Pictures and Videos from National Day 2010

This was already on the front page of iLoveQatar.net but I just wanted to share this awesome video of fireworks going over the skyline. This is probably the BEST video I’ve seen on ND.

More pictures here http://iloveqatar.net/forum/read.php?5,26010

Even MORE pictures on the ILQ Flickr group http://www.flickr.com/groups/926592@N20/

Qatar National Day 2010 is coming!!

I’m sure that this national day is going to be a big one! With us winnning the 2022 World Cup as hosts, Qatar will probably want to show how awesome it can be.
Be warned though, if you are anywhere near the corniche, you’ll be stuck for a good couple of hours as people drive down on packed lanes, dancing, cheering, and waving flags.

Usually the westbay area has huge led screens showing different shows and arab celebrities (for those stuck in traffic and unable to watch the show on tv), trees are lit up with in themed colors (last year was purple and yellow), signs drip with led lights, banners and flags are waved all over the place and people parading to enjoy the festivities.

Around 6pm is when you should get on the corniche. That’s where you can see the sound and light show and enjoy the fireworks display. If you are lucky, you’ll also be able to get a table at Al Mourjan and enjoy some delicious food, desert, and if you’re partial to it, have some sheesha.

It’s going to be cold as usual, so make sure you come wearing a jacket. Last year was so amazingly cold and since the corniche is by the sea, I can assure you that you’ll regret not bringing something warm to wear.

So if you’re looking for a great guide to the events around Qatar (not just the official ones), visit http://www.nationalday2010.com You’ll find a bit of information about the history of Qatar, various events, some downloads, and you’ll also find some funny videos made by Qatar’s first Qatari comedian (and ILQ Ambassador), Mohammed Kamal! Thanks to Vodafone for helping ILQ put all this together. (To other companies, if you’re willing to partner up with ILQ and help us do other awesome stuff, please drop me a line!!)

Don’t forget to sign up to the ILQ newsletter. Registration on the site!

Think Pink and the Walk for Life

I just wanted to share this photo of the stage that was being set up for the Walk for Life. iLoveQatar.net has been supporting and sponsoring Think Pink for the 3 years now! We’re just so happy that there are these fantastic women that have taken the initiative to go out and unite people under this cause. My grand mother, God rest her soul, died from cancer. Inshallah Think Pink will show how this is such a serious disease. (Is it a disease?).

Eid’s almost here.

This Eid is particularly special because it’s coinciding with the pilgrimage to Haj.

Here’s some information on Umrah. http://iloveqatar.net/forum/read.php?24,16739

Here are some posts to edify you :)

It’s almost Eid! Celebrate Eid 2010 style!

A Qatari’s Eid

Merry Eidmas

Eid’s coming. Let’s party.

Ramadan Mubarak everyone!

Ramadan Mubarak! I hope that people will have a great experience of Ramadan this year.

If you’re interested in reading up a bit, then be sure to check out this threads and posts:

Ramadan in a nutshell

Ramadan isn’t just for Muslims

Luxurious Ramadan

Saying Ramadan Kareem

Ramadan Opening Hours Guide 2010

Garangao – A Child’s Dream (The 14th day of Ramadan)

ILQ will be launching a fantastic new Ramadan site this year and it’ll be used every year to let you know what’s going on in Qatar and as a useful guide :)

ILQ sponsors Fiesta Pinoy 2010

I really appreciate the Filipino community in Qatar. They work hard, they’re fun, they’re friendly, and they’re amazingly social!

So when one ILQ’s supporters told me that they wanted to spread some ILQ love, it was my pleasure to give them some support! I’m definately going to try and make Fiesta Pinoy 2011.

A few photos:

More here: ILQers go to fiest pinoy 2010

Celebrate Bahrain Grand Prix

Well guys, it’s Grand Prix time! And since I’m quite sad that I’m not in Bahrain (to enjoy my favourite dinner and shisha place called Don Vito), the closest thing I have is the fact that I can call Bahrain for a great rate.

Wow! What a segway there! Anyway, I was just told that calling Bahrain on Vodafone for the Grand Prix costs QR 0.69  per minute (so that’s the 12th to the 14th).

From the Crashed Ice event :)

Back from Vacation and now it’s time for ILQ 2010

Well I’m back! I wonder how many people missed my posts!

I have to admit that HongKong wasn’t as great as people made it out to be. I had a number of issues; a few of which were poor service and rudeness in shops. (I met some wonderful people too of course).

I had passed by Macau as well and stayed at the Wynn and to make a long story short, the lock in my room didn’t work, they had to fix the lock, the lock’s problem turned out to be bigger than they thought, I had to change my room, the room I was changed to was smaller, the lights stopped working at night, the ‘Tree of propserity” (which is one of the reasons I booked the Wynn), was down for maintanence, staff in the hotel were amazingly rude, and all I got at first was an apology and a bowl of fruit (two apples, an orange, a banana, and a guava….).

I told them that an apology means nothing and that I was going to write a letter to the management in US. After going out and coming back in, service was tremendously great… I was upgraded to an apartment suite, and even the managers carried my bags….  I was grateful… but still….

Having been upgraded on the final night pissed me off since all I got to enjoy was… well nothing much really since I went straight to bed.

HOWEVER, I have to say that the best hotel I’ve ever stayed in in my life is called The Mira. It’s amazing. Staff are fantastic and the design is gorgeous. It’s like the W Hotel, but it’s more stylish and you feel more personal. The staff go out of their way to make you feel at home. I wish we had a Mira in Qatar.

Anyway, going back go to Hong Kong. I had wanted to view some great fireworks and enjoy the new years, but sadly Hong Kong isn’t the place to go for new years. They don’t really have that much going on despite what some sites say. I’ve had first had experience (and so did a few others last year), and it’s nothing special. There are three places that have anything going on 1) The Harbour 2) TImes Square, and 3) Some park I forgot the name of.

The place to see fireworks is the harbour, so I went there to check it out. So I went ‘two hours’ in advance to get a good spot and the roads were already packed. As I was trying to pass through a mall entrance, staff stopped me and told me that I needed tickets… I asked how much and he told me $1,500. What?! No way! Then he told me they were sold out. “Screw that” I thought, and I decided to take another route. I asked a police man (from the many police there creating blockades) what was going to happen. He mentioned there would be a fireworks show that goes on for 4 minutes…..

Wait… 4 minutes… $1,500 dollars for 4 minutes. When I asked if I could go through, he said no because people have to pay. I was disappointed that it seemed that new years in HK was only for those willing to throw away money. New Years should be for everyone to rejoice…

“Screw that”, I thought again, I’m going to find another view since I don’t need to be so close to see the fireworks. Nope…. I was wrong.. Police had blocked every area where people could get a view of the fireworks. The streets were packed and full. It was an amazing sight. However many of them were very angry and I was worried for a moment there would be some sort of rebellion.

My lesson? HK is the last place to go for a New Year in Asia… :(

All in all though, I had a good time.

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.