With just over two weeks to go until the start of the 24th Men’s Handball World Championships in Doha, the local organizing committee has posted a new “anthem” for the tournament.
The seven-minute music video, titled “Live it,” features 24 musicians and artists who represent each of the countries participating in the tournament, in a bid to promote themes of unity and international collaboration.
The song is in English and Arabic, and led by well-known Qatari singer Fahad Al-Kubaisi. It also includes members of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra and the Siwar youth choir, which was set up by Al Jazeera Children’s Channel to nurture talented Arabic children by providing them with training to sing professionally.
The video, which was published on Youtube on National Day, doesn’t feature any actual handball scenes.
Instead, it takes viewers through a journey beginning in Qatar and traveling through the countries taking part in the championships, including Egypt, Austria, Chile and Brazil.
It features a number of key Qatar landmarks such as Souq Waqif, the nearby falcon souq, the amphitheater at Katara Cultural Village and the Museum of Islamic Art, as well as the West Bay skyline.
In a statement, Al-Kubaisi said:
“The official song definitely holds up to its purpose of bridging barriers in addition to enhancing communication with countries and creating sense of unity and togetherness.”
The artists featured in the song include: Alexander Rybak (Belarus); Alya (Slovenia); Carmen Suleiman (Egypt); Charlee (Austria); Daniel Kajmakoski (Macedonia); Daniela Herrero (Argentina); Ewa Farna (Czech Republic); Fallulah (Denmark); Francisca Valenzuela (Chile); Hasan Karbech (Tunisia); Jon Jonsson (Iceland); Lana Jurcevic (Croatia); Lucas Silveira (Brazil); Marija Sestic (Bosnia); Nyusha (Russia); Oceana (Germany); Ola (Sweden); Pablo Lopez (Spain); Rafal Brzozowski (Poland); Shahab Tiam (Iran); Amine Djemmal (Algeria); and Jaber Al Kaser (Saudi Arabia).
Lyrics of the official song are by Amir Teima and Shady Ahmed, and the music was composed by Sveinung S. Nygaard.
The handball tournament begins on Jan. 15 and run until Feb. 1. It is only the second time the World Championship will take place in the Middle East – and the first time it will be in the Gulf.
This is one of a number of significant international sporting events Qatar will host in the coming years in the run-up to the World Cup in 2022, and the country will be under scrutiny to see how it can handle the logistics associated with such tournaments.
In terms of handball, preliminary rounds will kick off the event, with Qatar in Group A alongside defending world champions Spain, as well as Slovenia, Belarus, Brazil and Chile.
Qatar will play the tournament’s opening match against Brazil at the Lusail stadium on Jan. 15 at 8:30pm.
Each team will play every other team in its group, round-robin style. Each team will collect three points for a win, one point for a draw and zero points for a loss. The four teams in each group with the highest overall point totals will advance to the knockout stage. Eliminated clubs will participate in a consolation tournament.
Knockout games will begin on Jan. 25, and the semifinals will be held on Jan. 30. The World Championship final will take place on Feb. 1.
The matches will take place in three purpose-built venues. The main one is Lusail Multipurpose Hall, the exterior of which is made of colored glass representing sand, sea and pearls, holds more than 15,000 people and covers 45,000 square meters.
Ali Bin Hamad al Attiya arena in Al Saad looks far more like a traditional arena and can seat 7,700 fans, and another venue will be the Qatar Handball Association Complex, located just west of Qatar University in North Duhail.
Though the arena holds just 5,500 spectators, it also contains presidential and executive lounges, two training halls, accommodations for up to 60 players, a medical center, swimming pool and QHA’s administrative and media offices.
You can view a full schedule of all the matches on the official website here, and also book tickets to the games.
Will you be going? Thoughts?