This week in Doha 15-21 January 2012

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Sunday 15th

Bedaya Center launches monthly networking group

Wednesday 18th

Doha Tweetup

Thursday 19th

Opening Night Exhibition of Fashion Designer Lina Hajar

This line brings an oriental feel into contemporary fashionable pieces and is suitable for every woman on every occasion.

  • What: Opening
  • When: 6.30 pm, 19 – 23 January
  • Where: Katara Art Center, Bldg 5
  • Who: Art/fashion lovers
  • Cost: Free  
  • More info: http://www.katara.net
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A night at Katara

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Katara Ampitheatre

Image from joeagdeppa.com

Every now and then, Doha suprises me. It delivers me a little unexpected gift, like a loved one coming home with a bunch of flowers when it’s not Valentine’s Day. This happened to me once again last night.

I was invited to the Katara Ampitheatre Grand Opening. After an airport style screening process, audiences were shown to their seats which were covered in puffy white cushions and a goody bag containing a blanket and an umbrella – clearly Katara had thought of everything! And they needed to – the temperature felt alpine to us desert-dwellers. When all the VIPs were seated, we were treated to the music of Vangelis, the Greek composer of Chariots of Fire fame, played by the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra who were later joined by the Yurlov Moscow State Academic Choir and Soprano, Angela Gheorghiu. The performance was enchanting and dramatic. It commanded that huge, open-aired stage. As if the musical program wasn’t enough, the MC was actor Jeremy Irons. As far as introductions go, you can’t do much better than that! It was really too beautiful. I felt so lucky to be sitting there, under the full moon, huddled together with people from all over the world, celebrating the country that is now my home.

As we left, we were served delicately crafted canapés by friendly waiters who insisted we sample each flavour of sashimi, bruschetta and pastry. It was true Doha hospitality. The generosity of this country is one of its greatest qualities. So is its ability to surprise. Events like this make me ever more certain that I made the right decision when I moved here. In Sydney I would have pined enviously to attend an event like this. In Doha, they happen every day and I don’t pine, I attend. I taste. I hear. And I am so so grateful.

This week in Doha, 11-17 December 2011

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Sunday 11th

Arab Games

The Arab games started with a bang on Friday night with an impressive opening ceremony. The games are taking place all around town and are a great opportunity to see some international sporting talent for next to nix. Some of the events even double as qualifiers for the 2012 Olympics. Go Qatar!

  • What: Sports
  • When: 9-23 December
  • Where: Different sporting venues
  • Who: Everyone
  • Cost: It’s just been announced that all remaining tickets are FREE!
  • More info: Arab Games Website

Monday 12th

Common Thread

Stay ahead of the fash pack by showing up to VCU’s trunk show, Common Thread, a preview of the latest wares from VCU’s talented students and alumni.

  • What: Shopping!
  • When: 5 pm
  • Where: Saffron Hall, VCU Qatar, Education City
  • Who: Fabulous fashionistas encouraged, not-so-fashionable public welcome!
  • Cost: Free
  • More info: VCU

Tuesday 13th

Qatar Professional Womens Network Year End Celebration

  • What: Networking
  • When: 7-9 pm
  • Where: Mamig Restaurant, Katara (www.mamigdoha.com)
  • Who: Women only
  • Cost: 100 QR
  • More info: QPWN

Wednesday 13th

22nd Doha International Book Fair

Anyone who has been in Doha for more than a week knows that good books are like gold here. It’s not that I don’t enjoy reading the latest trashy crime thrillers (I hear there’s a new Jack Reacher installment out soon…), but sometimes a girl needs a little literary variety.

  • What: Book sale
  • When: 12-22 December
  • Where: Doha Exhibition Center
  • Who: Everyone
  • Cost: Entrance is free, books are
  • More info: Gulf Times article

Thursday 14th

Registrations open at the Institut Francais

A new term of language lessons is starting in January so book your place for either Arabic or French classes from 13 December

  • What: Language classes
  • When: January
  • Where: Institut Francias
  • Who: Francophiles!
  • Cost: Depends
  • More info:

Friday 16th

MIA park opens

The more parks in Doha the better – let’s hope this one has plenty of shade!

  • What:
  • When: Open 1030-2300 every day except Tuesday
  • Where: Behind the Museum of Islamic Art
  • Who: Everyone
  • Cost: Free
  • More info: Gulf times article

Saturday 17th

Richard III

Undoubtably one of the most surprising and anticipated productions to come to Doha this year, Shakespeare’s Richard the III, starring actor Kevin Spacey (aka Keyser Soze) has included Qatar in its world tour. The expat community went into a Hamlet-like craze when these tickets were announced – hopefully there’s still some left.

  • What: Play
  • When: 16-17 December
  • Where: QNCC Theatre
  • Who: Thespians and Shakespeare fans
  • Cost: Ranges
  • More info: Doha Film Institute