Saturday, May 29, 2010

Water Sports

Water skiing in Doha. Qatar is a peninsula and Doha is on the eastern edge, so finding water is pretty easy. I went water skiing with some friends and did pretty well for not having stood on water for several years. Gas is so cheap here (about $0.70/gallon) that it's pretty easy to justify playing with toys that require gas.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Photography exhibit

We went to a photography exhibit with the Tibbitts. Diane had read about it, and we were glad to find out as well (articles here and here). It showcased some of the oldest known photos of Doha (as well as other Gulf areas), taken by a German traveler, Hermann Burchardt, from 1903-1904. It was fascinating. The photos are taken from the original negatives, which are housed in Berlin, Germany. They have also been published in a German book, some of which can be previewed here.

We couldn't take pictures of the pictures, but this is a mosque at the Cultural Village where the exhibit took place.

While I was looking for links, I came across this site that also has old photos of Doha. Pretty interesting.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Leoni is able to get the cap off pens now. (And by the time this is posted, she also knows how to use click pens as well.) Here she is taking notes on us.

Handball sidenote

Travis posted about the IHF semi-finals we attended, but he forgot to mention one of my favorite moments. Going to find out what edible fare was being offered and finding it to be cheap shawarma instead of hotdogs.

Friday, May 21, 2010

IHF Super Globe 2010

We went to the International Handball Federation Super Globe 2010 competition. We had never seen a live game of handball, and I really wanted to because I don't know of many opportunities to attend in the US. Plus, tickets were super cheap. It seems that the government must subsidize visiting athletic competitions because Doha hosts quite a few various competitions, and tickets are very affordable. In January, we missed out on seeing the top tennis players in the Qatar Exxon-Mobile Open because we didn't jump on it when we first heard about it. However, we did witness part of the Tour of Qatar (cycling) in February. Winters are very mild here, so they set up the Tour of Qatar as an early event in the pro-cycling season. Currently, Qatar is bidding to host the World Cup in 2022.

Anyway, handball was rather interesting. I would describe it as a cross between basketball and soccer. We went to the semi-final matches and watched Spain v. Lebanon and Qatar v. Egypt. Spain won the whole tournament, but the Qatar v. Egypt match was rather intense. Naturally, there was a hometown crowd, but Egypt was also well represented because of the large number of Egyptians working here. However, the teams were not completely "ethnically pure." I assumed the Qatar team would be fielded by Qataris, and so on. Instead, there were players from multiple ethnicities on all the teams - quite a few Eastern Europeans, as evidenced by names ending in -vic.

Egypt is in white, attempting a goal on the Qatar goalkeeper.
Notice the fan sections in the background.
Comparing it to a college game,
the crowd on the left would be the student section,
and the one on the right would be the alumni section.

This is the "Garmin - Transitions" team.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Qatar National Museum

Back in January, I had a hand in helping plan an outing for 8-11 year old girls (Activity Days) to visit the Qatar National Museum. We were going to talk about being a good citizen where ever you live and what that means. I had tried to contact the museum several times for details, but I was having trouble getting someone to answer the phone, which is not uncommon. I finally did get an answer, but the person didn't speak much English, but at least I knew they were there.

I headed over on a Thursday, planing to make a worksheet to help the girls stay interested and learn a little about the country (the outing was scheduled for Saturday). Upon arrival, I was taken back by the desolate parking lot, but I figured that it may not be a popular attraction. That was, until the "ticket window" slid open. We walked over to talk to the guard inside, who told us in broken English, "Closed. Museum closed. Come back, one year."

Well, the outing was canceled, and I thought maybe we would go back in a year when it reopens. A few days ago, I read this. I guess we'll have to push that visit back a few more years. The prospective renovations, however, look impressive.