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Sunday, January 15, 2012

What We Found at the Souq

Hi there!
  Today was spent solely at the Souq Waqif (pronounced "sook wah-keef") ; one of the largest marketplaces
 in Doha, it was only a fifteen-minutes drive from our condo. We traveled in a taxi which may or may not
have been legal, as it's not uncommon for the working man to pick up shuttling as a way to make some
extra cash on the side.
  Today wasn't nearly as hot as yesterday, the temperature floating in the low 70's and high 60's- a sharp
contrast to the dry 80-degree weather of Friday. But, according to the words of the local Qataris, today's
weather is the common coolness of the winter and Friday's heat was just a fluke. Then I suppose 70 is cold
when, in summer, the temperature spikes up to 130 degrees.
  We arrived at the Souq relatively eatrly, when most of the vendors were still preparing for the crowds sure
 to come later in the day. So, while they were getting all ready, we took a look at the camel-selling station.
   Yes, people actually buy camels. I'm surprised too.

In my defense, I had no idea the picture
was being taken.

They had tethered the camels to
the ground, which irked them
to no end.

We go in to the market...

The biggest one was taller than me!

"Do any of your rugs come in red?"

There was an entire district devoted on
selling animals... this is one side.

"Wait... what are those? Zoom in..."

Everybody needs a dyed baby chick!


These sort of reminded me of Clydesdale horses.
...And then the bunnies in clown costumes...
...And then the bunnies in ballerina costumes...


Known as an "ATM"

One of the shops...

A guy setting up shop...

These were the soldiers that were
doing a drill right there in front
of the ice cream place.

It was these guys' job to trot around the market,
looking majestic.

Not so majestic- this poor guy followed
them at all times.

There were stray cats EVERYWHERE...

... even under our dinner table.

Remeber that video I posted yesterday?
Well, it was the Muslim call to prayer (they do it
five times a day) and this is
where it comes from.

They have an entire block for selling falcons-
each birds costs 1,500 dollars.

This was the inside.

You can see in the far distance the
"Kassem Darwish Fakhroo Centre"- or the Islamic Center.
Here there are stores, theatres, and offices.

One of the many signs only in Arabic.

I, personally, loved all the lidded ceramic trash cans.
One of the Emir's friendly Arabian horses.
And another- we were in the Emir's stables,
as the were right in the Souq.

See the Emir's palace in the background?

One of the many posters of the Emir.

The mosque, the praise building which
Muslims visit five times a day to pray.

Yes, this is three old men sitting in wheelbarrows.
See, they did it so they'd wheel all their stuff in it
in the morning, then just sit in it the rest of the day.

One of the many back alleys used to cut across
to the next main street.

The only part I didn't particularly like: this portion
had a bunch of American goods, and the vendors were particularly
loud. They'd just start talking to you about buying a scarf or something
It reminded me of Aladdin.

Anything look familiar?
In the spice district, MAN, that smell was strong!

Want to sit on the bench?

Just an overall view of one of the main streets.

The instrument store selling Middle-Eastern instruments such as
the guitar-like oud and the drum called darbuka.

Turns out the owner makes them himself! This is is little station, one
of the side rooms.

Well, at the end we returned to the pet district, where I found these:
beta fish in wineglasses. What could be any better?

   I think the Souq was one of the coolest experiences of my life. It was very fun and interesting (and I got to meet my brother's girlfriend, since he lives in Qatar, and she's super nice), and now I have some ideas for what I'm going to do with the blog tomorrow, in case we don't go anywhere particularly riveting. 
 See you tomorrow!


  1. This is awesome! Keep it up. I am jealous of the spice market because I love to cook and would die in there....Have you tried any exotic food?

  2. Can you bring me back a pink baby chicken :)

  3. Looks like you are having fun Bethy. I miss you.

  4. Keely, Geeez, those chicks obviously like being the artisans of the family:) @~> ....."......miss you

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  7. Can you get me a chick with puffed up hair and any color
    And I'm not kidding!

  8. Are you like by the water or in the middle of the country??

  9. Hey bethy!!! Can u bring me back a green chicken? They are soon cool!!! I can't wait until you come home!!!!

  10. Hey Elizabeth, this is Elaina's mom. We are loving your blog. Your writing has great "voice", it sounds just like you-great job. Enjoy!

  11. Hey Bethy! We all miss you so much! I love reading your blog it's awesome! (Btw Abby and I want chicks brought back!! ;) )

  12. Hey Bethy! I miss you, by the way having fun with your pink oboe?? While you're at it, you misewell get my a green chick!

  13. Hey These Look Awesome!
    You Don't now Me But I'm New In Hamilton :) Anyway Good Job

  14. What did grant and chase say and can you bring me back a green chicken?!??!

  15. ELIZABETHHH!!! we all still miss you at path!! Met any Liyanas yet??? haha we are all worried!!! :) good luck with that! guess what! a miracle occurred!! Mia and i got put in the same book group!! Its uglies and i have changed my mind-THAT BOOK IS SOOO GOOD!! BTW i will send pics of all this snow to you-I remember you like that stuff!!:) It sounds like you are having lots of fun! Miss you lots-study hall is soooo BORING! I cant wait till you get back!!

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