Monday, 19 November 2012

The A, B, C of modesty.

Campaign organiser Najla Al Mahmoud is quoted as saying 'We noticed a lot of shorts, spaghetti straps, transparent and very tight clothing being worn freely in public places.  We don’t want to interfere with anyone’s religion and force them to wear hijab, we only want modest clothing. It’s a matter of etiquette and class. We want to be able to go to public places without a lot of flesh around us.'

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Traditional Dhow Festival in Doha

For centuries fishermen, pearl divers, and traders from Africa to India have relied on boats called dhows for their livelihood. To honour that rich maritime heritage, a festival celebrating the traditional dhow is held annually in Doha, Qatar. This year, dhows from Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar, along with their proud owners, took part. Visitors were able to climb aboard the dhows and imagine themselves as modern day Sinbads. A bit of trivia is that legend has it that Sinbad's home was in Sur in Oman.
Musicians and dancers performed, there was a pearl diving competition and rowing races between the crews of working dhows, local childrens' group demonstrated traditional games and craftsmen demonstrated the methods used in building a dhow. If you aren't keen on boats, skip ahead to 2:40 for the music and dance.  There are two dance groups performing on the clip, the first is probably from Yemen, or if they're from Oman, its from way down south near the border and yes, its bagpipes. Second is the fishermen's parade with drumming.
The background music is an old Qatari folk song titled 'Umm al Hanaya' (Mother of Abundance). It praises a ship, maybe a pearl diving boat or possibly a trading vessel (its left to your imagination), and tells of the excitement of the people when she departs and their joy when she returns safely. This piece of music was used during the opening ceremony of the 2006 Asian Games in Doha.