In March we had our first visitors come to see us in Qatar. My inlaws came and stayed with us for about 2 and a half weeks. We had a great time showing them around Doha, and finally getting out to do some of the touristy things we had been meaning to do since we moved here. Here are some pictures from their visit.
We visited the Fanar Islamic Cultural Center where we got to learn about Qatari cultural customs, and about the Islamic Religion.
There is also a mosque in the center, this picture (below) was taken in the prayer room. My mother in law and I were asked to wear abayas and hijab provided by the center, out of respect for the customs here. Normally the men and women do not sit in the mosque together, the men pray downstairs in this area and there is an upper balcony area reserved for women only. I enjoyed the experience of trying the abaya but Ellie was NOT happy about it. She kept telling me, "mommy take it off!"
We went to Souq Waqif several times for shopping and souvenirs (and camel pictures!)
Shopping at the souq (marketplace).
Ellie and Grandpa observing the shopping with casual disinterest:)
Museum of Islamic Art (AMAZING!). I can't wait to go back, this museum was beautiful. Their permanent collections were gorgeous (lots of metalwork, ceramics, very old books, wood carving, etc.) They also had a really neat exhibition up called "Kings and Pawns: Board Games from India to Spain". I wish I had been allowed to take pictures of that exhibition because it was phenomenal.
Even the architecture of the museum is beautiful. This is inside looking up at the top most dome and a chandelier.
The museum also had great views of the bay.
Scott took his parents and Ellie on a boat ride of West Bay. I was too sick (pregnancy nausea) to get on the boat but they had a lot of fun and I look forward to being able to go when I feel better.
We also went to the beach, which Ellie absolutely loved.
She is such a water baby.
You will only understand how cool this is if you are a jeweler, but the beach was littered with cuttlebones! I collected a ton and brought them home. I couldn't believe that these things are like 10 dollars a piece back home and here they are just laying on the beach like pebbles. Crazy.
Other fun things we did were to just drive around and show them the city and residential areas. These pictures are of a Qatari villa where the family is celebrating a wedding. They string the villa with lights for about a month to celebrate a marriage (or at least thats what someone told us the lights were for). We are always seeing houses like this around town but the lights only ever stay up for about a month.
We also went out to eat several times. We didn't take many pictures, but this hot dog I ordered at one Arabic restraunt definitely deserved to have its picture taken. I was feeling really sick that day (pregnancy nausea again) and ordered a hot dog because it was the most american sounding thing on the menu. Big mistake. Anyway, I didn't eat the hot dog so I cant tell you how it tasted, you'll just have to use your imagination.
We had so much fun with Scotts family and felt so lucky to have visitors come such a distance to see us. We hope to have more visitors in the future (seriously, let us know if you want to come, we have plenty of room for you to stay!)