Browsing 'weddings' News

Weddings tend to be a lavish affair in Qatar, especially for local women. Typically, the celebrations are separated by gender.

While men’s weddings are generally casual and open to typically everyone, women’s are invite-only and pretty fancy.

This is because women take weddings very seriously, according to Aisha Al-Ziani at I Love Qatar, which came out with a Qtip on the subject this week.

Lesley Walker

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Speaking to Doha News, she explained that weddings in Qatar are large and “far from being considered simple.”

She continued:

“Sometimes thousands of people can attend the wedding, and therefore the wedding has to meet the needs and standards of most of the guests.

Wedding halls have to be big enough to host such a big number of people, and different kinds of delicacies and cuisines are served in abundance, all to express generosity and welcome people that are here to celebrate the union of the two souls.”

In her Qtip, Al-Ziani highlights some things you may not already know about these celebrations:

1) No phone zone

During wedding celebrations, women aren’t wearing their abayas and hijabs.

Pixabay

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

So phones and cameras may be taken away at the entrance to the wedding to protect guests’ privacy and modesty, Al-Ziani says.

2) Don’t bring gifts

When going to a Qatari wedding, there’s no need to rack your brain about what to get the new couple.

FutUndBeidl/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The bride and groom aren’t expecting their guests to bring any gifts, and instead will likely show their appreciation to attendees by giving them stuff, Al-Ziani says.

3) Dress to impress

Expect the evening to be filled with dancing and fashion show-esque fun.

Ren Wlasiuk

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Women will be dressed in their finest clothes, and some might even throw cash at you. This is simply to celebrate the bride and “express generosity,” Al-Ziani says.

4) No men allowed (except the groom)

Though this is a segregated affair and men aren’t allowed in the hall, there is one exception: when the groom arrives to take photos with his wife.

David Precious/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

“And that’s when you see everyone running around trying to cover up,” Al-Ziani quips.

Have you ever been to a Qatari wedding? Thoughts?

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Rimoh Jacob/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Gunfire at celebrations in Qatar is prohibited under the law and could turn “happiness into sorrow,” the Ministry of Interior has reminded residents this week.

In a series of half a dozen tweets this week, the MOI warned against using firearms during special occasions, especially weddings, saying the practice is “extremely dangerous and could lead to human and material loss.”

The MOI added:

Translation: Any kind of firearm is a symbol of blood, while weddings call for happiness and joy; be sure not to carry (firearms), so our happiness does not turn into sorrow.

The law

Carrying and using firearms during celebrations in Qatar is illegal, according to Law No. 14 of 1999.

Translation: Some people continue to carry firearms and shoot gunshots on special occasions and weddings, which is a violation that puts them under legal liability.

Article 12 states:

“No weapons licensed for possession or acquisition shall be carried at official celebrations, public and private events, conferences and processions, nor shall weapons be carried in markets and public places except under license by the Licensing Authority and in accordance with the specified conditions.”

Penalties for firing guns or setting off fireworks in residential areas or on public roads without a license can range from QR1,000 to QR3,000.

Speaking to Doha News, former Qatar justice minister and practicing criminal attorney Dr. Najeeb Al Nuaimi said that firing guns in isolated areas far from neighborhoods is legal as long as the firearm is licensed.

However, he added that it’s dangerous to use firearms in public areas where people have gathered.

Cultural practice

Firing guns in the air to express joy during celebrations, especially at weddings, is a common practice in many Arab countries.

Al Nuaimi said that before the law in Qatar was issued, men always used to fire guns during weddings to greet the groom and guests, as was the culture in many other GCC countries.

Wedding in the UAE for illustrative purposes only.

Tribes of the World/Flickr

Wedding in the UAE for illustrative purposes only.

However, many nations have outlawed the practice because it is so dangerous.

In 2012 for example, gunfire at a wedding party in eastern Saudi Arabia led to the collapse of an electric cable, killing 23 people, according to NBC.

Years earlier in 2007, three people were killed in Baghdad from celebratory gunfire when fans of the Iraqi football team celebrated their win against Vietnam during the Asian cup, according to the BBC.

Studies cited by the channel state that although the velocity of a falling bullet is less than one that has just been shot, it is still enough to be fatal.

Ballistics expert David Dyson explained:

“These bullets go a long way up when they’re fired… but you don’t know where they’re going to land – there’s always a chance of them causing serious harm or death.”

Theorizing on the reason for the gunfire practice, Prof. Peter Squires, an expert in gun crime and gun culture at the University of Brighton, told the BBC that “the practice stems from cultural assumptions linking weapons with masculinity and ego.”

Regardless of safety concerns, Al Nuami said many continue in Qatar continue to flout the law and fire guns.

Laws and penalties

To own a firearm in Qatar, one must obtain a license from the MOI. According to regulations cited in article nine of the Law No. 14 of 1999, applicants must:

  • Photo for illustrative purposes only.

    Keary O/Flickr

    Photo for illustrative purposes only.

    Be more than 21 years old;

  • Not have a criminal record, including committing or attempting to commit crimes related to attacking people, theft, or crimes that violate honor or integrity;
  • Not been previously arrested in a crime against the state or related to the military forces;
  • Not been previously arrested in crimes related to drugs or narcotics;
  • Have a proven good character and conduct; and
  • Not proven to have any mental or psychological illness or disability the prevents him from using a gun properly.

It does not specify whether an applicant must be Qatari, but Nuami said licenses are rarely given to expats unless they work in the special forces or are in the military. He added that it’s also not easy for a local to obtain a license for a gun even if he or she meets the above specifications.

Penalties for possessing unlicensed firearms in Qatar ranges from fines of QR1,000 to QR50,000 and/or a prison sentence ranging from one year to seven years in prison, depending on the kind of firearm.

Thoughts?

By Ren Wlasiuk

East met west in a cornucopia of tulle, silk, satin and lace as wedding designers, planners and events coordinators showcased their wares and services at IWED 2013 Exhibition this weekend.

Fashion shows on the catwalk exhibited wedding abayas and dresses to suit all tastes. Glam You Image’s Elisabete Reis presented a montage of dresses from various designers from the Gulf to Brazil, showing dresses for the brides, bridesmaids, mothers of the bride and flower girls. Her speciality was to show how with the right dress, women of any shape and size can look beautiful and elegant on that special day.

Wedding design houses from around the world presented a dazzling display of unique wedding couture ranging from the classic to the outlandish in a bid to gain prestige here in Qatar where weddings are a huge investment and a momentous affair in any household. 

Did you attend the convention? Thoughts?