All photos by Reem Saad
Built in the Industrial Area by local company Delta Fabco, the key exceeds 7m in length and 3m in width, beating a previous record set in Cyprus 10 years ago.
The creation of the key took a total of 45 days to complete and was built solely out of steel, organizers said.
According to AJ+, it is an exact replica of a working key that fits into a lock.
Some have criticized the event as being a waste of time and money, but organizers stressed that no commercial gains were made last night from ticket sales.
“The idea is to have half the earnings to be donated to Qatar Red Crescent and the second half will be spent on the expenses of holding the event,” they said in a statement.
Last night’s unveiling was timed to coincide with Nakbah Day, when Israel was established in 1948.
That day, the key took on a significant meaning as Palestinians forced to leave the state saved the keys to their homes, hoping to one day be able to return to them.
According to organizers, the key symbolizes hope for a potential homecoming for displaced Palestinian refugees and other Arabs in the region. In a statement, they said:
“We have a lot of countless symbols, and the key is one of them. We wanted the key symbol to become the reason where people around the world look back and raise questions about the story and remember the people who struggled to keep the key as the symbol of the nation.”
Last night’s three-hour long event featured a soulful performance by Arab Idol winner Mohammed Assaf, who sang to a vibrant and responsive crowd about Palestine, homeland and love.
Poetry and traditional dabkeh performances were also part of the event. Audience members could be seen clapping, waving the Palestinian flag and keffiyehs.
The key will now be moved from the amphitheater and go up on display near building 26B in Katara, at the gateway of the Ard Canaan restaurant. The eatery will soft-open in Ramadan.