As the Olympic Games in Rio come to a close, a longtime Qatar resident is working to make sure Qatar doesn’t forget about another important sports event: The Asian Games in 2006.
The country hosted the tournament nearly 10 years ago, when it was just starting to get more involved on an international level.
Over the past few months, Indian expat Prakash Maroli has been asking those who were around then to share their memories of the event on a community Facebook page.
According to Maroli, Doha ’06 Memories is an “online exhibit” that aims to honor the games and their host, before the country gets set to hold an even larger tournament – the World Cup in 2022.
The Facebook page contains photos, videos and memories of the tournament as a way of sharing the its legacy with the younger generation, he told Doha News.
Alongside posters of the Asian Games, the Qatar Museums employee and former tournament volunteer has shared several promotional videos of the event on the page.
The videos show a much smaller Qatar, keen to share its ambitions with the world.
Maroli said he believes that the event helped the country achieve this aim:
“Before, the world always questioned where Qatar was when you said you lived and worked there, but that changed after the opening of the 15th Asian games” he said.
Since starting the page in June, Maroli said that many people have offered to share their mementos of the event with him.
He plans to post images of these on the page soon, alongside his own souvenirs, which include a Torch used in the Torch Relay and a prototype of a Bronze Medal from the games.
Maroli’s own involvement with the Asian Games came about when he pitched the idea of producing souvenir games posters for the event.
“I approached the Games Committee after drafting a one-page presentation and knocked on doors without any appointment,” he recalled. “The bosses gave me five minutes to sell the idea, and the rest was history.”
Event organizers gave Maroli and the company he was working for the green light to produce the posters, which were sold in gift shops during the games.
The expat, who has lived in Qatar for 15 years, also helped the organizing committee promote and distribute an official DVD and music CD.
Were you in Doha during the Asian Games? Thoughts?