THESSALONIKI – ‘Fath-el-Kheir’ is the name of the traditional wooden Qatari vessel which docked in the port of Thessaloniki on July 24, to celebrate and promote the 2022 FIFA World Cup, scheduled to be held in Qatar.
Over the next two years, the “Fath-el-Kheir” will travel the world to promote the FIFA World Cup 2022 tournament in countries on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean.
The promotion was conceived by Katara, the Cultural Village Foundation created by the State of Qatar “for human interaction through art and cultural exchange.”
Katara undertook the promotion of the international athletic event by blending the cultural identity of Qatar and the traditional wooden vessel with football, the world’s most popular sport.
In Qatar, as the Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Greece H.E. Abdulaziz Ali Al-Naama assured those attending the ship’s arrival, preparations for the World Cup are proceeding rapidly so that the 2022 world cup championship will be unforgettable to all those lucky enough to hold one of the ‘magic passes’ to the games.
“We are waiting for you all in our country, and we promise you an unforgettable experience,” said the head of the diplomatic mission of Qatar to Greece, who warmly welcomed the people gathered at Thessaloniki port to welcome the ship.
After Thessaloniki, which was the “Fath-el-Kheir’s” first stop in Greece, the ship will continue its journey to the island of Mykonos and then visit the port of Piraeus, followed by the Greek island of Corfu, Sarande in southern Albania and Croatia, before reaching ports in southern and northern Italy.
Speaking to Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA), the ship’s captain Yousef Mohammed Al Sada explained that the traditional sailing methods used by the crew make the journey more difficult, due to the different climatic conditions that prevail compared to the Arabian Gulf region. He noted that the 15-strong crew and himself are all very excited about the journey’s mission, however, which is none other than to communicate Qatari culture and the 2022 World Cup to everyone they meet along the way in various countries.
Siham Alawami, Special Projects and public relations and communications professional of Save The Dream youth forum in Qatar, said the aim was for “a world in which every child and every young person will be able to play sports safely and to learn, from the values of sports, the importance of integrity, respect, and social integration.”
Siham Alawami traveled from Doha to Thessaloniki, and speaking to ANA, she did not hide her enthusiasm for the fact that the next World Cup will be held in her country, but also for the completion of one of the stadiums that will host the event, opposite her home, as she said, which carries the signature of an internationally renowned Iraqi-British architect, the late Zaha Hadid who passed away in 2016.