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Trip to Doha the prize for child artist

QATAR Pavilion launched a painting competition for children in its creative workshop over the weekend.

"The final winner and the parents will be awarded a 10-day trip to Doha (capital city of the state of Qatar) for free," said Mohammed Al-Blouchi, the pavilion director.

He believes the workshop will strengthen interaction and inspire visitors' interest in Qatar, an oil- and gas-rich nation on the Arabian Peninsula.

"Different Qatar artists will come to work with children in the workshop every month to share different ideas," he said.

Dee-Dee Dewar, director of the art education center in Qatar's Museum of Islamic Art, is the first artist in charge of the workshop.

"Chinese kids are very willing and interested in what they are doing," she said on Saturday as the workshop on the ground floor was soon filled up by children busy creating their "masterpieces."

While the youngsters were hard at work, their mothers could go to a nearby stall for free henna tattoos - intricate patterns drawn using dye derived from henna plants and which last for about one week.

"Brides used to paint henna on their hands the night before their weddings in Qatar," said henna artist Wafa Al Rubaiey.

"Now we paint henna on our bodies for decoration on special days, including festivals and parties."

Wang Ruipu, a woman visitor who had a pattern draw on her right arm, said: "It's so delicate. I will be reluctant to wash my arm for days."

A henna tattoo might not find favor with the fathers, however, but there's plenty for them to see on the pavilion's second floor.

An underwater scene leads visitors to explore the lives of the pearl divers as well as the oil industry in an exhibition called "Pearl to Oil."

A man-made sand area will give an idea of what it's like to live in a tent in the deserts and there's a mockup of a traditional market in Doha with craftsman making baskets and fishing nets.


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