Middle East and Arab world. The stadium was inaugurated last year when it hosted the Amir Cup final.
Here, we speak to the creative minds behind the art pieces to gain insight into their work.
Artist: Aisha Abdulrahman Fakhroo
Inspiration: Traditional doors
IG handle: @fakhroo_art
Fakhroo said: “I was inspired by the traditional doors in old neighbourhoods in Doha and I wanted to represent the Qatari home through rustic textures. I have lived and spent most of my life in Al Salata, so I wanted to document a part of my life. I used to always walk around and examine the old houses in the area. I feel honoured to have the opportunity to display my work in one of the stadiums for Qatar 2022.”
Artist: Moza Mohamed Al Harami
Inspiration: Gahfiya-inspired pieces
IG handle: @malharami
Al Harami said: “My pieces are inspired by different gahfiya patterns from the 1990s. I like art embroidery and my work combines both paint and embroidery. I was passionate about art from a very young age. I have always looked to participate in art projects in different forms. When I was approached with the opportunity to display my work in one of the World Cup stadiums, I was ecstatic and knew I couldn’t pass! It will definitely be a great legacy for me in Al Thumama Stadium.”
Artist: Fatima Mohammed Saad Al Nuaimi
Inspiration: Traditional Qatari jewelry inspired by nature and the desert
IG handle: @fatma_alnaimi_art
Al Nuaimi said: “I am very proud to be able to showcase my pieces that carry old traditional names from our culture. I’m beyond excited to share them with all the tourists and football fans and give them a glimpse of our heritage. I want to teach them about the old traditional designs that our mothers used to wear, especially the precious stones like the firoza. I want them to see how Qatari women used to dress in years gone by.”
Artist: Fatma Al Shebani
Inspiration: Bukhnaq (traditional face covering)
IG handle: @fatmaalshebani
Al Shebani said: “Different artworks intrigue me. It could be anything from a conceptual piece, sculpture or even a video. I am an artist who thinks outside the box – and I’m more inclined to do what’s out of the ordinary. I am a rebel when it comes to innovation and creating new things. My artwork represents the tradition of a girl wearing the ‘bouqnaq’. In the past, girls used to wear the bouqnaq until they got married as its purpose is to encourage modesty. Today, these bouqnaqs have a modern look with different design twists. I hope to keep them alive in my memories forever.”
Artist: Mohammed Abel
Inspiration: Traditional Qatari windows and doors
IG handle: @mohammedabel.art
Abel said: “My art practice revolves around our heritage, a space where we can explore the true definition of our identity. Our ancestors were skilled in crafts, the arts and architecture, so the closer we are to these works, the closer we are to our cultural identity. That’s why I found these gypsum patterns, doors, windows, to be the most original artistic expression of our identity.
The doors that we display today are more than 150 years old. I collected them from abandoned villages in the north of Qatar. Some of these doors were made from the wood of old ships. Some of them are older than two centuries old!
Seeing wood go from being used in a ship taking on the waves of the Gulf to being used in a door of in the north of Qatar before being finally displayed in Al Thumama Stadium represents the non-preishable nature of the works. The way this beautiful journey ends at a World Cup stadium makes me very happy.”
Artist: Manar Al Muftah
Inspiration: Traditional Qatari tapestry
IG handle: @manar_almuftah
Al Muftah said: “My work consists of embroidery on canvas. The elements used in this artwork are inspired by the local environment; the canvas, the letters and the embroidery. They are all primarily used within our culture. The letter Q (in Arabic) can be seen from different perspectives. One perspective is seeing it as an Arabic letter. From a different perspective, the letter can be seen as a dhow boat sailing the sea.”