Years of Culture



Winners of the Manga Style Competition Announced


To celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Qatar and Japan, Years of Culture shared an open call for Manga enthusiasts in Qatar to enter their original stories into the Manga Style! Competition, with fantastic prizes to be won.
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Years of Culture present the second edition of Manga Style!

Ten years from when Qatar’s manga enthusiasts first had the chance to flex their storytelling muscle, Years of Culture brought back the “Manga Style!” competition for the second time. This year’s competition was organised to mark the 50-year anniversary of diplomatic relations between Qatar and Japan, and as part of robust cultural ties established during the Qatar-Japan 2012 Year of Culture. Competition participants were invited to submit visually dynamic stories that showcased both countries’ cultures under the theme of “Friendship.”  

The Legacy of the Qatar-Japan 2012 Year of Culture

The ”Manga Style!” competition is an opportunity to bring together two distinct cultural legacies steeped in rich storytelling practices – the Arab world’s renowned oral storytelling traditions brought to life through vibrant manga-style illustrations. Manga are a series of comics or graphic novels.

Incredibly, many of the participants from the original edition were excited to compete and show off a decade worth of creative growth. Overall, more than 40 artists entered the 2022 edition of “Manga Style!” for a chance to win monetary and profile-raising prizes. 

An event for Manga Enthusiasts in Doha

It quickly became clear that Doha is now home to a growing community of manga and anime enthusiasts, many of whom joined Years of Culture at an Anime Café over the summer as artists planned the manga storylines they would submit to “Manga Style!” The event featured an on-the-spot manga competition, during which attendees were invited to create a one-page manga and showcase their talents for a chance to win exciting prizes. 

More than 30 artists joined Khalifa Al-Haroon, founder of I Love Qatar and owner of Store 974, who also served as a judge for the mini-manga competition alongside Aljazi Saeed Al Khayareen, Years of Culture Initiative Legacy Programme Coordinator.

Not even the hour-long time limit could stymie the incredible talent in the room that day. Talent of all ages shone through, with friends and family helping participants take in the fun.   

Choosing the Manga Style! Competition Winners

But nothing prepared the judges for the breadth and depth of talent on display as they reviewed “Manga Style!” entries. Representatives from the Department of Cultural diplomacy, the embassy of the State of Qatar in Tokyo, the Embassy of Japan in Qatar and Geekdom – Doha Film Institute, had such a hard time choosing the winners that the final announcement was postponed several times. Behind the scenes, judges lobbied for favourites and sought to make an almost impossible choice for the top four place winners.

In the end, five winners were awarded First, Second, Third and Fourth place prizes instead of the three originally intended. 

At Years of Culture, we are proud and honoured to have had a small role to play in nurturing this incredibly creative and supportive community. Here’s to many more collaborations in the future! 

Manga Style! Competition

The Winners

After receiving so many impressive entries, we are delighted to announce the following top five winners of the Manga Style! Competition...


Unexpected Friendship by Noora Al Subaey

An illustrated Manga style drawing of a teal carry-on suitcase with small cartoon flowers scattered on the ground


Mr. Friend by Mai Kubaisi

Manga-style illustration of three men holding weapons, one is dressed as a prehistoric caveman holding a clubManga-style illustration of three men holding weapons, one is dressed as a prehistoric caveman holding a club


Add a Friend by Manah Ali Al-Ahbabi

Cartoon illustration of two young boys with brown hair in an open-top jeep with Qatari and Japanese flag stickers


H&H Path of Friendship by Choy Salonga

Manga style illustration of two women side by side, one wearing a traditional Japanese kimono, the other in traditional Qatari dress.


Friendship Beyond The Borders by Rashed Al-Kuwari

Years of Culture Logo, with the name in English with Arabic above, and a vertical zig zag, representing the flag of Qatar.