On October 24th, 2019, Qatar became the first Arab country ever to host the annual UN Day celebrations. The Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the United Nations partnered with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the organizing body for the soccer World Cup in 2022, to host a cultural showcase that brought the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra to the UN General Assembly.
The event’s theme, “Building Prosperity for All through Culture, Education, Gender Equality, Sports and Sustainability,” encapsulated many of the values and tools Qatar has embraced to promote cross-cultural dialogue and promote the unity of diverse nations and people. To mark the 74th anniversary of the UN Charter entering into force, UN Day 2019 featured keynote addresses from Qatari and UN officials, including the following:
-H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy
-Melissa Fleming, Under-Secretary-General & Communications and Chief Spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
-Tijjani Muhammad-Bande of Nigeria, President of the UN General Assembly
-António Guterres, Secretary-General of UN
The celebration was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy. In his remarks to the audience at the General Assembly, the Secretary-General of the Supreme Committee of Delivery and Legacy highlighted the powerful synergy of music and sports in tapping into the creative energies of communities worldwide. The Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, founded in 2007, is made up of artists from East and West who practice together in Qatar and stands as a testament to the power of culture in bringing people together.
Following speeches by officials, the evening’s cultural segment was kicked off by a solo piano score performed by Qatari female pianist, Hala Al-Emadi. The Orchestra then delivered an inspiring performance against the backdrop of a Doha Film Institute production that cinematically portrayed Qatar’s journey from a pearl-diving economy to a leading global energy exporter.
Each musical piece was supported by vignettes produced by Amal Al-Muftah and Amna Al-Baker, students at Northwestern University in Qatar. Trailblazing Qatari composer Dana Al Fardan collaborated with Hala Al-Emadi to compose every piece of music performed in the celebration.
To quote HE Alya Ahmed Saif Al Thani, Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations, Qatar can be proud of the young Qatari women artists who have broken the glass ceiling in the arts and film industry in the region and beyond.
(Image Source: Twitter – @antonioguterres)