Event · food · Travel

Turkey-ing Qatar

Qatar has hailed 2015 as Qatar Turkey Year of Culture. Throughout the year, various activities have been laid out to mutually promote understanding and cooperation between the 2 countries.

I found out that there will be a Turkish Festival and Bazaar that will be held over the weekend in Museum of Islamic Arts (MIA) Park. The organizers promised a fun-filled day and activities with Turkish performances, various workshops and exhibits and a cinema under the stars. Of course the regulars and sure-fire attractions of food, shopping and children’s area will be present. An added bonus for those who commute is that free shuttle is provided between MIA Park and the Old Airport Departure Parking area.

This is one not to be missed.

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I did not let the opportunity pass as it would a good time to reminisce my trips to Turkey, particularly in the Grand Bazaar, where a cornucopia of sights and smells excite the senses.

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Welcoming guests is a huge photography cube entitled “New Angles, New Perspectives” taken by Qatari photographers in Istanbul to Ankara to Cappadocia to Lake Tuz. These photos transported me back to 2009 and 2010 and make me want to go back for the 3rd time.

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We then entered the bazaar tents which showcase Turkish/Qatari stuff. Very reminiscent of the Grand Bazaar though at a much, much less scale.

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The regulars in any Turkish bazaar were present – Turkish carpets, lamps, colorful ornaments, shisha, Turkish coffee maker, accessories, backgammon boards, etc. It is delightful to see the colorful Turkish prints in the wares.

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But what caught my attention, and a lot of other guests was this man’s art. With a little bit of research, I found that this technique is called “Ebru”.

Marbling is the art of creating colorful patterns by sprinkling and brushing color pigments on a pan of oily water and then transforming this pattern to paper. The special tools of the trade are brushes of horsehair bound to straight rose twigs, a deep tray made of unknotted pinewood, natural earth pigments, cattle gall and tragacanth.

http://www.turkishculture.org/traditional-arts/marbling-113.htm

See how he did it. It’s amazing isn’t it?

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Art works were on display and were on sale for as cheap as QR60.

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On towards the food area. It was a shame that we were just too full for even just a bite of baklava! Food looks appetizing and judging from the crowd, dondurma is the bestseller. As it is in Turkey, dondurma sellers in MIA Park also prepare the ice cream in an entertaining fashion.

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On another side of the venue is the workshop area which featured Karagoz shadow puppetry. Children were busy making their puppets from socks and I think they were having some fun. Too bad I’m too old to participate 🙂

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In the middle of the venue is the Entertainment Zone. We were able to watch the Mehteran Ottoman Military Band play, a Turkish folk dance presentation and a demonstration of Iznik tile making.

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It was a worthwhile event to go to, being acquainted with another country in your own locale. I will be on the lookout for more events like this. Winter is just around the corner and spending time outdoors is the way to do it.

What about you? Do you enjoy events like this?

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4 thoughts on “Turkey-ing Qatar

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