February 19, 2010
No matter where you go, no one can resist the Wild West spirit of the Calgary Stampede. Proof of that came with a miniature version of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth that was staged on the University of Calgary–Qatar campus in January.
Students donned cowboy hats along with their traditional dress and kicked up their heels to the sounds of Matt Masters and the Gentlemen of the Rodeo. The Calgary-based country and western band was imported especially for UCQ’s Stampede event.
“It’s fun. I like it, especially the country music,” said Salanie Caleja, a nursing student whose family roots are in the Philippines. “The live band and the food. It’s great,” echoed Munachiso Bob-Ume, another nursing student.
With songs like Alberta Bound and Four Strong Winds serving as a soundtrack, Doha Stampede-goers dined on traditional flapjacks, popcorn and cotton candy. Hazelnut chocolate was the preferred pancake condiment over traditional Canadian maple syrup. Inflatable amusement rides kept the children entertained along with pony and camel rides.
Holding a miniature version of the Calgary Stampede in Doha was the brainchild of UCQ interim dean and CEO Sheila Evans. “We are relative newcomers to Doha and we want to let people of Qatar know who we are and why we are here,” she said. “The western Canadian and particularly Calgary values of friendship, hospitality and caring for your neighbours are core values. They are most visible in our cultural events such as the Stampede.”