Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I Live Here

I have been thinking a lot lately about the fact that I LIVE in Qatar.  When we moved here in 2009, most of our friends and family had never heard of Qatar let alone knew where it was.  When we arrived, we heard about how much Qatar had grown in the preceding few years.  That growth has increased even more, and four years later, the population has nearly doubled.  It seems like so many more people know someone who lives in Qatar, and this small little country has been brought into international news several times recently due to the World Cup 2022 announcement to the political involvement in the Middle East.  I have learned more about Islam than I knew previously, and I have made friends from all over the world.  I have a greater appreciation for my own life and the blessings that I have had.  Here are a few pictures of my city, Doha, Qatar.

A view of the Doha skyline & dhows

Doha at night

Mohammad Bin Abdulwahab Mosque (the State Mosque) at night
see a video of the inside here

A view at night from above

Camel Crossing

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Katara Eid Festivities

We headed out to Katara for the last day of Eid festivities.  They were holding a special water, laser, firework show.  Our kids were not too thrilled with the firework show although we made sure not to position ourselves by the speakers this year.  The gelato, on the other hand, was a hit, which was no surprise but welcome since there was actually indoor seating,

Part of the amphitheater

The Golden Mosque

Eating hot dogs

Checking out Ramadan/Eid lights

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Just a reminder - parks are not for biking, playing, walking your dog, or having a cookout.  This has been a public service announcement from your Doha Park & Recreation Department.

Really, this is a sign found in most parks here.  Don't worry, however, they sell ice cream and hamburgers in many of the parks so you won't starve.  You just can't exercise off the calories.

Public Phone Booth

I am not even sure that phone booths exist in the US anymore.  Most of the phone booths I knew of were being removed a few years ago.  It is the same here, but we found this one in the park, and it actually works.  We had to take pictures to show the kids one day that they saw some of the last remaining examples of this extinct object.

Heritage Village Eid Festivities

We headed to Heritage Village, which is based on a traditional Qatari village.  It was built in 2001 and is only open for holidays and festivals, and we have never managed to visit it.  We went for their Eid festivities.  We took a picnic to the neighboring park, and we were quickly drenched in summer sweat.  

The kids were more impressed with the swings and sand than the people dressed up as Popeye characters dancing on the stage of the heavily air conditioned tent.  There were also kids performing traditional dances, but we didn't watch for long.

From the rotunda on the little lake where we ate

In front of the dhow model carver

Other traditional handicrafts

Enjoying  the swings

A dhow

Along a "street" in the village

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Cannon

“The method of firing the cannon was to announce it was iftar time, because at that time there were no watches on hands and clocks in houses,” said Dr. Mohamad Ouedi, professor of Modern Arab History at the Institute of Diplomatic Studies in Saudi Arabia. “Also, modern technology, such as devices that amplify sound, did not exist at the time.”(see full article)

In many areas of the Arab World, including Doha, this tradition continues, so we went to participate.  We arrived about 20 minutes before sunset.  There was one family there, but many others arrived very quickly, and within 10 minutes, quite a crowd had gathered.  There was a group of military there in charge of the event.  They were passing out candy to all the children.  It was gummy candy, which Burke thought was vitamins, or he thinks vitamins are candy.  Hmmm... Travis was interviewed by a French journalist, who asked why we were there.  As he stated, we want to expose our children to the culture we are living in so that they can be aware and appreciate others.

The cannon

Uncooperative attempts at a picture

We were the mean parents who didn't let our kids climb onto the cannon.

But we did let them play in the dirt.

Loading the cannon

There was a gun fire first to signal for the cannon to fire.  I found this picture from the Gulf Times showing the firing of both.

I was glad I had the kids plug their ears.  I didn't because I was taking pictures, and my ears were ringing for a few seconds following.

This was actually the first picture Travis took.  The lens fogged up due to 75%+ humidity.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Mary Poppins Revisited

Leoni frequently dresses as one of her favorite heroines.  We recently added her own Mary Poppins umbrella.

And, watching the movie in costume is imperative.