Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

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.

00SoukWaqifBreakfast

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

00SouqWaqifFishingSupplies

The bird souk is active and beautiful:

00SoukWaqifBirdSouk

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

00SoukWaqifStreetScene

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

00SoukWaqifHouseHoldGoods

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:

00SoukWaqifMadeInDohaStore

00SoukWaqifJalboot

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

00SoukWaqifEqalMaker

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

00Ispahan

No time for a nap! On! On!

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

7 Comments »

  1. Looks like our Souk Mubarkiya 🙂 glad you are having a good time.

    Comment by Amu | June 22, 2009 | Reply

  2. Nice post… Good to see the Egal maker again 🙂

    Comment by Bu Yousef | June 22, 2009 | Reply

  3. Amu, it IS exactly like Souk Mubarakiya, the heart and soul of the city. 🙂

    Bu Yousef – I thought of you as I took the photos. 🙂 I hope you will bring your family here soon. 🙂 BTW, I now know how the pigeons feed their young. =D

    Comment by intlxpatr | June 22, 2009 | Reply

  4. Brave soul out in the heat.

    Nice photos

    Comment by jewaira | June 22, 2009 | Reply

  5. These posts make me wish that one day we might start following their steps, yesterday it was Dubai and now we have to live up to Qatar.

    Lovely shots and made me wonder about the origins of the name, i mean it seems there is a souq wajif “waqif” in almost every country of region. There should be a story behind such name to have it names in Kuwat, KSA, Qatar and Dubai. I bet you are more interested than me to know the story 🙂

    Glad your move was smooth, you’re going to be missed as the monumental Kuwaiti blogger

    Comment by Touché | June 23, 2009 | Reply

  6. WoW!!!! It’s the same guy:

    http://buyousef.net/2009/04/06/the-headmaster/

    Intresting!!

    Comment by Abid | June 23, 2009 | Reply

  7. LLOOLLL, Touche, about my being more interested in the name! Now that I know it is a mystery, I am fascinated! I will have to ask what the significance is. If I am really really lucky, one of my readers might know – Daggero, if we can get him to divulge!

    Abid – You are exactly right, Bu Yousef featured him during his Doha visit a while back. One thing I greatly admire about the Souk al Waqif is that they retained all the original stall holders – but I never saw the eqal maker before the renovation. His shop is near where all the cobblers used to be (I don’t know where the cobblers and the scribes are now; they all used to be outdoors, in booths.)

    Comment by intlxpatr | June 23, 2009 | Reply


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