This week officials from Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) celebrated the midway point of Ramadan, known as Qaranqao, by holding a variety of events for patients and their families across its network of hospitals.
On 27 and 29 May, members of HMC’s Health Profession Awareness and Volunteering Program team, in cooperation with Qatar Charity, Al Aziziyah Youth Center, and Vodafone Qatar held events in Hamad Bin Khalifa Medical City for around one hundred patients and their families. The festivities included games of chance and lantern and craft making workshops for children. As part of the celebrations, children enjoyed henna painting, face painting, and balloon art, as well as entertainment that included cartoon characters and a puppet theater. Children in attendance sang special songs, read poems, and were treated to bags of candies and other sweets.
Ms. Balqees Al Khazraji, Director of HMC’s Health Professions Awareness and Volunteering Program, said Qaranqao celebrations are a time-honored tradition that reinforces HMC’s mission of providing safe, compassionate care.
“Qaranqao is a joyous social event that is celebrated on the 14th day of Ramadhan, after the Maghrib prayer. We recognize that many of our patients, particularly those who are hospitalized, may be unable to join in Qaranqao celebrations so each year we bring the festivities to them. From fun games of chance to the distribution of gifts and candy, planned events celebrate the spirit of sharing and giving,” said Ms. Al Khazraji.
Qaranqao celebrations were also held at the Enaya Continuing Care Center in Muaither, a community-based mental health center opened by HMC in 2016 and at Al Wakra Hospital. Ms. Aisha Al Khayarin, Director of Nursing at the Enaya Continuing Care Center, said around 70 patients from the compound in Muaither attended the event. She said they were joined by their families and members of the multidisciplinary care team. At Al Wakra Hospital staff distributed gifts to patients and visitors as part of their celebrations, which were supported by Commercial Bank and the Qatar Sports Club.
“This is the sixth year we have organized this event. With the support of Reach out to Asia (ROTA) we held a group breakfast for patients and their families as well as volunteers, staff, and their families. Qaranqao has become an integral part of Qatari and HMC heritage,” said Ms. Al Khayarin.
“Qaranqao provides us with an opportunity to recognize our volunteers and staff and to partner with local organizations. These events are an opportunity for staff and patients to relax and celebrate together, which helps strengthen their bond while also serving to bring joy to our patients. The events also help with integrating patients into the local community, contributing to the breakdown of any barriers which may exist,” added Ms. Al Khayarin.
Attendees at the various events expressed their appreciation to HMC and partnering organizations, saying Qaranqao was an opportunity to celebrate Qatar’s traditions and the importance of community.