Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Doha Museum of Islamic Art – Summer Visit

The Doha Museum of Islamic Art is open during the hottest part of the day. It must be that everyone else is travelling, or at home having lunch, taking a snooze or that they don’t know the museum is open – we had almost the entire museum to ourselves, and we felt like honored guests!

The museum is just beautiful, as beautiful as before. This time, without the crowds of people, I really had time to appreciate the interior, the beauty of the materials that went into this building, and the sound of water throughout, making you feel cool and refreshed.

And then, there is that never-ending view of the Doha skyline, seen through the windows overlooking the Gulf:


It just boggles my mind that we are encouraged to take photos, that photos are not forbidden. I love this photo; I am sorry it is not so sharp but if I had used a flash, I would have spoiled the moment. These two men had no idea I was taking their photo; I figure it is OK because you don’t know who they are, you can’t see their faces. I just loved these grizzled warriors examining an even earlier warrior.


I tried so hard not to breathe, still, there was some shake. Sometimes the shot you get is the shot you get.

These tiles draw me back to the museum again and again; I love the intersection of cross and star:

I used it in placemats for my mother, and in a quilt for my youngest sister:



The pattern still draws me, and I have some other ideas of how to use it . . . 🙂

If you have ever thought of visiting this museum, oh WOW, the summer is the time to do it at your leisure. It is quiet, and cool and calm; you can stop and reflect on the beauty of the collected pieces, you are not rushed, there is no one around but you and the guards. Go now! It is the perfect time to visit.

It’s also free. It’s free, it’s open to the public for free, no charge, just come enjoy the beauty. What an amazing gift to the people of Qatar. And to the rest of us!

June 22, 2009 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Public Art, Qatar | | 13 Comments

First Visitor to Doha; Souk al Waqif

We are very happy in Doha. This has to be one of the easiest moves we have ever made, even though I had to sell my car. 😦 We moved back into the same house on the same compound where we lived before. There is a whole learning curve I have already mastered – city layout, major roads, grocery stores, book stores, fabric stores, and major sights – been there! done that!

And yet, Doha has changed enough to still be stimulating and exciting.

Nonetheless, when I was contacted by a friend coming to Doha, with a little time to fill, I felt slightly daunted. We have had lots of visitors here; I tell them to come in November – February, March at the latest, except for Little Diamond, who has lived several places in the Middle East and knows exactly how hot it can be, and who copes with the differences.

I got to the hotel exactly as she and her husband were coming down – perfect timing. I had some suggestions, but what she wanted to do was what I love to do – see Souq Waqif and if we have time, see the new museum. Since they are only yards apart, I had a huge smile on my face.

The smile kept getting bigger – as we drove up to the Souq al Waqif, a truck left in the most perfect, shaded parking spot; THAT is God smiling, it has to be, parking places like that just don’t happen without help.

And, as it turn out, not only does she love the Souq Waqif, she also loves taking photos, so we had ourselves a wonderful time.

Not one single photograph with a person was taken without that person’s permission; not one single person said “no.” They were all “ahlen wa sahlen” (Welcome! Welcome!) It was a sweet morning, and although it was one of the hottest days of the year, it was dry, and the heat was bearable.


One of my favorite shops in the Souq al Waqif; he has all the things fishermen really need – from traps to twine:


The bird souk is active and beautiful:


It’s a real working souk, offering all kinds of household goods:


Look at the huge serving platters in the background – imagine them piled high with rice and mutton, or rice and chicken! Delicious!


This is the first time I have ever seen this store – it has only been open one month. Everything in it is made in Doha:



This was one of the nicest stops on our tour. The eqal maker and his helper are so gentle and full of good information.


We had a great time, a wonderful lunch at the Ispahan:


No time for a nap! On! On!

June 22, 2009 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Doha, ExPat Life, Friends & Friendship, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Photos, Shopping, Social Issues, Travel | 7 Comments

Drink White Tea, Lose Weight

New article from Real Age suggests we drink white tea to blast the fat cells and keep the weight off:

Drink This to Fight Fat

Have a little fat you’d like to lose? Maybe now is a good time to turn on the kettle and pour yourself a cup of this: white tea.

Made from the buds and early leaves of the same plants used to make green and black teas, white tea may have special fat-thwarting powers, a new study suggests.

Fat-Blasting Brew
Fat cells increase or decrease in size, according to your weight. And in a lab study, human fat cells treated with white tea extract accumulated significantly less fat. In fact, the white tea extract reduced the incorporation of fat by as much as 70 percent! The tea also seemed to stimulate the breakdown of fat from mature cells.

June 22, 2009 Posted by | Diet / Weight Loss, Hot drinks, News | 5 Comments