Saturday, March 13, 2010

Busy time for Doha

This is a pretty exciting week for Doha, there is a lot going on.

At the Aspire Sports Zone is the World Indoor Track and Field Championships. Many of the world's best track and field athletes are competing.

There is also a convention of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) being held here. In the next week or so we will find out whether the bluefin tuna will be declared a Category I endangered species, my understanding is that this would result in a moratorium on fishing for this species for something like five years. Japan will fight a ban all the way -- it consumes about two thirds of the bluefin tuna caught and it is a lucrative industry (a newspaper article noted that a single large bluefin tuna can fetch over $100,000 in Japanese markets).

Let's see, what else is going on...

The Qatar Natural History Group is off on a field trip to an archaeological dig in the north of the country. If it is the same site that I'm thinking of, it is a village that dates from around the 9th century A.D.

The Museum of Islamic Art normally holds scholarly lectures once a month regarding various items in Islamic Art but this month, thanks to visiting scholars, there are going to be three lectures! I attended the first one last Wednesday on the history of glassmaking in the Islamic World. The other two lectures are on the next two Wednesdays, I'll see if I can get out to them.

And just a bit of news to help counter Western perceptions that women in every Muslim country are somehow locked away in their homes, Qatar's newspapers have reported that the country is likely to have female judges soon. Women appear to be rising rapidly in the legal and judicial ranks in the country. That's good news, I noted a year or so ago in my blog an article from a local Law Society arguing against women becoming judges (the usual nonsense arguments one would find in the West in the early 20th century, they're too emotional . . . blah, blah, blah). Looks like the powers that be in Qatar thankfully did not heed their recommendation.

And hotel bars are starting to clamp down on dress code. Unbeknownst to me (until I tried to get in that is) they will not let men wearing shorts into a bar, long pants only. That my shorts went below the knee did not matter (the Qur'an states that men should at a minimum be covered from the navel to just below the knee), in hindsight I guess it was kind of funny to use a Qur'an passage to argue why I should be let into a bar! I'm not sure when the bars started getting picky about this, I do not go to bars often so for all I know it's been that way for the last year. That's a heads up to all the guys in Doha reading the blog, or planning to visit -- wear pants if you want to go to a bar.


A 2 Z said...

Sounds like a lot of action in the fair city of Doha. My husband wore shorts on Friday (everybody's day off) and he was told that it was inappropriate. Friday is a holy day. I also went with a female friend to the Islamic Museum (its such a masterpiece) and was told that her sleeve covering your arm was not long enough. It was 105 degrees outside and she is in between cancer treatments. We just went home. My favorite hang-out on Friday was the Golf Club. The outside second floor balcony offers green landscapes, good food and drink.

Glen McKay said...

I must admit I like the Club as well. I'm not there that often though.

As for the dress code Qatar does seem to be tightening up a little. I've heard that women jogging on the Corniche should not wear shorts, but I'm not sure if any woman has been bothered by security because of it.

spokane said...

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species is a very important event. I want to keep informed about it.