Archive for events

Dear Laborers, Security Guards, Stay at home moms, People in the Office; everyone. Thank you.

Over at ILQ HQ, we’re always trying to think of fun and new ways of getting our message accross to people. Yeah we can do the usual Tweet or Facebook post, but I think that people appreciate the extra effort put into creating guides, microsites, and videos.

For National Day 2013, His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani shared something with everyone. It was going to be about #onelove and making an effort to show appreciation to the expat community here in the country. After all, we’re all coming together to build the future of this nation and help achieve Qatar’s 2030 vision.

With the video, of course we couldn’t cover all segments, but we wanted to highlight the contruction worker, the security guards, the western workers and the Qataris all coming together. Together, we’re building Qatar.

I should mention that the people in the video are considered twitter and online friends, I myself have friends from all national and occupational background. The message in this video, is that we need to support each other. We need to appreciate each other.

Oh and one more thing… Thank you.

All About Qatar National Day – A day to feel pride

Qatar is building on the number of events to celebrate National Day year on year. There are a number of huge milestones and events that have lead up to this as well. Qatar’s definitely in the spotlight thanks to mega event after event (World Cup, COP18, Arab Spring involvement, Katara expansions, etc… etc…) and Doha will continue to shine bright as long as changes keep happening.

Why are Qataris so proud? Well we haven’t had that much to be proud of for a long time. Our Emir has brought so much change and development to Qatar that it’s something to almost brag about. A typical Qatari will gladly sacrifice a lot for his country. The Emir has done so much to make our lives better, so why don’t we lift the burden off of his shoulders a bit and try to help?

So whether you’re Qatari, American, British, Indian, Philipino, Japanese, Korean, Lebanese, Pakistani, Chinese or any other nationality (let’s face it, Qatar is a melting pot of diversity), please celebrate National Day with us! Let happiness flow through you like a rush of energy. Think positive and have hope for a fantastic future. Think of each firework that goes off on December 18 as the sound of the country’s heartbeat. WE are Qatar.

One common question I’m asked is how is it that Qatar changed National Day’s date? It never changed. They’re thinking of Independence day, which is on the 3rd of September. Here’s some more info about National Day (from QatarNationalDay.qa):

On 18 December 1878, Sheikh Jassem bin Mohamed bin Thani succeeded his father as the ruler of Qatar. With that, Qatar became a country with a vision… a country that would find unity, grow rapidly, and reach toward ever higher heights.

National Day, also known as Founder’s Day, celebrates the rise of Sheikh Jassem as the father and founder of the State of Qatar. And yet this holiday is a mere two years old: it was founded in 2007 to give people an occasion to honour the history and identity of their country, and to commemorate those who have worked and continue to work to make Qatar a great nation.

The 18th of December is a special day – a day of unity for the people of Qatar. We want you to be a part of it!

This year, the country is making an extra effort to thank the expat community here too for all their hard work to make Qatar a better place :)

We’re working hard on www.qatarnationalday.qa again this year (5th year now?) so you can find all the events and great content for National Day.  Until then we’ve got a temporary list going, click here for Qatar National Day event list 2013

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Have an event or activity you want to make sure is listed? Drop the team an email at contact@iloveqatar.net


Get a 10% discount on tickets to Dralion by Cirque Du Soleil in Qatar!

 

Alright everyone, here’s a nice supruise for all you ajeeb ILQers. If you’re interested in attending Cirque Du Soleil’s Dralion, you can now get a 10% discount on tickets! Like the thought of that? Want to know more I hear you say?

Here’s what you need to do!

  1. Go to the Dralion ticketing website www.cirquedusoleil.qa
  2. Click on the ‘BUY; button
  3. Choose the date/seats
  4. Review your purchase and click ‘Continue’
  5. Type in the discount code “ILQ” (has to be all caps)
  6. One you apply the code the price will change and the green check mark will appear. And that’s it!

Want to find out more information about these great event? Click here for timings, the flyer, and details.
Oh and incase you didn’t know the event has been extended too! It now ends on the 28th.

Why did Qatar change their National Day? (A bit of Qatar’s history and Independence)

One common question I’m asked is how is it that Qatar changed National Day’s date? It never changed. They’re thinking of Independence day, which is on the 3rd of September.

On 18 December 1878, Sheikh Jassem bin Mohamed bin Thani succeeded his father as the ruler of Qatar. With that, Qatar became a country with a vision… a country that would find unity, grow rapidly, and reach toward ever higher heights.

National Day, also known as Founder’s Day, celebrates the rise of Sheikh Jassem as the father and founder of the State of Qatar. And yet this holiday is just a few years old: it was founded in 2007 to give people an occasion to honour the history and identity of their country, and to commemorate those who have worked and continue to work to make Qatar a great nation.

The 18th of December is a special day – a day of unity for the people of Qatar.

Now let’s talk about pre-independence. Qatar was in quite a mess during the Arab revolt against the Ottomans. After the Ottoman empire collapsed, Qatar became a British protectorate on 3 November 1916. On that day, the United Kingdom, in order to bring Qatar under its Trucial System of Administration, signed a treaty with Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani. While Sheikh Abdullah agreed not to enter into any relations with any other power without prior consent of the British Government, Percy Zachariah Cox, the Political Resident in the Persian Gulf, who signed the treaty on behalf of his government, guaranteed the protection of Qatar “from all aggression by sea”.

On 5 May 1935, Sheikh Abdullah signed another treaty, which was able to obtain Britain’s agreement for the protection of Qatar from inside as well as any attacks from external forces. Oil reserves were first discovered in 1939. However, exploitation was delayed by World War II.

Now September 3rd is when Qatar officially gained its independence from the United Kingdom and became an independent sovereign state. In 1972, Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani seized power in a palace coup after infighting in the ruling family.

Now you know. September 3rd and December 18 are both important dates :)

A Qatari’s Eid

 I thought that some people may find it interesting to know what goes on in Eid with my family.

The children wake up early in the morning. Excited. Playing. Waiting for the day to start. It’s Eid! The adults lay slumbering in their beds and wake up around 8-9 am (after waking up in the early morning for prayers and going to bed). After a hearty breakfast which consists of eggs, olives, honey, cream cheese, bread, and tea, it’s off for a quick shower and everyone puts on their brand new clothes that were specifically bought for Eid.

Eid is about celebration and about looking your best for your family as well.

It’s off to prayer before heading off to Baba Oad’s (Grand Father) house. All of the 50-60 cousins, 6 aunts and 6 uncles (as well as a huge amount of indirect relatives) arrive. The women go off to the sitting room, the men go off to their sitting room, and the children run around the house.

The general banter is usually along the lines of, “When are you getting married?”, “Why haven’t you been visiting more often?”, “Are you working hard?”, and “What have you been doing these days?”.

Children will come around and ask for Eidiya. This could be anything from 1 QR to 10 QR (more if you really like them ;) ) and then go out to ‘Ayid’ to the neighbours by singing songs and getting a few riyals in return. It’s our form of ‘caroling’.

When the children get back, they sit around and count their new found fortunes and plan what they’re going to buy.

Soon enough, it’s time for the feast. We all sit around the floor and dig into a selected slaughter. It sounds kind of cruel to some, but it’s an animal that is killed the Halal way (the most humane method possible where the animal feels no pain). Rice, drinks, lamb or sheep and chit chat.

After washing our hands, we then return the sitting rooms where we have a nice cup of tea (mint, red, or saffron), and relax.

The adults then slowly each return to their homes or go off to make their rounds to other close friends and relatives and wish them a prosperous future. Kil sina wa inta tayeb or kil am wa int ibkhair (every year and you are fine) is repeated from individual to individual.

What we did was head off to a coffee shop where myself and cousins chatted about memories and teased each other. What I was thinking about this year was that it was sad that the new young generation will not get to experience Eid the way that we did. Not many go out to different homes and mix with other town kids. It’s sad. The price of modernization.

 

Note: This is just a memory from my personal experience. Also read ‘We’re not the Borg!


Photo by Jeff Epp

You may also be interested in:

It’s Almost Eid! 

Eid’s almost here.

 

 

Garangao in Qatar 2013 – The Festival of Children (and the Garangao song)

It’s almost time to celebrate Garangao [Ga-ran-ga-oh] (or sometimes called Gir-ga-oon)

Garangao, celebrated on the 14th day of Ramadan, is special to the Gulf region , particularly Qatar, and is believed to have its roots in the pearl-diving tradition of the region. Over the years, the festival has gained more popularity with several expatriates joining the celebrations.

In the evening, children, clad in their traditional clothes, will come out of their homes and knock on every door in their neighbourhood, which will be ready to receive them with sweets and nuts. They collect the goodies in the special cotton bags, hanging loosely from their necks. Kids will be seen wandering around the streets until late into the night singing the special Garangao song.

Now people are not just interested in buying the goodies, but they go for the specially designed packets and bags decorated with popular cartoon characters and other symbols dear to the children. So shops are vying to offer new and attractive designs. The prices of these packets range from QR5 to QR50, according to the size and varieties of the goodies.

Several Qatari clubs and organizations, which are instrumental in popularizing the festival, have come out with a variety of cultural events to mark the occasion, as in the previous years.

I remember when I was young, we’d all go around singing songs to the different homes and filling our bags with sweets! (I got really annoyed when I had mostly nuts) It was great! I encourage all nationalities to enjoy this festive occassion :)

We’ve got loads of events listed on www.ramadan.qa so check it out!
We’ve listed Aspire, Katara, Lagoona, QMA, DFI and more.

 

The Garangao song!

Here’s the song! Play it loud!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7kpZEKgvQU&feature=player_embedded

Lyrics:

Garangao Girga oh.
Atoona allah yateekum
Bayt Mecca ya wadeekum
Ya Mecca Yal mamoora
Yam il salasil wal thahab ya noora
Atoona min mal allah
Yislam lakum Abdulla.

Now this part of the song is special. You usually end it with the family name or the name of the father of the house (if you know it). So the ending of the song changes. For example:

Khalifa:
Atoona dahbat leefa
Salam Ala Khalifa

Translation:

Garangao Girga oh
Give us what God gave you
To Mecca he’ll take you
The greatly filled Mecca
Covered with tassles, gold and light
Give us what God  have given
Abdulla greets you with smiles

Khalifa:

Please give me us a bit of sweets

Please say hi to Khalifa.

 

So who’s going to be the first person to memorize and sing the song?

HAPPY GARANGAO EVERYONE!

 

Ramadan Mubarak everyone! (We’ve got Tents, Events, and more!) – Ramadan 2013

Ramadan Mubarak! Mubarik Alaykum il shahar.

I hope that everyone has a great Ramadan period, and whether you are Muslim or not, there’s a lot to do in Qatar during this time.

www.ramadan.qa (also accessed at www.Ramadan-Mubarak.com) has launched and it’s even bigger and better than last year’s effort.

Three years ago, we launched a real first…our site got lots of attention by helping people find out about all the wonderful things happening during Ramadan in Qatar. So we had a challenge: How do we take what we did and make it even MORE useful year on year? This year we’ve partnered up with Vodafone again as well as got some support from Katara and QF Radio!

The beauty of www.ramadan.qa is that it’s so simple. Not only is it easy to navigate but there are some great features!

We’re Mobile & Appified!
It only made sense to create a mobile version of the site. The next evolution was to launch an App for iOS and Android. We’re almost there! We took www.ramadan.qa and shrunk the site into a useful mobile tool. It looks and feels like an app as well for those that don’t want to download the app! So get tap-tap-tapping on your smartphones! Don’t have one? Don’t worry, the mobile version works on most devices! :)  Oh and if you’re a Vodafone customer, it’s free to visit the site!

We’ve got an app for that!
Whether you are on the site or on your mobile, we’ve got a list of great Ramadan-related apps to download. We’ve listed apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberries, AND we’ve added OVI support. Just click your favourite app’s icon to download!

We’re Dynamic!
The website’s background changes depending on the time of day.
☾ In the morning the sky is dim and a sun rises
☾ During the day the sun shines bright, birds fly around and the wind gently sways the hanging lanterns
☾ For sunset—and because it’s so rare for us to enjoy a beautiful one in real life—our site’s sunset begins 15 minutes before night, so if you’re lucky enough to be on our website at exactly the right time you’ll see a brilliant orange sky.
☾ When it’s time to break your fast, the moon pops out, the lanterns light up, and the stars twinkle.
☾ We’ve also got some fun messages that pop up while you’re on the site. “Whoa, it’s hot outside!”

Why is this special?
Because it’s a fun way of letting people know when its time to break their fast! Don’t have a calendar? Have a calendar but don’t know what time it is? Just visit the site and if you see the moon, you can break your fast. It’s also a tool for kids!

We’re social!
☾ Sharing is caring:
You’ll notice Twitter, Facebook, the ‘Like’ button, and the new Google +1 button on the site. So sharing the site is extremely simple! Go ahead! Click on our LIKE and +1 buttons.
☾ Tents and Events:
-During Ramadan many people meet up at night at various tents and events to be together and socialize. If you’re looking for a calendar of events, then our site is here for you. Our calendar will constantly be updated as we get wind of more events!
-Last year people asked for more events besides simply the ones at hotels, and so we’re working hard to get as much as possible on there! Got an event yourself? Let us know so we can add it to the site!

Send an eCard!
We’ve created some very nice and colorful Ramadan cards for you to send out to family and friends. All you need to do is select your image, type in your message, position the message so that it’s in just the right spot, and click send!
Love the card? You can save it in MMS format so that you can transfer it to your mobile and send it to anyone through your mobile!
Don’t see an image you like? You can upload your OWN image and send it out as an ecard!
We love choices!

Ramadan 101
We know that some people might not know what Ramadan is all about, so we’ve included an “About Ramadan” tab on the site. If you want to brush up on your understanding of Ramadan, then visit this section for: when it is, what it’s about, dates and times, tips about eating, drinking and smoking, dress code, and other special considerations.

Convenient Prayer and Iftar times!
We’ve tried to make your life as easy as possible when it comes to knowing when to pray and when to break your fast.
☾ We’ve got a full Ramadan calendar on our site
☾ You can download the calendar to your phone or desktop
☾ You can register to receive SMS notifications
☾ You can pick up a pocket calendar in store
Prayers, Quran Verses, and Tips Via SMS

As a new addition this year, Vodafone customers can also subscribe to receive daily prayers and verses from the Quran, audio clips, tips and recipes during the holy month of Ramadan.

Hilal: Receive a prayer, hadith, oandDua.
Text 1 to 97244 to receive this package every day for a month for only QR20

Badir: Receive a prayer, hadith, dua, and an audio file.
Text 2 to 97244 to receive this package every day for a month for only QR30

Sihatik: Receive a daily health tip for FREE.
Text Sihatik to 97799 to receive this message every day for a month for FREE.



Special Forces drive Porsches

No Dr. Sues ryhming action intended! Regardless, who wants to join the forces with me? They’re giving away Porsches :P

We’ve partnered up with Red Bull to launch ’60 Seconds’

Screening Date: December 6, 2012
Time: 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Venue: HBKU Student Centre, Education City

Red Bull 60 Seconds is coming to Qatar to give all university students the opportunity to show how creative they can be, in 60 seconds, with the “WINGS” concept. Students compete individually or in teams of three and film a 60 seconds clip with any HD camera / smartphone. The competition’s theme is “WINGS” so it is up to the teams to figure out how creative wings can get. All the submitted clips will be screened on December 6, 2012 at HBKU Student Center, Education City – THE CINEMA.

Clips will be judged on:
- Creativity
- Theme relevance
- Music integration

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

- All students must submit their student ID number upon registration
- All teams must ensure that content filmed respects Qatari laws
- Maximum number of team members is 3
- At least one member from the team must attend the screening on December 6, 2012
- Clip may be in any language
- Profane language or content will lead to immediate disqualification

SUBMISSION DATES

November 25, 2012: Entry Opens
December 4, 2012: Entry Closes
December 6, 2012: Clip Screening and Judging

To register: redbull60seconds@qa.redbull.com
Technical queries: +974 66004820

RSVP on Facebook to attend! Click here

The Qatar Choice Awards Gala Dinner – We all did it! The people chose their favourites!

Hey everyone! We’ve finally finished the Qatar Choice Awards video thanks to a great ILQ supporter alexklim.com (please show him some support and visit his page).

Please share this video! ^_^

We told you that we’d put together a fabulous event and award ceremony and we hope that you feel that we kept our promise.

The video celebrates the winners and hopefully we’ll see more of you attending next year!

The ILQ – iloveqatar.net, Qatar Happening, and Diyafa Qatar are already planning next year and of course we hope to give you all an even bigger voice :)

Now head on over to the forums and join the great community! Stop hanging out on facebook all the time. –> ILQ FORUMS

Freedom of Expression

    Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which the Qatari Government is a signatory of states: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any medias and regardless of any frontiers.

    The Emiri Decision Number 86 of the year 2007 on the establishment of the Doha Free Information Centre marked yet another step towards establishing a State of rights and freedom of speech. The decision stipulated that the Centre be a non-profit organization, headquartered in Doha City, and have the authority to establish other affiliated centres inside and outside Qatar. It is worth mentioning that His Highness the Emir issued a decision in 1998 annulling the ministry of information, giving birth to a new era of freedom of speech where censorship was removed from local media.