mathafbaqala

This is a tradition that runs through my family from one generation to another. At the age of ten, we must start to learn how to master serving Qatari coffee (gahwa) to our guests. My mother began by giving us the rules: pour with your left hand and hand it with your right hand. You must remain standing to serve several times and sit only when everyone had enough. I have passed this successfully and now, my younger sisters are under supervision. 

Story and photograph by Tofiffee

I remember waiting for my spinach fateera (pastry) and spotting this handwritten sign on the wall, rummaging through my handbag for my camera I asked Khaled the Fatatri (Khaled the Baker) if it was alright for me to snap a picture. He shrugs his shoulders and continues to flip my pastry then asked me ‘What do you work as?’ I spent quite a while explaining Graphic Designer in Arabic, using all sorts of keywords, including ‘sign maker’ ‘photo-artist’ but his moment of eureka came when I said ‘Photoshop’. 

La taghdab which translates to ‘don’t get angry.’

This style of writing resembles Farsi or Persian Calligraphy, my personal favorite form of Arabic writing. 

Story and photograph by Engy Hashem

Saad Ismail Al Jassim who owns a Pearl Jewellery shop at the Souq Waqif in Qatar calls himself ‘Pahalwan the Old Pearl Diver’. When ever I go to the souq I make it a point to meet the old man who is actually a bundle of talent from being one of the oldest pearl divers of qatar alive, to a man who was ones a body builder and won many acolades, he also had a unique talent of sleeping on the glass and nails. He always has some story to say about the the good olden days of Qatar and how dramatically the country and people have changed over the years. He also ones told me that Qatar Pearls were very well known until the Japanese started cultivating artifical pearls and there after the the pearl trade in the gulf came down. But he is proud to say that he still dives and picks up Qatari Pearls and sells them at a good price or gifts it to the royal patrons. One thing I will always remember that he told me is theat, “ God helps those who help themselves”.

Discovering Friends, Discovering Qatar.

Out from the busy streets and city lights, out of tremendous work load and schedule, out of digging gold from the dessert, I never imagined in my life that I can escape and experience not only to lush the wonders of Qatar but also to rest and relax with a glorious scene of the silent waters besides the busy city of Doha. One of the most special place and event happened during my stay here in Qatar made this photo so significant is because that I found out the true and loving family and friends who brought me here by supporting my picture on the photo contest I joined which made me Top of the contenders. Through that, I even not only discovered how wonderful Qatar is, but also I discovered who my really friends are, who truly care and loves me, and who truly wants to give me happiness on whatever way it is. 

Story and photograph by Rhyjoe

It is not the shoes that you walk in that matter; it is how you walk in your shoes that make a difference.

Stand up on our feet, look ahead in front of us and take a giant leap forward in our lives. Slip on shoes, tie the laces, walk forward. Such a simple daily routine that we do not even think about it, but the ways in which we move in the world tells a story of how we grow as individual.

This pair of shoes has been a part of my journey in Qatar, which leads me through both ups and downs, where the end result always gave me a lesson to learned and made me a better person. Probably my favorite pair of shoes, they were comfortable and brings me protection like no other pair could. I always had total assurance in my footing and I know that gave me more confidence as an engineer. 

But no matter what shoes we have, wherever we are, there is one reality that will always stay the same: How we choose to handle life is very much like how we handle our shoes. We can choose to run away in times of failure and move forward with clumsy, limited strides. Or, we can lace up those shoes, tie them tightly and walk forward with confidence. Even though we may still trip and fall anyway, it isn’t the shoes themselves that define the journey; it’s the pair of feet who wore them, stand us tall and make the journey something worth treading.

Story and photograph by Boeyt Atanoso

A rush of nostalgia mingles with the fresh scent of ground henna leaves and dried lemons on the palm of my hand. My great-grandmother, Shaha, after whom I was named used to tell me, “a woman’s hand should always be adorned with henna, never left white”. She had a monthly ritual of applying henna on her hands and feet, and whenever I look at my henna adorned hands I remember her, and the simplicity of days past, days when little things brought tremendous happiness. I remember the innocent childhood I’ve spent around her and I smile, may she rest in peace. 

Story and photograph by Sushiix_x

On a pleasant day my family and I would visit a secret beach in Al Wakra where we went to experience the glorious past of Qatar with the olden houses and shops that are recreated on this beach along with the boats stranded giving a picture as if the past is frozen.The international airport of Doha is situated close by to this beach therefore every other minute we can view the planes passing by  giving me a feeling of the meeting of the past and the present.The picture that goes with my story says it all …

Qatari Family - This photo with a family of Qatari Dolls which I clicked in Souq Waqif says a lot about Qatar, its Culture, Tradition and Celebrations. It simply reflects what a typical family in Qatar looks like and feels like. I so much feel that if I were born a Qatari I probably would be the boy sitting on that chair with my sister sitting next to me. We are also a family of four so I associate this family with me and my family. Maybe I should get all the members of my family to dress up like this and take a picture like this one. One day I will.

Driving around Al Shammal city on a Friday morning I found my self in front of this view. The first thing that came to my mind was, THE COMPLETE FREEDOM. I just grapped my camera and I started clicking. Maybe the best scene I have seen in Qatar.

Story and photograph by Polyvios Kyritsis 

Qatar once known as Qatara or Katara was ones a land of the pearl Divers. Qatar now has a recreated a large touristic destination called Katara which brings the best of cultural heritage of Qatar in one place. I love going to Katara at least once a week as there is always something new happening out there like a exhibition, play or a film etc. The free golf cars make it easy for one to move around in the large space. There are some lovely international restaurants, but my favorite is the Karak Chai restaurant where we can have lovely tea and paratha roti. I never forget to take my camera as this is a photographers haven and you have great locations to shoot pictures. One such picture I have posted with this story is of the the massive open air Amphi Theater. Katara has become the cultural destination of Qatar and one should not even think of missing it while in Qatar.

Story and photograph by Mohamed Islam

I wonder what always attracts me to the sea side on the Doha Chroniche in Qatar. Is it the waters, the waves, the skyline or the wonderfully lit up traditional dhows sailing along the sea coast? The cool breeze evening between September to April are the best times to visit the sea side for a stroll or a jog or simply sit and wonder along looking at silent sea and do nothing. I often stop by the sea and introspect. This is where I end up finding answers to the questions that are otherwise hard to find a solution. I make it a point to always carry my camera and take a lots of pictures every time I visit. One such picture I had taken some time back I have attached to this story, which also tells a story I guess. I am no my way to The Silent Sea to write another story…want to join me?

In Doha’s Souq it’s easy to cross many wheelbarrows and my son goes crazy for them! His grandpa used to take him around in one of those for fun, so we all love how the porters invite him for a ride every time he approaches them. Just another small sign of how much kids are welcome here.

Story and photograph by Quaero