It seems like so long ago that we took a long weekend in Qatar, but the days slip away so quickly I embarassingly just haven’t posted on the blog enough. Let’s resume a brief overview of our lovely weekend:
A woman feeding pigeons outside the Old Souq. You can see a fully covered woman in the background as well.
The Islamic Museum of Art. One of the largest collections of Islamic art in the world. I love the juxtaposition; the old dhow fishing boats, the skyscrapers on the left, and the museum on the right.
A close up of the Islamic Museum of Art. We were working our way to the museum, as the weather grew more ominous… Upon arriving at the museum, we found out they didn’t open for another half an hour. No big deal, we thought, let’s just lay on the grass and play a game of cards or something. And then it started to rain. Not just a sprinkle, but a heavy rain that lasted for eight hours. In Qatar—an Arab Gulf country! I never would have imagined us to vacation in Qatar the ONE day of the year that it rained. (Which is also what everyone said…)
To kill time and stay out of the rain, we headed to a cafe. We loved their juice menu. Sean was very close to ordering the ‘Computer’ shake, until he found out that it was banana and grape. Bleh.
In a largely Muslim country where alcohol is widely looked down upon, there is quite the variety of drink choices instead of a boring pint of beer or glass of wine!
The cafeteria, which was attached to a gas station. It felt like a truck stop from back home. We played cards, had a snack, and felt like we were back in Wisconsin waiting for the rain to stop.
Look at all that rain!!! Note how green, clean, and manicured Doha is…
We finally made it inside the Museum of Islamic Art. It was beautiful! It was built out on the water, by I.M. Pei, a famous architect. The museum was funded by the sister of the Emir, who is apparently very interested in creating Doha into the capital of arts and education in the middle east.
The view looking up into the museum roof. Feels like an M.C. Esher painting…
Sean loved seeing all of the ancient version of the Koran, but I do have to admit we got tired of seeing over one hundred ancient bowls. There was just SO much art!
I am currently reading the book, Drinking Arak Off an Ayatollah’s Beard, which tells an amazing story of one man living in Iran and Afghanistan and comparing current lifestyles and unrest to the 11th century epic, the “Shanahmeh“, by Ferdowsi. I saw actual pages from the Shanahmeh in the museum, which completely blew my mind.
We saw sooooo many astrolabes. I will never forget that the Arabs were revolutionary in their space exploration in ancient times.
For those of you who are familiar with Obsession Telescopes, you may be surprised to see such a focal aspect of my father’s telescopes—the arc—in the Islamic Museum of Art. When I saw this, I jokingly said to Sean, “I can’t wait to tell me Dad somebody beat him to the idea!” Dad, if you’re reading this, please explain to me the purpose of this invention! See the name plate in the photograph below:
So does this gadget deal with the equinox? I’m confused. And, Dad, did you know this existed?
All right, so I digress. I will leave you with one more photograph….
I still have a hard time fathoming that an actual human being wore this at one point in time. Let alone the horse wearing the armor! The museum was an amazing experience that I will never forget. But it is ten o’clock at night here, and I must put myself to bed. I look forward to finishing up my posts on Doha next time, and I even have some more lovely pictures and stories in queue!
Keep reading for concluding thoughts and pictures of Doha, as well as our trip to Fahaheel! (Don’t worry, it’s just a city in Kuwait. We have to wait two more weeks to go to Jordan before traveling anywhere else…)