A hot summer day in Doha, Qatar (read: 108 degrees!)

**READ THIS POST ON MY NEW BLOG**

A photo I snapped from a cab in downtown Doha

A photo I snapped from a cab in downtown Doha

I started off my travels to the Gulf countries a few days ago, starting off in Dubai (I will write more about Dubai on my second visit to UAE next week), and landed in Doha, Qatar.  I felt the rush of the city’s rapid development all around me, especially as the country prepares to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

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McDonalds is everywhere!

McDonalds is everywhere!

Due to Ramadan, it’s illegal to eat/drink/smoke in public between sunrise until sunset (Iftar is at 6:30PM in Doha), so the daytime was very slow.  As predicted, I couldn’t find a single café outside my hotel, so I went over to the W Hotel to spend my afternoon there. Right when Iftar started, the city woke up and all the shops, restaurants, and markets lit up. I headed straight to the Souq Waqif and spent hours there, weaving through the alley ways, speaking to shop owners, and buying little trinkets for my family.  Here are a few shots I got from the evening.

This man made bracelets with a low heating technique. He had a huge crowd all night

This man made bracelets with a low heating technique. He had a huge crowd all night

One of the souq's alleyways

One of the souq’s alleyways

One of the shisha bars at the souq

One of the shisha bars at the souq

This stud  sold me a gold-plated camel souvenir for my brother.

This stud sold me a gold-plated camel souvenir for my brother.

Bought a pretty perfume bottle for mom from this store. The store owner wanted to look “natural” in the photo by not looking at the camera:)

One of the shop owners turned out to be one of the coolest people I’ve met all summer. This 75-year old shopkeeper had posters of a young bodybuilder around his pearl shop, and it turns out that it was him! He also used to dive for pearls, sleep on bed of nails, and broken glass. When I asked him if he had superpowers, he said yes! Some other shop owners joined our conversation and praised this man.  Watch an interview of him here! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoL64-ao9dc

Al-Jassim, a former bodybuilder, pearl diver, and extreme entertainer (slept on glass and bed of nails!)

Al-Jassim, a former bodybuilder, pearl diver, and extreme entertainer (slept on glass and bed of nails!)

A poster of the Al-Jassim, the pearl shop keeper, in his glory days. He still has his swag!

A poster of the Al-Jassim, the pearl shop keeper, in his glory days. He still has his swag!

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You can’t see this, but there was a small crowd of security guards taking this photo of me and this security guard. When I told the security guard in the photo, “I’m going to add this to my blog,” he answered, “I’m going to instagram this photo right away!”

You can’t see this, but there was a small crowd of security guards taking this photo of me and this security guard. When I told the security guard in the photo, “I’m going to add this to my blog,” he answered, “I’m going to instagram this photo right away!”

 

Afterwards, I walked along Doha Cornishe (the waterfront along the Doha Bay) for hours late at night, and felt completely safe, just as the policemen and young ladies at the Souq told me. If you’re ever in the gulf, I encourage you to visit Doha!

A photo of the Museum of Islamic Art at night that I took from the Cornishe

The Spiral Mosque

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