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Read Around the World December 2020: Qatar

qatar_map-2

Map

Our final trip of 2020 was it a good one?

Fun facts about Qatar from this website.

  • Qatar State has experienced significant economic growth. Continuing economic growth has helped to make Qatar one of the world’s richest nations
  • The Hamad International Airport was opened in 2014. It has the ability to handle around fifty million passengers each year. Good to know if you plan to visit!
  • Qatar will host the next FIFA World Cup to be staged in 2022. Qataris also enjoy many sports including handball, drag racing, golf, powerboat racing, futsal, basketball, camel racing, water sports, swimming, and cricket.
  • Qataris eat their main meal of the day at lunchtime. Karak tea is served after meals; the rich milky tea is laced with Cardamom. The Friday midday meal, after prayers, is usually a time for the whole family to get together.
  • Many Qataris enjoy sweet foods. In Qatar it is traditional to eat a large spoonful of honey at night and in the morning. The people of Qatar relish fresh dates and picanuts. I would choose chocolate myself.
  • The “Thoub” is the traditional costume worn by Qatari men. The Thoub is a long white shirt that is worn over boxer style shorts or long white cotton trousers. As a matter of pride, all Thoubs must be immaculately laundered.
  • Qatari women wear a long black cloak known as an Abaya. Traditional Qatari females wear a djelabia or a dress under the cloak.
  • Leading tourist attractions include Aladdin’s Kingdom also known as The Entertainment City. The Msheireb Enrichment Center is an amazing and informative floating museum. Other famous tourist attractions include The Doha Corniche Park and the picturesque market known as the Souk Waqif.
  • The small village Al Thakira is home to many unusual fish and sea slugs. Nature lovers like to go snorkelling in the Mangrove Swamps. The Al Thakira Nature Reserve is widely regarded as a national treasure.
  • Qatar State was protected by Great Britain until 1971, when it became independent. In 1995, Crown Prince Khalifa announced freedom of the press and allowed women to vote.

 

I chose to visit Qatar via Love Comes Later by Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar. This is the story of Abdulla a young widower and his cousin/ new future wife Hind. Neither party wants the marriage but neither is willing to let the family down by refusing the engagement. As part of the marriage contract Hind demands a year in London to earn her Masters degree. Abdulla is happy to allow this postponement of them officially becoming husband and wife but it leads to unforeseen circumstances.

This was a 3 star read for me I enjoyed my visit to Qatar and seeing how family life is organised. It was also interesting to see women driving, working and succeeding in life even though to be allowed to do this they have to be married and have a man supporting them. I also loved the obsession with designer brands and spending money, not to mention female friendships.

Favourite quotes:

“As it happened, this girl-woman Fatima had her own plans and ambitions, of which he knew nothing in the years when puberty separated them. She was more than competent in her first job, as public relations officer for the National Bank, and he began to view her with admiration. Perhaps he had been lucky after all. They settled into the kind of easy camaraderie that eluded most of Abdulla’s friends in their own arranged marriages.” Abdulla’s first wife.

“In the end, what they wanted is only what they all want, no difference between his family and his government: for single Qatari boys and girls to become men and women in marriage to other Qataris. The stability of society, they call it, ignoring the nearly fifty percent divorce rate and the many instances in which girls leave their husbands the morning after the wedding to return to their father’s homes.”

“The love comes later”…..”You learn to love each other.”

Other readers visited Qatar in the following ways:

Currey from Litsy – The Girl who fell to Earth by Sophia Al-Maria this was a pick. Love from A – Z by S.K Ali a YA story rated so-so.

Rockpools from Litsty – The Corsair by Adbulaziz Al-Mahmoud another pick

Did you join us on our visit? Let us know what you read?

Keep your eyes peeled for the 2021 randomly selected country list for our continuing world tour.

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