Monthly Archives: August 2016

Doha – the new Dubai.

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Doha – the new Dubai.

Skyline – Doha, Qatar

 

 

 

 

I watch a lot of youtube and a lot of vloggers. There is a very popular Arab vlogger from NYC named Adam Saleh whose family is from Yemen. Recently he went to Doha for a meet & greet. The crowd was wild!! The show shut down because too many people showed up and they bombarded his car! This happened sometime in July. I recently came across another Yemeni vlogger from Birmingham, UK (aka my 2nd home) who happened to go to Doha also for a study abroad for a month. He was working at a TV studio during that time. He filmed a vlog of his experience going to the Adam Saleh meet & greet and it was soo cool to watch from a fan’s perspective! I felt bad because this kid (his YouTube name is MuTube, his name is something Muslim and difficult so I am not going to butcher it and try to spell it here lol, but I think its like Muath or something. I told you I shouldn’t have tried!!!) Anyways, I felt bad because he’s newer in the YouTube scene and really wanted to meet Adam since they are both Yemini youtubers, and its not like that’s a common thing! He didn’t get to meet him bc the crowd was insane but his vlog was really, really cool to watch!

So on his journey from his flat to the mall where the meet & greet was at he talked about some interesting facts about Doha. It’s basically a city in construction and in maybe 5-10 years it is going to vanquish Dubai! That kinda scares me because Dubai has been high on my list and I hope to get there before it’s old news and deflated lol.

if interested, here’s the link, watch it after you finish reading MY blog lol:

Doha, the capital of the small, gas-rich gulf state of Qatar, has more than its fair share of eclectic architecture. Its not typical shapes of buildings like we have here in New York. It’s very futuristic!

21st-century Doha has much more to offer visitors than a quirky skyline. The city has been designated the Arab Capital of Culture. So, if nearby Dubai is the Las Vegas of the UAE, Doha sees itself more as a smart Geneva – wealthy, progressive and vaguely neutral. It is home to the Middle East’s independent news network, al-Jazeera, and every autumn holds its own version of the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival!!!

The population of Doha is overwhelmingly composed of expats whereas Qatari nationals for a minority. The largest portion of expats  are from South East & South Asia, as well as North Africa. There are also a number of Europeans, North Americans, South Africans & Australian’s.

Something important to make note of, is that they do not use street numbers or even street names in their addresses. Therefore it is often difficult to find a place, and people navigate by using landmarks.

Shopping is a major leisure pursuit of many Qataris and expats, and you can expect cheaper prices than Dubai. Bargaining is still a thing there, unlike in India nowadays! Mall culture is a thing in Doha. I know that’s not a surprise since Abu Dhabi and Dubai are the same! Most malls in Doha are open from 10am to 10pm Saturday to Thursday. Most will be closed on Friday mornings but will open up during the evening, when they’ll be the most crowded. Also, be aware that some malls schedule “Family Days”, where single men will be turned away at the door — say whaaatttt?!?! However, most Westerners will be allowed in, but brown-skinned persons (particularly South Asians dressed in desi gear) will be turned away (racissstttt!!!)

So From MuTube vlogs, he vlogged inside the Villagio mall in one episode and throughout the whole segment he was freaking out at the size and beauty of the shopping center! They have a mini Venice IN the mall! Like a full fledged Canal! They also have a fake sky on the ceiling to make you feel like you are outside. It’s known that the entertainment in the malls in the UAE are nothing like malls anywhere else! I meannn it’s so hot in these countries they need a big huge air conditioned center for entertainment that doesn’t involve alcohol since its haram in those countries!!

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You can’t go to any Middle Eastern country without checking out the souqs! Souq al Waqif, the oldest souq, or bazaar, in the country. The old part is newly renovated, the newer parts have been reconstructed in a historical style. Souq Waqif is the top tourist destination in Doha! It is noted for selling traditional garments, spices, handicrafts, and souvenirs. It is also home to dozens of restaurants and Shisha lounges. Although it dates back at least a hundred years, it was renovated in 2006 to conserve its traditional architectural style. Here are some photos I found online that are soo inviting!! I wish I could be there right now strolling the streets people watching:

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Souq al Waqif in the evening. Doha, Qatar

 

Anyways, I look forward to going there one day and updating and expanding my thoughts on this up and coming city for you guys!

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy Independence day, Mother India!!! 8/15/1947

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Happy Independence day, Mother India!!! 8/15/1947

Happy Independence day India! India celebrated its independence from the British Empire on the 15th of August in 1947. The holiday is observed throughout India with flag-hoisting ceremonies, parades and cultural events. There is a national holiday and schools and government offices distribute sweets but no official work is done….parrtayyy!!!

India is a country of “Unity in Diversity” where people from different religions live; however any national occasion, they celebrate it together!

Here are some quick, interesting, fun facts about our colorful, diverse nation:

  • First Independence day of India was celebrated in 1947, 15th of August by hoisting tri-colored flag.
  • India has never attacked any other country in the last 100000 years of history.
  • There was no any National Anthem during the time of Independence of India.
  • India is the world’s largest Democracy, with 1.2 billion people.
  • Police in one non-identified state in India get a slight pay upgrade for having a moustache……………………………..
  • India has the world’s lowest meat consumption per person.
  • Hinduism is one of the oldest religions in the world. It was developed about 5000 years ago. Hinduism is a colorful religion with a lot of rituals. People who follow this religion believe in a lot of Gods and Goddesses.
  • 70% of all the world’s spices come from India.
  • One woman dies every hour in India because of dowry-related crimes.
  • In India, there is a vigilante group called the “Love Commandos” that offers protection from harassment to couples from different castes who fall in love.
  • There is a gypsy tribe in India that celebrates death as one of the happiest events in their lives, while treating births with great grief.
  • The Golden Temple in Amritsar feeds a vegetarian meal to over 100,000 people a day regardless of race, religion and class.
  • Global warming ‘solved’ a land dispute between India and Bangladesh:
    the island in dispute disappeared.
  • 74% of young Indians prefer an arranged marriage over a free-choice one, a 2013 survey found.
  • Only about 1 in 100 marriages in India end in divorce, one of the lowest rates in the world.
  • India has more people using the internet than the entire population of the U.S.
  • The people of North Sentinel Island, India, are among the last people to remain
    virtually untouched by modern civilization.

  • There’s an experimental township in India founded in 1968 and called Auroville, where citizens are from all over the world and there’s no money or religion.
  • The first Bollywood movie was released in 1899, where as the first Hollywood movie released in 1907. Bollywood is older than Hollywood!

Well folks, there you have it! Have a safe, wonderful pandarah (15) August 🙂

 

 

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What India do we have without the KING of Bollywood himself – Mr. Shah Rukh Khan!!!

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Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus bus terminal in Mumbai lit up gloriously!!!

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Where Brooklyn at?!

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Where Brooklyn at?!

For a Queens girl, Brooklyn is confusing. Like why do people around the world think its so cool? becausetheyknownothingaboutqueensletskeepourboroughasecret

So anyways, I felt like hanging out around the Brooklyn Bridge area, without actually going because it’s been so hot and you know it’s gonna be crowded so I didn’t want to get stuck!

I remember going to Borough Hall for a gig once and it was a cute neighborhood. There is a street called Montague Street filled with cafes and cute shops around there. I wanted to hit up that area and Brooklyn Heights since that’s the posh area – I’m sorry if I am mis-quoting areas. I do not know if Borough Hall is a part of Brooklyn Heights or its next door neighbor. Again, I am a Queens girl. Queeeeennnnsss makes sense!

So anyways I took the R train to Court Street. There was some type of festival of nations going on which was really, really cool!! You could tell there was a lot of effort put in because the costumes and dances were very well presented! (I will post them up on my youtube channel, watch this space – just trying to experiment and post random videos on there & see how it goes — I will link you all once I am ready to show you!)

I stopped to watch that for a while and continued on my way to Montague street. Once there, I walked in and out of some cute shops. My phone battery was slowly dying so I thought I need to go sit somewhere and let it charge. I found this cute little Italian bar and luckily there was a plug by where I decided to sit at the bar. The bartender was really cool! A young lad from Kosovo. Our conversation didn’t begin until we saw this eccentric couple dressed in African gear (him) and afro-hipster gear (her) walk out and some people asked them for a photo. Apparently he is some singer I have never heard of. My Kosovian bartender told me this area is money and there are a lot of celebs in the neighborhood. He mentioned another celebrity I have never heard of who used to come in to the restaurant, but stopped, because he would get mobbed by fans. Now he just orders delivery. I told homeboy how I was planning on walking over by the promenade by the Bridge and if that is worth it or not. He said yes. He told me from there to head over to DUMBO – yes Dumbo, there’s an area called Dumbo. Dumbo stands for “Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass”.

He said that area is money and nice to check out. He broke it down for me regarding the “popular” Brooklyn neighborhoods : Williamsburg is hipster, and Parkslope is yuppie, so no. Dumbo it was! Which I believe is in Brooklyn Heights? Or next to? I don’t know. I’m a Queens girl not a Brooklyn girl!!!

****************HOLD UP******************

Just asked a coworker of mine from Brooklyn. Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo are not the same thing! They are right next to each other – like LIC and Astoria, for those of you from Queens 🙂

Anyways. Here are some pics! After I walked the promenade, I went to DUMBO and there was a street fair going on (note my street market blog two posts ago!) which was REALLY good, and then I went back to the festival of nations. When I went back there were hundreds of flags and some music playing! Check it out:

VIEWS FROM THE PROMENADE :

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DUMBO/STREET MARKET (I know some pics are sideways, I can’t get them to adjust!! Tilt your head!):

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FESTIVAL OF NATIONS BY COURT STREET STATION/COLUMBUS PARK:

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