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Traditional Dhow Festival Opens in Doha

The cool thing about living in Qatar is that they tell you when the festival is about to happen, and encourage you to go. The Dhows – all the different kinds – are beautiful and graceful, and my happiest memories in Qatar include a night ride along the coastline with its twinkling lights on a blistering hot evening, but the sea breeze and the movement of the boat makes it pleasant.

Traditional Dhow Festival opens

Wednesday, 20 November 2013


The Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage H E Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari checking a pearl at the opening of the festival yesterday and (below) some of the boats docked at the Katara Beach. Shaival Dalal

BY RAYNALD C RIVERA

DOHA: A total of 105 Arabian dhows of different types are moored at the Katara Beach for the third edition of Katara’s annual Traditional Dhow Festival which opened yesterday.

Compared with the previous editions, this year’s festival provides visitors with an idea about types of dhows still used in the region.

“Last year we had 107 boats, 70 to 80 percent of which were of the same type — sambuk. This year we have 105 boats of 22 types, mostly jalboot, baggarah, bateel and shoi,” Katara General Manager, Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, told the media after the opening.

While most dhows came from the Gulf; some are from Iran, Zanzibar and India, he said.

“We are looking forward to having some boats from China next year,” he said, adding the Chinese ambassador, who was present at the opening, was forging relations with Katara to participate in the festival next year. 

New at this year’s festival is the Fath Al Khair’s journey to the six GCC states. The dhow, currently part of Qatar Museums Authority’s collection, would leave Katara shores on Friday and return on December 18.

Al Sulaiti said the 27-day voyage is “just like what our forefathers did in the past when they left Qatar for a couple of months to dive for pearls. Through this, we would like to refresh the minds of our new generation with the culture and heritage of their forefathers.”

Inaugurated by the Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage H E Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, the five-day festival features heritage lectures, performances by regional bands, boat-making demonstrations, dhow cruises, light and fireworks shows, children’s activities and exhibits from museums across the Gulf.

There will also be maritime competitions, including sailing, rowing and pearl-diving in which the public is welcome to take part. Winners will be announced at a special award ceremony at the conclusion of the festival.

Ahmed Al Hitmi, Dhow Festival Committee Manager, said: “The festival pays tribute to our ancestors who worked effortlessly to build a future for our country. It provides a platform for cultural exchange, promoting Qatari history, and educating the youth.”

The festival runs until Saturday. It is open to the public today and on Saturday from 9am to 10pm, tomorrow from 9am to 11pm and on Friday from 3pm to 11pm. Public schools may visit from 9am to noon.The Peninsula

 

 

As an Alaskan girl, I grew up on the water and could not help falling in love with these old boats. I have hundreds – maybe thousands – of photos of boats, fishing, fishermen mending nets, fishermen making traps – I’m a sucker for a marine photo op 🙂 Some of these are Kuwait, some Doha.

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November 19, 2013 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Community, Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Qatar | Leave a comment

Kuwait Airways Buys USED Jets

Has Kuwait Airways safety record improved? Can you still pilot for Kuwait Airways just by being Kuwaiti? Just one more reason not to fly Kuwait Air rom today’s Kuwait Times:

Kuwait Airways buys used jets

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Airways is buying five used aircrafts from India’s Jet Airways after an initial deal with Airbus fell apart due to lack of funding, a local daily reported yesterday quoting sources with knowledge of the case. Speaking to Al-Qabas on the condition of anonymity, the sources said that an agreement to purchase the Airbus A330-200 aircrafts was reached during Kuwait Airways board meeting last Wednesday. Kuwait Airways had signed a memorandum of understanding earlier this year with Airbus to purchase and rent the same class of aircrafts, but the deal fell apart due to lack of funding and after Boeing reportedly entered negotiations with the national carrier. According to the sources, Jet Airways offered the five planes which have a total capacity of 1260 seats (252 seats each) for a total of KD 80 million.

The Kuwait Airways’ board sent its approval to the Kuwaiti government to make the final decision; which according to the sources is expected to be made by the Kuwait Investment Authority, which represents the general assembly for the Kuwait Airways and which will fund the deal if approved. If a deal is signed, the source predicts the aircrafts to arrive early next year. The planes, which have been in service for four years, can be used in medium and short range flights to Europe, the Middle East and Far East, the sources said. They added that each plane has two classes; a ‘Premium Class’ with 42 seats for businessmen, and an economy class with 190 seats.

November 19, 2013 Posted by | Adventure, Bureaucracy, Cultural, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Safety, Work Related Issues | 2 Comments

Elizabeth of Hungary

You think life would be sweet if you were born rich and beautiful, but not so much for Elizabeth of Hungary. She saw – and endured – so much in her short life. I can imagine that the best would be that her children were not killed, and the worst would be having them taken from her.

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Today the church remembers Elizabeth, Princess of Hungary, 1231.

Being born wealthy does not assure security in life, and one’s own generosity to others does not guarantee repayment in kind by others. Elizabeth was the daughter of the king of Hungary. She married Louis the Fourth, Landgrave of Thuringia, Germany. She was a loving and exemplary wife and mother. However, when she was only twenty years old, her husband was killed and she and her children became the wards of her husband’s cruel and selfish brother, Henry Raspe. Eventually he expelled Elizabeth and her children from the family home, Wartburg Castle.
Elizabeth sought refuge in the church in Marburg, but even there she was not kindly treated. The stern, powerful, and insensitive priest, Conrad, called “the Master of Marburg,” had her children taken from her and placed her in a convent of women Franciscans, known as Poor Clares. There she was treated with almost sadistic severity. “Like grass beaten by a thunderstorm,” to use her own phrase, she revived to become the most beloved “sister of the poor” of Marburg. She often sewed garments for poor children until her fingers bled, or went days without sleep while caring for the sick. She died in 1231, at the age of twenty-four.

In all our struggles, give us strength to cling to you, O God, our only true and lasting hope. Amen.

Almighty God, by your grace your servant Elizabeth of Hungary recognized and honored Jesus in the poor of this world: Grant that we, following her example, may with love and gladness serve those in any need or trouble, in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

November 19, 2013 Posted by | Biography, Faith, Living Conditions | , | Leave a comment