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

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It’s Almost Eid! 

Eid’s almost here.

 

 

Red Bull Flying Bach in Qatar – Check out this invitation

I received this from RedBull Qatar. It’s for their upcoming Flying Bach event which sold out almost instantly. It’s happening at Katara (ILQ’s home). www.katara.net

Check it out! We need more of this ajeebness to spread around Qatar.

Events, Happenings, and Awesomeness in Qatar (We’re on Radio too!)

One of the most popular sections of iLoveQatar.net is our events listings and we’ve been growing! In fact, we’ve listed over 1,000 events to date! That means that since the site started, we’ve listed enough events to keep you occupied every single day! You can visit our event section here: http://iloveqatar.net/forum/list.php?27 (btw you can post your own events there) and soon the link will change to www.iloveqatar.net/events

We then decided to launch a twitter channel called @Qatarevents which has been keeping everyone on twitter in the know. We’ve got thousands of visitors too!

Next up was a monthly newsletter. Some of you might know it by now. It’s called ‘The Buzz’. We figured that some people might want a monthly dose of what’s going on, articles, hot topics, and fun stuff rather than daily info. (I recommend signing up to it of course, I think it’s pretty cool.)

Now although people visit our ILQ facebook page for an awesome community, we thought that some people may JUST want an events feed on Facebook too, so we just recently launched Qatar Events on Facebook.

So we took a breather, took a sip of our gahwa (that’s Arabic for coffee btw), looked around the room and then felt like we hadn’t done enough. So we started working on the new events section. We wanted it to look simple, be easy to search, and easy to submit events too. So we came up with this! (See the two screenshots). We like it, and we’re sure you’ll like it too. It’s going to go live VERY soon and what’s better is that you can sign in with Twitter and Facebook if you want to leave a comment or ‘favourite’ your events.

It’s great to know that our hard work was appreciated because we’ve now got a regular spot every Thursday at 6pm with @FinnertyLaura on her show. Tune in and you’ll hear about the upcoming events for the weekend and the next 7 days.  You’ll be able to hear either myself Khalifa (a.k.a Mr. Q), Bassam, or Zhan!

It’s easier than ever to tune into QF Radio. Got an iPhone? Download their app here. On a computer? Visit their site here for a live stream. In your car, then tune into 93.7 FM

Anyway! If you’ve got an event, please do share it with us by emailing events@iloveqatar.net

Loads happened and even more happening!

It’s been an incredibly busy week. So what have I been up to the past weekend? Well I sponsored or partnered up with a number of events.

ILQ was a part of Think Pink (Walk for Life), Woofstock, QSports Leagues and Arab Games Basketball in the mall, ILQ women’s volleyball team entry to semi-finals, and a special Calvin Klein and ILQ joint event at Landmark.

Here are links to some pics if you’re interested!

Pics from CK Shock and ILQ special event

Pics from Think Pink Walk for Life

Pics from Woofstock

So what’s ILQ a part of and that’s coming up? You’ve got Beachfest, ASQAT Beach Clean Up, The Red Carpet 3 (with SISQO), Qatar Investors Window, The League of Extraordinary Comedians Vol. 5, Cool Runnings, and I’m sure there’s something I’ve forgotten.

I love have iLoveQatar has grown to becoming an integral part of helping to make Qatar a better place and a country that’s more vibrant and exciting

So although there’s no room for excuses, that’s why I’ve been silent from blogging for quite a while. There’s just quite a lot going on. All the while, I’ve been focusing on getting the NEW events section on ILQ ready. Still a way to go since I’m very picky about the design and user experience.

If you want to stay up to date with what’s happening, make sure to check out ILQ’s Events section, Qatar Events on Twitter, Qatar Events on Facebook, ILQ on Facebook, Sign up to the ILQ newsletter, or pick up a copy of Qatar Happening :)

All the stuff ILQ is sponsoring these coming months!

Hey there everyone, I thought I’d take the time to go ahead and update you all on what I’ve got iLoveQatar sponsoring these next few months. For those that don’t know, ILQ spends profit made off of any advert banners you see on charitable causes and to support the local community. The goal at the end of the day is simple, to make Qatar a better place! Somewhere that everyone can be proud of :)

Filipino Movie for Tribeca Film Festival

A bunch of guys from the Filipino community put together a great Filipino film as a submission for the Tribeca Film Festival. When they got into a bit of a jam and needed some support, ILQ jumped in to help them finish the project. This is Qatar’s first Filipino movie and we’re proud to have supported Global Pinoys and to be a part of another great first :)

It’s called “I Love You Maam”, a story about a girl who fell in love with her teacher back in college. Two years later they meet up again, in Doha… In the same school… Both as teachers… That’s when things get complicated. My favourite scene is when they’re surfing ILQ :P

Trailer - http://iloveyoumaam.com/

 

Ministry of Sound World Tour

Global DJ’s contacted ILQ to help support their latest event. This time the Ministry of Sound decided that they’re stopping by Doha as part of their World Tour on the 29th of September at the Intercon Beach. I don’t really like simply sponsoring a project with funding. I think that it’s a bit… cold, so I prefer helping to ‘activate’ an event. We help get the word out, provide some gifts, fun giveaways, I(Heart)Qatar shirts and stickers, take photos, and of course no party would be complete without some ILQ beachballs thrown into the crowd. I’ll be giving away some FREE tickets! So stay tuned! More information here.

 

QSports

Now these guys are doing something that I’ve been waiting for, for ages. Not only is QSports supported by the Qatar Olympic Committee but they’re now supported by ILQ as well. We’ll be sponsoring teams who can’t afford basic entry fees or uniforms on a case by case basis :) Interested? Registrations is FREE. So what do they do? They organize sports tournaments that you can register to be a part of. Want to play football and don’t know where to go or even have enough players for example? QSports solves that!

They’re still looking for more sponsors in case you work for a company that might be interested! Visit qsportsleagues.com for more information or to sign up!

They’ll also be posting their latest events and sports related news in the Sports sections of our forums :)

 

Evo Sports Academy’s Super Sports Day

This one’s thanks to Bassam. Evo Sports Academy decided that they wanted to get people active in Qatar. They went to Bassam with a mission; they wanted to help youngsters in Qatar pick a sport they’re good at, perhaps one that they never thought of trying before. Bassam gave the Evo Sports team an excited grin and we were in. Imagine! Helping people live a more active and healthy life-style! Oh and did we mention that it’s free? Yep! 6-16 year olds can enjoy football, basketball, netball, dance, and karate! Just come on down to the Doha Rugby Club on Saturday September 17th from 9am to 2pm. There’ll be coaching sessions, live DJ, BBQ, giveaways, competitions, and a bouncy castle too! Oh and if you go on down, you can probably get a free sports shirts with the ILQ logo on it too! Visit www.evosportsqatar.com for more.

 

Qatar Investors Window

The team over at UCI International contacted us and let us know that they were organizing a partnership with the Qatari Businessmen Association. Their focus is to showcase investment opportunities Qatar has to offer, bringing potential investors to the region to share knowledge and discuss valuable business opportunities. Since winning the 2022 World Cup, there’s definately going to be a lot of people that get attracted to Qatar. It’s exciting to think about all of the change that’s going to happen in the coming years. We’re their supporting partners and as such I think I should it would be best to give you the more information don’t you think? It’s on the 21st of November at the Grand Hyatt and one their keynote speaker is James Caan, the CEO of Hamilton Bradshaw and one of the Dragons from BBC’s Dragons’ Den. Did you know that Peter Jones from the Dragons’ Den is also a partner of mine? More information at www.uciinternational.com

 

Humanisation of Cities of Tomorrow

We partnered up with Naseba many times in the past. We think we make a good team actually. Last year, ILQ also supported this event and we got a standing ovation since Bassam was a speaker. So what’s it all about? Well on October 4th and 5th, global city leaders, ministries and influential people will get together and share their insights and thoughts as to how we can all work together to build a better future. There’ll be different pavilions under different themes “Knowledge”, “Urban”, “Power”, “Well-being”, “Hospitality”, “Green” and “Infrastructure. I’m very excited about the summit and hope that some great change will come out of this. One of the things that Bassam and I often talk about is encouraging future businesses to focus on partnership models and coopetition. More info at www.cityhumanisation.com

 

 

Green Programme for Schools

I’m going to start to start this off by saying… I’m disappointed… This is a fantastic cause. The goal of GPS is to educate children in schools as to the importance of taking care of the environment. Sounds like a great cause right? Well why haven’t many people ‘liked’ their facebook page then? Look, it takes two seconds and it shows them that you care! Go on visit http://www.facebook.com/GPSQatar I’ll wait…. I’m waiting….. Done? Hope so!

 

Inshallah partnering and sponsoring these different events makes Qatar a better place. What do you guys think? Good job?

The Big Day Out comes to Qatar! All you need to know.

Time to edify! People are probably wondering, “where’s the next rant or humorous misadventure?”, well I’m here to say that this latest blog is all about fun again and making a difference in the world! The guys over at Global DJs contacted iLoveQatar with a simple thought, “How can we do something that will be fun, engaging and memorable?” We brainstormed a bit and we discussed wanting to be as inclusive as possible.

We didn’t want this to be ‘one-type-of-person-type-of-party’; and so the Big Day Out was born. A two day festival (14th for all ages and 15th for 21+) and bands from the US, UK, Romania, Jamaica, Qatar, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Philippines and more would be coming. Awesome, so we’ve got all age groups and different nationalities, what next? How long should the event be per day? All day if we can! (15th is from 2pm to 2am). That way we can make sure that everyone can come on down any time of day. Next? Types of acts! We’ve got some current celebrities, some amazing blasts from the pasts, fast rising stars, and local acts. SWEEET, so we’ve got different types of acts but what big bands do we bring over? And so, as if SNL had inspired us a few weeks earlier, we signed up Hoobastank. Next? It’s becoming hot now and Qatar’s got a great deal of something it’s called SUNSHINE (You probably thought that I was going to say Cruisers or Sand, but sadly there’s no famous song for that), so we signed up Aswad and made sure that they were going to perform their smash hit ‘Shine’. Now we need to make sure that people dance until the moon comes out, you know it, we’ve got TopLoader signed too. The list goes on. 16 bands long actually! Click here for the full line up.

You can find some information here www.iloveqatar.net/bigdayout

Just to add more on that, this is Qatar’s first music festival, we’ve created a festival that mirrors Qatari society. Qatar is a great country that is a melting pot for all nationalities to come, live, and even help build this country. We wanted the festival to reflect the many different nationalities in Qatar.

At the event there will also be competitions to win prizes such as iPods, iPhones and Blackberries. Vodafone will also be giving away free sim cards with credit to people who come to the event! A chance for people to maybe call their friends and let them hear what’s happening at The Big Day Out! We haven’t even touched on the ILQ freebies too! On the 14th it’s going to be focused on families where there will be fun, games, face painting, food, toys, gifts, and of course various entertainment.

Since we want to make a difference, all profit and proceeds that are collected by iLoveQatar.net will be donated to the earthquake victims in Japan in Qatar’s name. We’ll be selling these AWESOME Japanese designed shirts for around 40 QR (I think).

We are also giving people the chance to become a star! People just need to record a video of themselves singing a song or doing something entertaining, upload the video to youtube and send the link to contact@iloveqatar.net
The rule is that people have to start the video by saying “Hi my name is _________ and this is for The Big Day Out“.

The best ones will be shown on the GIANT screen on stage. Who knows, since there will be so many bands and singers, there could be a chance that they are selected by the band managers and be the next celebrity.

Finally we’re going to be auctioning off FIVE t-shirts with all the different bands signatures on it. The money we get will be given to charitable causes as well.

iLoveQatar.net has become a brand and we’re still committed to our core vision; to making Qatar a better place. This time we’re helping to put on the Big Day Out to make everyone in Qatar feel at home and welcome in Qatar.

OH! And since you’ve got to the end of the blog post, here’s a nice little competition so that you can WIN tickets to the event (we’re giving away 10!). Click here.

Doha Twestival is today! Now read this!

For those who don’t know what the Doha Twestival is, have you been living under a rock? It’s only one of the world’s biggest festivals that happens in multiple countries around the world!

This year it’s happening at Aspire Park (from 6pm – 9pm) and organized by Qtel Virgin Mobile and sponsored by Aspire Zone, Al Saad Rentacar, QatarHappening, and all proceeds going to Reach Out to Asia.

Tickets cost 25QR per person (or 40QR for a family). So not only are you coming on down for a day of fun but by buying a ticket, your money goes to charity too! You’ll get to enjoy music, traditional dancing, some stand up comedy, and there will ALSO be auctions for Sixth Senses massages, Glow manicures and event tickets to iLoveQatar and GlobalDJ’s Big Day Out!

Anyway, if you need more convincing, click here. Hope to see you at the event tweeting away! Don’t forget to say hi to people from iLoveQatar (ILQ). We’re not sponsoring the event but we’re definitely supporting it :)

Asian Cup apps and other fun stuff

I thought I’d share some fun stuff by various companies related to entertainment and events for the Asian Cup. If you know of any other companies doing anything, let me know and I’ll get it added here too.

Samsung have quite a number of things going on.

First up is the “Samsung Scouter” -
Samsung Scouter is an Android/Bada application which has been specially created for the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011 to provide real-time commentary on matches, tournament highlights and in-depth player performance analysis and comparison such as pass accuracy, ball possession and sprint speed. The mobile application can be downloaded from the Samsung Apps Store (www.samsungapps.com) for the duration of the tournament. (Is it on the Android store too?)

Facebook Promotion – “Be Proud, Support Your Country”
Samsung’s online promotion for the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011 is currently running on the Samsung Mobile MENA (Middle East and North Africa) Facebook community. It is a fan-centric competition that allows participants to submit messages cheering on their favorite teams playing in the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011. Players who submit the seven best “cheers” will win a pair of return tickets to watch the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011 Finals. To participate, please visit www.facebook.com/samsungmobilemena.

Samsung “Man of the Match” Presentation, “Fan of the Match” Event
At each game (in the stadium), a player selected by the AFC will receive the Samsung “Man of the Match” award, which recognizes outstanding performance and fair play.  In connection with this, “Fan of the Match”, a promotion event for the stadium audience and Samsung Galaxy Fan Café visitors will take place at all matches. Using SMS, participants guess who will become the Samsung “Man of the Match” player for each game, and prizes including an autographed official football will be given to selected winners.

Vodafone also has some stuff for people who want to stay in the know. If you go to www.vodafoneqatarfootball.com you’ll find a mobile app, mobile version of their SportzDeck and some other ways of keeping up to date with the latest scores. The sportz deck app is quite fun and detailed too!

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?).

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

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.