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JustHere | November 15, 2017

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THIMUN: Life of the Hamalis; in the shoes of those who serve us and other interesting glimpses into life in Qatar

Several human-interest stories are lined up for this year’s THIMUN Qatar Northwestern Film Festival, which are sure to strike a chord with viewers of all ages.

JustHere’s personal favourite is Qatar Academy student Amal Al Muftah’s ‘Al-Hamali’. A beautiful documentary on the lives of hamalis – a term given to the elderly men pushing wheel carts at Souq Waqif.  The video has gone viral with over 66,000 views in just a week. The film has been nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Story, Best National Picture, Best Picture.


A screenshot of the film from THIMUN Qatar’s official Youtube channel

Handled with a good deal of sensitivity, Al Hamali definitely tugs at the heartstrings. It tells the personal stories of the elderly gentlemen in their own words; men who have lived in Qatar almost all their life, and survive on gratuities from clients and small pensions from the Baladiya. One of them had a profession that is now defunct – he worked as a kandera (water carriers, who delivered buckets of water to homes before the pipelines were introduced).

Then, there’s the film titled ‘Qatar Water Crisis’ explores the alarming rate of water consumption in the country, and the consequences of it. The film is directed by Abdullatif Al-Kuwari and has been nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best National Picture and Best Picture.

THIMUN, in its fourth year, is organised with an aim to encourage students help make a difference through films.

This year there were about a 100 film submissions from all over the world, Cameron Janzen, THIMUN Qatar Director told JustHere. “Out of these 30 submissions were from Qatar. Though the number of entries from Qatar were the same as compared to last year, there has been an increase mainly in international participation.”

Another movie nominated for Best Story and Best National Picture is ‘Workers’.  Directed by Anish Pai a student of Doha College. The film highlights the grim situation of low-income expatriates, and urges people to get to know those whose serve them.

The films raise some important questions on lifestyle choices of people, laws in the country and the human rights situation (see screenshot of comments below).

The films are available online on the THIMUN Qatar YouTube channel. But the event will be help on April 17-19, 2013 where winners will be awarded under each category. There will be a free community viewing on Aril 18, from 12.30 pm-3.30 pm at the NUQ campus.

Visit the THIMUN Qatar website for more details and updates.

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A screenshot of some of the comments that the video received.

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