Expedition

Amazing Qatar

Precious pearls and aromatic coffee, state-of-the-art architecture and social initiatives — the State of Qatar which is to host FIFA World Cup in 2022 impresses your imagination with its splendor and subtle ability to blend ancient traditions with forward-thinking mindset. Within the framework of the Year of Culture Qatar-Russia 2018, Artemy Lebedev and his team set off on a journey to Qatar to see it all with their own eyes. Meanwhile, we are sharing details of their journey with you at project blog.

 

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Culture

Although immigrants constitute about 90 percent of Qatar population, the country carefully preserves its national traditions. These traditions cover all aspects of life – from dressing and eating habits to work ethics and rules of public conduct. 

“I used to think that a European dressed in traditional Arab garments can offend the locals. Ahmed said, on the contrary, that Qataris consider it respect. So we decided to dress up ,” – says Artemy.

An important part of Qatari identity is their love for traditional activities and hobbies that have survived from Bedouin times, such as falconry. Once the local nomads tamed flesh birds for practical purposes: a trained falcon could bring you a rabbit, a bustard or even a small gazelle – quite a catch for the harsh conditions of Arabian desert.

 Since gas and oil were found in Qatar, hunting has ceased to be a mean of survival and has turned into a national sport – and a very expensive one. The same can be said about camel races: they attract crowds of fans and bring the winners huge cash prizes, but the keeping a camel costs tens of thousands of dollars annually. Fortunately, the camel owners don’t have to pay jockeys – in Qatar they have long been replaced by miniature robots that receive commands from remote operators.

However people still dive for the pearls, which used to be the main Qatari export during the pre-oil era: a robot able to detect the precious Pinctada radiata oyster at the bottom of the sea has not been invented yet. Professional pearl-hunting is now a thing of the past, but the annual diving competition, which is held in Qatar every May, attracts many amateurs from the Gulf countries: in the old days the craft passed from father to son, and now everyone can try to become a pearl-hunter.

Quiz

Myths and facts about Qatar

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