Happy Qatar National Day! Wishing everyone in Qatar a wonderful and celebratory weekend. After all that Qatar has been through this past year, this national day is a special one and I truly wish I was there to celebrate this occasion with my fellow Qataris and expats.
Living in Qatar for five years, I learned to appreciate the culture, the history and of course, the food of this great nation. Speaking of food…
Did you know that Qatar has one of the longest buffets?
Because we LOVE food in Qatar, we are lucky to have many of the world’s favorites within reach, including the largest Nobu branch of all its 36 branches worldwide. We also have one of the longest buffets around. Drooling yet? Where is this buffet and would I, Ms. Hala recommend it? This delicious hundred meter long buffet is at the beautiful Doha Marriott hotel. And if you read my rants, then you’d know that I highly recommend it! Speaking of food history...
Did you know that some of Qatar’s cuisine dates back a few millennia?!
One of Qatar’s most popular, yet simple, dishes — harees, made from wheat — dates back to the 10th century, as documented in the Arabic text, “The Cooking Book” by Ibn Sayyar Al Warraq (click here for an English version of the book). There are even many claims and evidence of harees being a dish eaten during the time of Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) in the 6th century. Speaking of history…
Did you know that petroglyphs were found in Qatar?
Being such an ancient land, recent excavations have provided more information into the daily lives of those that inhabited the land before us. In 1957, within Jebel Jassasiya just south of Fuwairit, over 850 carvings known as petroglyphs were found. These petroglyphs date back to the Neolithic times. We are talking about the Stone Ages people! Speaking of old...
Do you know what the oldest landmark in Qatar is?
Believe it or not, it’s the Corniche in Doha! Our favorite part of the city has a walking path about six kilometers long, starting from the Doha ports until the Sheraton Doha Hotel. Best time recorded for making the distance both ways, according to MapMyRun.com, was just under forty minutes. Speaking of landmarks…
Do you know why the Pearl is called, "The Pearl"?
This man-made island is built atop an ancient pearl diving site. This particular site dates back to at least a century when many made a livelihood from pearl diving and oyster farming along the eastern coast. And to give historical relevance to the island’s location, it was dubbed "The Pearl" and designed to look like a string of pearls. No wonder it’s such a luxurious place to be! Speaking of coasts...
Did you know that Qatar houses a diverse animal and plant species?
Between Al Khor and Doha, the fish-shaped Purple Island is home to various birds, marine and plant life. Al Dakhira, just a few more kilometers up north, is home to the white mangrove swamps, and home to the world’s most unusual marine life such as the many species of sea slugs that have been discovered in the last decade. The white mangrove swamps is a popular spot for swamp snorkeling. If you’re not a swampy type of person, but you love snorkeling, then you’re in luck because Qatar is a popular destination for snorkeling. Speaking of activity…
Do you know what Qatar’s most popular sports are?
After football, of course, camel racing and falconry are the most popular sports in Qatar. It’s not a surprise that this is a little-known fact to many as both sports are pricey to partake in. Falconry is such a popular sport, Qatar Airways allows these beautiful creatures of prey to fly in-flight with their owners. And camels start for as little as one million US Dollars (3.64 million Qatari Riyals). You can check out the Falcon Souq in Souq Waqif all year long and watch the camel races throughout the winter season in Al Shahaniya. Speaking of pricey...
Did you know that Qatar may hold the most art in the world?
Let’s start with the ever-popular Museum of Islamic Art, curating the most expansive collection of Islamic art dating back over 1,400 years. In 2013, the Al Riwaq Exhibition hosted Damien Hirst’s first ever solo exhibition in the Middle East. The Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani Museum houses the largest and most diverse collection, from dinosaur fossils to modern artifacts. Putting Qatar on the art map has been the undertaking of the Head of the Qatar Museum Authority, Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani. Speaking of Qatar…
Did you know that Qatar is the safest country in the world?
Literally! And we aren’t talking just crime rate here, which, by the way, is one of the lowest in the world. According to a recent article by the Telegraph, Qatar is the least likest country to be struck by a natural disaster. The most that has happened in Qatar in recent years are aftershocks of earthquakes in neighboring countries and sandstorms. I’d take that any day of the week!
Do you know any more cool facts about Qatar? Be sure to share them with us in the comments below. And don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe, it’s what keeps us going!
Written by Ms. Hala, the ranting blogger from mshala.co
All images for illustrative purposes courtesy of iStock
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