Browsing 'Culture' News

All photos courtesy of Katara

With just two weeks to go before Ramadan begins, a new “one-stop shop” for people gearing up for the month has debuted at Katara Cultural Village.

The Meerat Ramadan market is located on the south end of Katara and open daily from now through Eid (June 29).

Omar Chatriwala / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

There, some 35 vendors are selling fresh produce, dates, nuts, honey, drinks, gifts and other items popular during the fasting month at affordable prices, officials said.

In a statement, Katara’s General Manager Dr. Khalid bin Ibrahim al Sulaiti said:

“It is a one-stop place where visitors are welcome to enjoy a distinctive ambiance that combines the experience of shopping with spirituality.”

Ramadan is coming

Vendors at the market include Al Meera, Widam Food and Abu Yusuf Apiaries. There’s also Athba, a new local poultry farm in Doha that sells vegetable-fed chickens and quail birds, the Qatar Tribune reports.

There’s also a kid’s corner and a majlis.

Meerat Ramadan will be open from 4pm to 9pm daily for now. However, hours will likely change once the holy month begins, Katara said.

The exact beginning date of Ramadan has yet to be announced. But it is expected to be around Saturday, May 27.

Have you been to the market yet? Thoughts?

Satheesh/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Non-Muslims should be afforded the same rights as Muslims when living in a Muslim country, the majority (89 percent) of recently polled Qatari youth have said.

They were the most likely in 10 Arab countries to believe this to be true.

That’s according to the second annual Muslim Millennial Attitudes on Religion and Religious Leadership report.

Al Tabah Foundation

Survey results

The findings concern the report’s authors, who said there is a “dire lack of understanding among young Arabs” about how citizenship and rights work under Islam.

“The view that citizenship is subject to a hierarchy of prominence determined primarily by one’s faith is precisely the frame that extremist groups want normalized,” the report said.

The survey was conducted by the Abu Dhabi-based Tabah Foundation along with Zogby Research, which released the results this week.

The report gauges religious sentiment among youth in Qatar, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Oman, Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen.

To arrive at their conclusions, the authors interviewed more than 7,000 young Arabs in these countries earlier this year.

Identity questions

One reason Qataris might believe in equal treatment is because they were among the most likely to say they have friends or acquaintances who are not Muslim (84 percent).

In Lebanon, 95 percent of young Arabs answered affirmatively to that question.

Embrace Doha

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

But elsewhere, most people in Sudan, Mauritania, Yemen and Tunisia, among others, said they do not have non-Muslim associates.

When it came to their identity, most Qatari youth (59 percent) surveyed listed their country as the first thing that defined them.

Far fewer cited being Arab (18 percent) or Muslim (19 percent) first, and only 4 percent listed their family or tribe first.

Omar Chatriwala / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

However, nine out of 10 Qataris polled said it is still important for people they meet to know they are Muslim.

And 71 percent said religion has an important role to play in their country’s future.

Banning content

Perhaps due to their strong religious convictions, the majority of youth in all countries surveyed said they believe cultural content that breaches society’s morals and ethics should be banned.

In Qatar, 67 percent supported that notion, while 33 percent agreed with the idea that if they don’t like it, they don’t have to watch it.

Vox Cinema/Facebook

Photo for illustrative purposes only

Interestingly, Qatar was on the less conservative side when it came to censorship, compared to other countries surveyed (except for Lebanon).

The findings could indicate dropping support for banning content.

Just three years ago, for example, a media study found that 80 percent of Qatar residents approved the deletion of offensive scenes in movies.

“This support for censorship and government monitoring of entertainment content is observed across all facets of the population, except, perhaps, among Western expatriates in Qatar,” Northwestern University in Qatar said at the time.

Islamic reforms needed

When it comes to Islam, many Qataris (25 percent) said they found Friday sermons to be “bland and boring.” And only a third said they were inspirational.

The numbers may explain why Qataris overwhelmingly (70 percent) supported the idea of reforming religious discourse to make it more relevant to their lives.

Arshad Inamdar/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Local youth also believe more can be done for women in society.

Some 79 percent of Qataris said their society respects and empowers women – the most out of every country except Yemen.

But Qataris were also the most likely to support the idea that female religious scholars should be able to preach more widely in society.

Finally, a majority of youth polled in all countries said groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda “are misguided and tarnish the image of Islam.”

Thoughts?

Kamran Hanif/Flickr

Photo of Purple Island for illustrative purposes only.

A new-five year project to better understand Qatar’s marine life and uncover its “hidden secrets” is set to begin in a few months, researchers have announced.

The endeavor is being spearheaded by Qatar Museums and Qatar University, with help from Canada’s York University and Italy’s culture ministry.

It is unique in that most historical research to date in Qatar has focused on land, not water.

Omar Chatriwala / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

As a peninsula, Qatar is surrounded by water on three sides of the country. The sea proved to be its first source of income, as people went pearl diving to survive.

This is no longer the case, but Qatar’s waters still hold many mysteries.

They are teeming with marine life, including fish, dugongs and other animals, and are also home to some coral reefs.

Through this project, researchers hope to find out more about the country’s past, and connect it to the future, QU President Dr. Hassan bin Rashid Al Derham said.

Digital archive

During the first phase of the project, local and international experts will explore the archaeological characteristics of the sea.

Qatari divers will also be invited to participate in the project, which aims to establish a baseline of information on Qatar’s marine history.

Jun Ong/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

As the study nears completion, researchers will produce recordings of all the underwater archeological sites in Qatar. They will also map their locations and list whether they can be accessed by the public.

A digital archive mapping underwater culture heritage sites is also being planned, using “advanced remote sensor technology,” QM said in a statement.

Finally, more information will be provided about breeding and fishing seasons, and other aspects of Qatar’s current marine life.

Thoughts?