12 July 2021

Lu3’tna: Celebrating the Arabic Language Through Football

“Lu3'tna”, a project by five graduates from the Class of 2021, celebrates the beauty and diversity of Qatar’s rich linguistic identity in the run-up to FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. 

Lu3’tna, literally, “our language” is about celebrating the local Arabic linguistic culture of Qatar, and encouraging visitors and non-Arabic speakers to learn some local Qatari Arabic, while bolstering linguistic pride in Qatari Arabic among Qatari and Arab residents alike.

By examining how previous hosting countries promoted their own culture and language to visitors during their tournaments, the students from the Art History, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, and Interior Design programs attempted to identify ways in which to invite visitors to participate in, and celebrate Qatar’s rich linguistic identity.

The work presented here is the result of extensive research, countless brainstorming sessions, and a wonderful collaboration between the multiple academic programs at VCUarts Qatar. 

Lu3'tna pop-ups are combinatorial systems of interventions that can be adapted to public spaces. Rendered here are variants of the pop-up structure. All can operate independently or be combined together in different ways. The first pop-up is an educational area that encourages visitors to broaden their familiarity with Qatari Arabic through interactivity and sports. The second structure is a gift shop that showcases and sells all the designs created under the Lu3'tna brand. 

The Class of 2021 graduates who took part in the Lu3'tna project are Aldana Al-Marri, Dana Ahmad, Sara Mohammed, Sidra Khawaja, and Zainab Al-Shibani. The project was led by professors Basma Hamdy and Robert Bianchi. 

“Celebrating and Promoting Qatari Linguistic Culture through World Cup 2022” (aka Lu3'tna) was awarded $25,000 in the 25th cycle of the Undergraduate Research Experience Program grant by Qatar National Research Fund. 

Video by Nic van der Bijl.

Photographs by Raviv Cohen.

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