On February 7, 2021, Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press) continued its series of public online webinars with Documenting Sports: A Reflection of Qatar’s History, which explored the intersection between literature and sports in Qatar and examined the burgeoning trend of documenting sports in the region through first-person narratives
“With the collection of new books that are related to sports, HBKU Press aims to support the State of Qatar by leading the way when it comes to integrating sports and physical activity into the fabric of everyday life,” explained Ghenwa Yehia-Malaeb, Content Development Specialist at HBKU Press. “This webinar aimed to highlight these goals by showcasing how the documentation of facts can lead to social change and development in the country and wider region.”
Additionally, the workshop explored the importance of documenting sports history,
athletes’ contributions and the effectiveness of first-hand narration while debunking myths surrounding Qatar’s sporting history.
The moderator, Dr. Danyel Reiche, visiting Associate Professor, Georgetown University in Qatar explored these topics and more with panelists Dr. Matthias Krug, award-winning author of HBKU Press’ Journeys on a Football Carpet, Dr. Nasser Al-Mohannadi, Qatari Ironman and best-selling author of HBKU Press’ How to Be an Ironman, and Monika Staab, former coach of Qatar’s national women’s football team.
“The discussion was very interesting,” said Reiche. “Dr. Krug and Dr. Nasser’s publications are important contributions to the literary landscape documenting a niche part of the country’s history. We also saw that there are many arenas in sport’s literature that have yet to be explored. I hope that there will be more publications about women’s sport in Qatar in the future as this sector in society has so much more potential to develop”
Staab echoed this sentiment, saying: “This webinar gave an excellent opportunity to discuss the wonderful achievements made in Qatar’s sport history and highlighted others. I was happy to provide insight on the obstacles women are still facing in order to play this beautiful football game and how literature can help break down these barriers.”
Dr. Krug continued: “It is with engaging discussions such as these that we are able to showcase how literature can highlight the fascinating sports history of Qatar, while also building a path to exploring and documenting its future achievements.”
Dr. Nasser emphasized the invaluable role that HBKU Press has had in shaping the sports literary landscape in the region through publications like his and their outreach in the community. “HBKU Press doesn’t just publish books about sports, they engage the community through outreach programs like this webinar and through engagements with schools to build a greater understanding about athletes and sports in this country.”
The series of webinars hosted by HBKU Press will continue throughout the year. For more information, follow their Facebook page (facebook.com/hbkupress) or Twitter and Instagram (@hbkupress) for daily updates.