Mohammed Assaf's vocals in key at Qatar event unveiling world's largest key

Published May 18th, 2016 - 05:45 GMT
Arab sensation Mohammed Assaf performs at Katara for unveiling of ‘Largest Key in the World.’ (Facebook)
Arab sensation Mohammed Assaf performs at Katara for unveiling of ‘Largest Key in the World.’ (Facebook)

Qatar set yet another Guinness World Record feat last night for the ‘Largest Key’, which was previously held by Cyprus in 2006.

The gigantic key, dedicated to all the refugees around the world, was unveiled in a spectacular show at the Katara Amphitheatre last night featuring Palestinian Arab Idol winner Mohammed Assaf.

Mohammad Assaf is a singing sensation from Palestine and came to the limelight after winning the second season of the popular reality show Arab Idol.

He is known for his rendition of well-known Arabic love songs and patriotic hymns for the Palestinian cause.

A biopic “The Idol” was made by Academy Award-nominated Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad based on his story. This was part financed by the Doha Film Institute.

“This key is a symbol for all the refugees in the world. We want to set a Guinness World Record to say that it is the right of these refugees to return back home. Actually this is linked particularly to Palestinian refugees. 

“We hope through this event we would be able to tell the Palestinians, the Arab world and all the refugees around the world that one day we will have to return back to our home,” Wessam Sowelem, General Manager of Ard Canaan Restaurant, told The Peninsula on the sidelines of the event.

Ard Canaan which means ‘Canaan land’ is a soon-to-open Palestinian restaurant in Katara which has spearheaded the initiative. “We are sponsoring this event tonight with the help of Katara and hopefully we’ll succeed to make this key an icon for all the refugees. 

“We are happy to do this in Qatar because Qatar has always been supporting refugees worldwide. We appreciate the Qatari government and Katara for the support,” he said.

“Weighing around 2.7 tonnes, the key is 7.8-metre long and 3-metre wide, which beats the previous record of Cyprus which was 5.5m by 2.6m, according to Sowelem. It is made of steel from an actual functioning key’s material and proportional dimensions. 

“It was a tough process which took 45 days to complete and we would like to thank Delta Fabco, the local company in Qatar which created the giant key,” he said. He stressed that the key will be gifted to and will stay in Katara to show the world Katara’s usual support for heritage worldwide. 

Around 4,000 people filled the Katara Amphitheatre to witness the unveiling of the enormous key and enjoy the concert highlighted by the performance of the young Palestinian singer who is the first United Nations Relief and Works Agency regional youth ambassador for Palestine refugees.

“We expect around 3,500 to 4,000 people, half of whom came by invitation,” said Sowelem, adding 50 percent of the proceeds from ticket sales would go to Qatar Red Crescent.

The reveal of the record-making key came ahead of the opening of Ard Canaan Restaurant set to be a significant addition to the constellation of food outlets which have become one of the attractions in Katara as a leading destination in the country.

“Hopefully in a couple of weeks we are going to open here in Katara one of the best restaurants called Ard Canaan which will showcase the Palestinian cuisine and heritage. We hope we will have our soft opening by Ramadan.”


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