It's our last Ramadan Friday in Qatar (we'll be travelling next week). Scenes from the month:
Each night at sunset, the cannon explodes to signal the end of the day's fast:
Crowds gather to watch, take pictures - and scream, cough, shield watering eyes when the explosion sounds because, you-got-it, they're standing way too close to the Richter-breaking, smoking thing:
It's like a ride at Disneyland - exciting, unexpected (will our eardrums burst, eyes dry out this time??):
There are praying rooms inside malls (and everywhere), often behind the restrooms. This is an ablution space, where Muslims wash in preparation for prayer:
Beside the ablution area is a large, carpeted room where women kneel, in lines facing Mecca, and pray. Young children (both genders) wander in and out of the praying women, passively learning a)how to pray, b)how to behave in (church), c)what's most important - in much the same way we introduced our own babies to God:
If there were women here I'd never take a photo (without permission); it would be disrespectful and rude.
Fast is traditionally broken surrounded by family with a few dates and sips of water. Some dates are grown locally, like the bunch (protected in a kind of burlap-ish sack) in this Corniche palm. For his effort, this date-napper nabbed dates (say that three times fast) that were nowhere near ripe:
These very different families waited, food ready, water bottles poised. As the call to prayer hummed (through loudspeakers at the top of minarets), they ate and drank.
Oh, sure, Doha is safe. But you can't-be-too-sure. This Souq Waqif shop owner pulled curtains around his stall and locked up for Iftar:
Close up of the lock:
Meanwhile, back at Bob and Cindi's - what we served for the last Secret Office Lunch (lest the yachts outside our window lead you to believe we're totally roughing it):
And finally, something for Kitty (because moms need to hear from their sons, no matter where they are in the world, no matter what's happening in their lives, good, bad or indifferent, and especially when Mom can't just pop in for a squeeze…):
Works hard, plays nice, is a kind and loving father and Pop - who regularly skypes with his wonderful mom. And not-only-that, he's darn cute. I like him.