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Tag Archives: doha

These are single-utility-devices.  The only ‘app’ is talk, which allows you to speak to another human from a long distance.  You can do this without having to resort to the obsolete technology of screaming, and having to occasionally throw things. Changes in our communication world have sent old phones to landfills.  These pieces however speak to me – excuse the pun – on a different level.  I lived in Denmark in the late nineties and since then I have even more appreciation and respect for all aspects of design.

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Three places outside Kuwait City have been secretly calling me for some time.  The Mutla’ ridge in the west, which I am still to visit, the station of Umm il Aish, which was unfortunately removed before I got my act together, and Doha.  I read BloggerMathai’s post and decided it was time.  My cameras were in London so it had to wait… or so I thought.

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Most of the conversations with friends and family this time of the year revolve around travel.  My wife’s last day at work yesterday signals the start of the family’s summer holiday, which is mostly spent outside Kuwait.  I will, God willing, join them on two separate short trips – the first of which will be late July.

The images in this video are not new.  Readers of this blog will have already come across them.  I had some fun with the globe widget, and enjoyed trying to fit it all into 80 seconds.  It’s not perfect, but I like the end result.  The background singing is of traditional Kuwaiti sea songs – something I associate very strongly with travel.

Whatever you’re doing this summer, and wherever you’re spending it, I wish you all the best.


This is Mr Haitham Elarab from Syria.  He is a master at making ‘Igal’ or ‘Egal’ and he learned this from his late father.  I walked into his shop this afternoon after having lunch at Souq Waqif.  Although the souq is a tourist area, with many shops selling antiques made last week and useless ugly house decorations, they do have a few shops that in my opinion, are little gems.  The three that I remember well are a shop that specialises in making Uud, the gulf’s number one musical instrument; a photo shop that sells images of the area and has a small studio to take photos of foreigners in local dress (he has a fantastic collection of antique cameras – but not for sale); and this tiny Igal shop.

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A little struggle as I scare the lovely horse with my camera…

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The second (and final) selection of matchboxes.  Mostly of hotels, and roughly grouped into continents.  Some of the matches missed out in the first post (EAT) were added here and there… 

Above: Movenpick (Heliopolis-Egypt), Sheraton (Doha-Qatar), Le Meridien (Casablanca-Morocco), Crowne Plaza (Farwaniya-Kuwait), The Residence (Tunis-Tunisia) & Sheraton (Muscat-Oman).

The Bellagio (Las Vegas-USA), Sacred Sea Room (Las Vegas-USA), Aladdin (Las Vegas-USA), Luxor (Las Vegas-USA), MGM Grand (Las Vegas-USA), Stratosphere Tower (Las Vegas-USA), Best Western (New York-USA), The Doral (Miami-USA), Pacific Time (Miami-USA) & again Luxor (Las Vegas-USA).

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The Museum of Islamic Art, MIA, provides the perfect environment for a truly beautiful collection.  The design of the building in its simplicity and purity is absolutely the right backdrop for the stunning pieces housed within its walls.  

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This place changes by the month.  I’m sure it’s the fastest changing city in the Gulf. The speedy change usually kills any soul of the older places, but here they’re a bit more aware of its importance.  The area of Souq Waqif has been restored and extended beautifully.

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A short trip again.  This time to Doha.

Last time I was in Qatar was just before the Museum of Islamic Art opened.  It was very frustrating and I hope I can make it up this time.  I will hopefully have 2-3 hours free between meetings.  Can’t wait…

Photograph above was taken at Dubai airport last week.

I took this photograph some time ago in Doha.  This man did a wonderful job cleaning the windows at the Ramada Hotel – and made it look so easy.  The gold you see behind him is the other side of the hotel. I was staying on the 8th floor, so it was nice to see that he was wearing a harness/belt which he had clamped onto the railings outside.  That same week, I saw cleaners washing (I mean washing washing – with running water) the curved glass cover of the entrance of Al Manshar Rotana hotel here in Kuwait.  For those who don’t know it, this is 4 metres high! The guy was standing barefooted on curved wet glass wearing no protection whatsoever.  His shirt was a little dodgy, so you almost wished he would fall.

It takes courage to work at high altitude.  Courage is the subject of a joke that I came across this evening.  A little long but worth it 🙂

World War Two. Close to the front line, three Allied generals talk about courage. One is Russian, the other is American and the third one is British.

The American general wants to show the others how courageous his men are. He calls a soldier and tells him: “Private, I want you to run across that mine field, jump over two enemy trenches, and come back in 10 minutes!”

“Sir, yes sir!”
The soldier does everything the general asked him and comes back on time. The American general says to the other two: “You see? That is what I call courage!”

The Russian general is eager to show the toughness of the Red Army. He calls a soldier and tells him: “Comrade, you must run across that mine field and jump over no fewer than four enemy trenches, while carrying a box of live grenades. And for the glory of Mother Russia, you must be back in 8 minutes!”
“Da, comrade general!”
This soldier also does everything the general asked him and comes back on time. The Russian general says to the other two: “You see, comrades? That is what I call courage!”

The British general raises an eyebrow and steps in slowly. He calls a soldier and tells him: “Hey, you there! Go and run across that mine field and jump over ten enemy trenches, while carrying a box of grenades in your arms, a timed C4 explosive on your back, and balancing a stick of dynamite on your nose. Oh, and be back in five minutes.”

The soldier replies: “You what? Are you bloody mad? I didn’t join the army to listen to braindead idiots like you! Go and do it yourself mate!”

The British general looks triumphantly at the other two. “Now, gentlemen, this is what I call courage!”

I try to ensure that I only add my better photographs on this blog.  Although this is not a technically nor artistically good result, I’m sure you will agree its subject makes it worth posting.

I was flying from Manama to Doha earlier this week, on a Gulf Air flight, and I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I’m sure it’s not as rare as I imagine, but I’ve been flying for many years now and it was a first for me.  

The lovely young bird was the best behaved passenger on this very short journey.  I didn’t hear a sound from it and it made very little mess on the newspaper covering the carrier’s lap…