Wednesday, December 16, 2009


December 18th is Qatar National Day (more on that in a later post). As part of the week leading up to National Day, there were a variety of events throughout the city. We took an afternoon to go out to see a camel dressage event.

We drove out into the desert, though not very far out of the city. For those who lived in/visited Las Vegas in earlier years, you can see why Qatar reminds us of Las Vegas sometimes.

Modern technology isn't stopped by the vast expanses of sand.

When we arrived, we found that there were a few other things in the same location including a poetry reading event, which took place later that day, though we were not able to stay for it.There was also a photography exhibit, and we had a chance to see some of the local traditional crafts/pastimes being displayed & demonstrated: fishing, embroidery, henna application, traditional foods, weaving, etc.

Falconing is a local sport. There were a few falcons on display, and a baby in training demonstrated catching a stuffed rodent. We also had a chance to "hold" the falcons, but with their hoods on.

Leoni even got up close with a baby falcon.
We then headed out to the stands to watch the camel events. We didn't know that the stands would have a Middle Eastern spin to them. You sat cross legged on cushions.Leoni got to play around on the cushions while we waited.

Things were definitely on "Qatar" time, so although the event was suppsed to start at 2pm, at 3pm, things were still not rolling, but we could see some camels lined up out in the distance.

look for the small silhouettes just above the red & white barricades

Finally, the camels started coming out. Nothing was announced, though it probably would have been in Arabic anyway, but it was fun to finally see some camels closer & watch them trot along.
We did not stay for the whole event, just long enough to get a feel for things. There were only a few other observers there as well. On our way out, we had no idea we would get to see camels even closer.

Leoni had practiced earlier, sitting on a camel saddle on display...

...And she was able to try out the real thing.

Travis & Lindsay each got a turn to actually ride one as well.

Preparing for dismount


  1. That is so neat that you are getting out and about! I've always wanted to ride a camel! I love that you both seem to look for the positive and unique things about Qatar.

  2. Did they spit a lot? I've heard camels are pretty dirty like that. :)

  3. That is so neat! Your daughter is so adorable!!! You guys are definitely having an adventure!
    And the stake president spoke in our ward on Sunday, but we didn't get a chance to meet him. Loved his talk though! Is your friend the pres. of the New York, NY stake?