Monday, September 28, 2015

Eid in Qatar

I had a couple of days of the Eid holiday here in Qatar, perhaps for the first time ever. Usually I book a vacation starting a few days before Eid and ending a few days after but this time I couldn't do it so I got to see some Eid festivities.

I wasn't here for the day when people slaughter animals for meat, a standard practice in Eid al-Adha, but not everyone here slaughters a goat or sheep. Under Islamic tradition most of the meat should be given to the poor but as Qataris (and others here) are wealthy enough to have meat whenever they want many instead donate to charities who will purchase sheep in poor Muslim countries and have it slaughtered there so that poor people can have all of the meat. Here's an ad that I saw at a mall, I also saw similar ads in Turkey. A small sheep is around US$70.

As for festivities apparently there were things going on all over the city in Sports Halls, Malls, and Katara, but I was always going to Souq Waqif. The Souq was PACKED with people and there were extra police out to keep things calm. I think the parking lots may have completely filled up as well, there were long lines at the parking lot by the Diwan Mosque. I did feel bad for South Asian labourers who tried to enter the Souq, the police were immediately sending them away if they were not with a lady or a family.

The Souq had a number of shows, mostly traditional singing and dancing. I was surprised at just how many Arabs were watching the traditional fare and taking photos and video, I guess such displays are becoming rarer and rarer in the Middle East.

I kind of wish I also went to Katara to check that out, newspapers had pictures showing lots of people watching the shows, but the thought of fighting the traffic and dealing with parking discouraged me.

And so ends Eid. Work tomorrow.

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