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!

 

A quick tour of the African Festival (and hunting for tribal dancers)

I went on down to the African Festival at Katara. It was a pretty fun event. I thought it would be nice to see what happened, what they were up to, and check out the entertainment. Don’t forget to Thumbs Up, Comment, and Subscribe :) Then I know if you’ve liked it! If you REALLY REALLY like it then please share it too! Take care all, Mr. Q (Your friendly neighbourhood Qatari)

A quick tour of IKEA (and sleeping in beds)

I went on down to check out Ikea qatar at Doha Festival City and decided to vlog it (and sleep in their bed too.)

I thought it would be nice for you to see what IKEA is like since so many people are talking about the place.

Don’t forget to Thumbs Up, Comment, and Subscribe :)
Then I know if you’ve liked it!

If you REALLY REALLY like it then please share it too!

Take care all,
Mr. Q (Your friendly neighbourhood Qatari)

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

Tomorrows the day 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.

This 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! It was great! I encourage all nationalities to enjoy this festive occassion :)

Katara, iLoveQatar’s home, has something great set up too! Interested? Click here! http://iloveqatar.net/forum/read.php?27,36279

 

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!

 

A quick visit to the 2012 Food Festival

Didn’t we already have an Eid this year?

Quite a few people asked me “Didn’t we already have an Eid?” and it dawned on me that this might be a good time to explain the two Eids (Eid means celebration) that we have a year. The first one happens right after Ramadan. It’s called Eid Al Fitr which is translated as the Celebration of Breaking Fast. It’s a national holiday, shops will usually decorate for Eid, and family and friends gather together. Everyone dresses up in their best clothes and the kids go out singing songs and getting Eidiya (candy or money).

The second Eid is Eid Al Adha. Translated, it means the Celebration of Sacrafice. It’s also known as the Big Eid. The reason why this is such an important Eid is because this is the one that began the construction of Kaaba (the Black Square in Mecca). This is celebrated in the same way as Eid Al Fitr.

Here’s an interesting fact, in Malta, Easter is called Eid. (I thought that was quite cool).

Anyway! There’s going to be some great festivities, especially at Katara! Between 7:30pm and 10pm you’ll be able to enjoy Fireworks, Dancing Fountains, a light show, and laser show! Be sure to take your family and friends :)

So, now that you know that we’ve got two Eids, here are other blog posts which you might be interested in :)

A Qatari’s Eid

It’s almost Eid

Merry Eidmas

Oh and remember, in Qatar, a typical greeting is ‘Eidkum Mubarak, wa asakum min awadah’. Would love to hear more people say it :)

 

Traditions of Eid from QTV – Qatari song :)

The Qatar Marine Festival is fantastic

Oh great, another “Festival” in Qatar, I thought to myself. I’m tired of seeing huge advertisements for events and then heading on over only to be disappointed by poor crowd control or the fact that there aren’t really any festivities at all. That being said, I was never more happier to be proven wrong. I drove through a giant ship’s helm at the East Gate of Katara (that’s just been opened. It’s where Aladdin’s Kingdom used to be) and was ushered through to the car park. I was happy with the fact that even though we were parking on sand, they cleared out the rocks and tried to make the parking lot a ‘real’ parking lot.

I walked on through passed the VIP tent and loved hearing the old Qatari sea chants on speakers and the tiny old traditional huts set up on the left. In front of me was a building shaped like a Dhow, some young staff sadly were more interested in chatting amongst themselves than guiding visitors sadly. Entering, I realized that it was like a museum, complete with a cave-like interior, glass tanks with sharks, hanging giant purple jellyfish and some interactive stations too.

I passed by one area where a kind guide asked me if I wanted to see something cool. I felt like I was being let in on a secret. He pulls out this giant armored crab. He tried to get me to carry it for a while and although kind of intimidated, I acted cool and said I was fine. I had to pull the “I don’t want my thobe to get dirty” line. It was either that or hike it up and run like a girl! After seeing how harmless it was (especially how it ran on the ground like a remote control car) I knocked on its shell. Oh yeah! That’s one point for the human and IN YO FACE for the crab.

Exiting the boat, I wasn’t sure where I was supposed to be going so I just followed the brick road. To my left was a childrens area, where you can find games, a live show, and some great educational.. umm.. fun stuff (alright my vocabulary isn’t excellent!). To my right was a sealions pool. That’s where we get to see some great tricks from one of the seas smartest animals. I wonder where they brought them in from?

Now THIS is the part that made me go wow. It involves Pearls, mermaids, oil, robots, bouncing animals, and lots of dancing.

Walking on down further there was a giant stage that we were guided into. I sat down and waited for a show to start. Bare in mind that I was kind of confused and didn’t know what to expect. Under my seat was a bag that had a gold colored metal helm and a few guides. I wrapped my ghitra around my neck to keep warm. The wind was blowing strong and the weather was getting quite cold.

After a few introductions we’re told that we’re going to watch “Secrets of the Sea” and the lights fade out. Now this is a bit of a spoiler so scroll down if you don’t want to know what happens! Disney-esque music starts and we embark on the journey of Qatar’s history. It’s about a young girl who’s being told a story about Qatar’s development and how the country went from an uneducated poor country to a society that survived on pearl diving to the discovery of oil to the focus on education. It was a beautiful story and I loved it. Be warned though, parts are in arabic and there isn’t any translation, but I believe that they did such a great job that whether there was translation or not, people will understand it all.

I loved the use of colors, imagery and when it came up to the discovery of oil part, I loved how a woman’s long flowing abaya represented the flow of oil. Throughout the whole show as well, you’ll notice that the quality of the dancers clothes improves to represent how the country gradually became richer.

You know what? I’ll end it at that. I don’t want to ruin too much of the story, especially since I’ll be uploading some snippets of videos soon.

So what’s there besides the show? There’s seals shows, ball games, beach football, a carnival (parade at the venue!), animation and scientific workshops, a visual arts symposium, sailing and rowing classes, a dancing fountain, raffle draws, puppet shows, marine magic, feature films, I’m getting tired just writing all this stuff down! Do yourself a favour.. check out the Qatar Marine Festival’s schedule here. It ends on the 26th so you better hurry up!

It’s a great festival and whats even more amazing is that its all free. Thank you Qatar for doing something so great for everyone in Qatar.
If you’ve been a part of putting together the QMF, drop me a note and let me know. I’d like to include the names of the people/companies that helped out because I’m so proud of the hard-work put into this.

View more pictures here

View videos here on our Youtube channel.

Loads going on! I’m going to the Qatar Food Festival :)

I’m sorry for not posting an article in quite a while but there’s just been loads going on! (Of course if you’ve been following the events section you’ll know that already).

We’ve got the circus in town at Souq Wagif, the jewelry exhibition that just ended, we’ve reached the end of the Spring Festival in the souq as well, BUT the 2nd Qatar food festival has just started! Oh almost forgot, the Floating Book Fair started too!

If you haven’t already signed up to the newsletter, please do! Don’t worry, you won’t be spammed and the newsletter goes out ONCE a month. :) Just click here to sign up!

If you’re interested in the food festival, then just click on the banner below for a list of restaurants and hotels that are participating.

It’s only 5 – 15 QR per plate!! Driving past today it looked packed, so I’m heading off early :)

Doha Tribeca Film Festival 2010 in Katara

I’ve just come back from Malta (great people there!) and sadly missed the opening of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival BUT some of the ILQ gang went over to Katara to hang out, shake some hands, take some pics and kiss some babies (in no particular order). ILQ also bumped into Salma Hayek. Literally…. smooth Bassam.. real smoooth.

I’ll post some awesome photos as soon as they’re posted on the forums but in the mean time here’s ILQ’s special DTFF logo :)

Tribeca Film Festival Doha

Doha Film FestivalOriginal post by Paperboy

If you didn’t get a chance, go to http://www.dohatribecafilm.com/

This is a very huge deal! Not only will it be hosted in the Qatar Islamic Museum with its cool Babylonian theme, but it will have a beautiful skyline and celebrities in the forefront!
Who’s excited?
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This is a very huge deal! Not only will it be hosted in the Qatar Islamic Museum with its cool Babylonian theme, but it will have a beautiful skyline and celebrities in the forefront!

Who’s excited?

Read the rest of this entry »

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.