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All photo by Reem Saad

Undeterred by rainy conditions, crowds thronged public places around Qatar to celebrate the country’s sixth annual National Sport Day today.

Parking was hard to find at many venues, including Aspire Park, where many families flocked to the several outdoor and indoor activities on offer.

Meanwhile, at Katara Cultural Village, there were aerobatic activities, athletic demonstrations and Zumba, among other events.

Qatar University

National Sport Day 2017

And over at Qatar Foundation, indoor activities included spin classes, running and tug of war, among other things.

Of course, not everyone ventured outside today. Some opted to sleep in and take it easy, which arguably is also good for one’s health.

How did you spend the holiday? Thoughts?

All photos by Reem Saad

Students and faculty at Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) began their winter semester this month at a brand-new building.

The 515,000 square foot, four-story facility was designed by famous American architect Antoine Predock and takes inspiration from Qatar’s “desert landscape.”

It boasts three video production studios, a multimedia newsroom, a two-story research library, a black box theater, multiple editing rooms and even an in-house museum.

Reem Saad / Doha News

Northwestern University in Qatar library

However, most of these features are not yet ready for use.

And a grand opening to mark the new building is expected sometime in the coming year.

Looking ahead

NU-Q is a journalism and communication school, and one of six American universities operating in Education City.

Last year, the school renewed its lease with Qatar Foundation for another decade, meaning it will continue to remain in Qatar until at least 2028.

NUQ/Facebook

NUQ’s former home at CMU-Q

The new building broke ground in 2011 and was originally supposed to open in 2013.

In a statement last month, NU-Q’s dean and CEO Everette Dennis said:

“It has been five years since we broke ground for the new building and it has taken significant team work to get this building completed. When finished, it will be the premier journalism and communication school in the region.”

Prior to moving in, the eight-year-old school was located at the top floor of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, and had a temporary studio building.

It also briefly operated inside of Texas A&M University at Qatar.

Thoughts?

All photos by Ray Toh

Three Chinese naval vessels have arrived in Qatar for a five-day visit as part of a Gulf tour.

The fleet, which docked on Saturday, includes guided-missile destroyer warship Harbin, missile frigate Handan and supply ship Dongpinghu, according to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.

In Doha, it was received warmly by Qatar’s navy, several Chinese expats living in Doha and the Chinese Ambassador to the Gulf state.

Ray Toh

Chinese warship in Qatar

CCTV reported Bai Yaoping, commander of the 24th escort fleet, as saying:

“During the visit, naval officers from the two countries will exchange views to enhance friendship and further learn from each other.”

Deeper defense relationship

China has previously expressed interest in stepping up arms sales to Qatar and other Gulf countries.

In 2014, the head of a Chinese missile manufacturer told Doha News, “The Middle East is a very important market, (and) we pay special attention to the GCC.”

CCTV reported that the ships traveled to Qatar after a five-day stop in Saudi Arabia.

The fleet will head to the UAE and Kuwait next.

Thoughts?