Going out with a bang!



Gail: Congratulations again on your 8 years at HP.  Go out with a bang!

These photos were taken right from our living room window.  It was the Eid fireworks display at Katara (Qatar’s cultural center) across the bay from the Pearl where we live.



Meeting new friends



The best pancake place in Doha is Ric’s Kountry Kitchen. It opened here in 1997 by Rick, from Oklahoma, who was an oilman in the Persian Gulf. After quite a few years of oil work, he decided to open a pancake place in Doha. Pictured to my right are Ric’s daughter Ashley (Harley shirt) and her best friend Michelle. On the tube is the Miami – Dallas game.  A special subscription needs to be purchased in order to watch NFL games all season. Pancakes, brewed coffee, and an NFL game.  Almost feels like home. Perhaps I’ll start gaining weight now.
This is the first day of Eid, which follows Ramadan. It’s about a 2 week holiday for Qatari’s and other Muslims across the Arab World. Kind of like our Christmas. We expats get only 3 of the days off, but they’re in conjunction with a weekend, so I’m at the start of 5 days off. I’ll get my apartment in order, see a few sights, and do some running. Quite hot and humid (for another month) but I really don’t mind.
Next stop is the Souq, which is nearby Ric’s.  I need to shop for some small baskets to hold all the little miscellaneous piles of stuff I have stashed around the apartment. I need to clean things up before Sheikha Gaila arrives next month. Rather than purchasing the nondescript baskets at Ikea, I decided to hold off and find some more original baskets from the Souq or possibly the Omani Market which specialize in many regional goods continuing the ancient trading traditions.
Happy running. Enjoy the Peppermint Run this weekend!
Eid Mubarak.

Meeting with a colleague

I had lunch with a colleague from another firm,
at the Sheraton, which is one if the few places that discreetly serves lunch
during Ramadan. His name is Bob Cooper – British fellow. Lives in Dubai and commutes to Qatar each week.



View from the Sheraton.



Around town

Around town

I was just at Starbucks at City Center Mall for some shopping this evening. (Not driving quite yet due to the long process in obtaining a license.) I sat down and started chatting with this fellow, Fadi. We talked for over an hour. He has a metal fab shop in Doha. He has a brother and cousins with businesses in California and Arizona. He’s visited there several times with his family, wife and 3 kids. He offered to give me a lift back to the Pearl just now. Nice fellow. I will treat for coffee next time we meet. He speaks good English and is a fountain of information about things to do in Doha.
Gail, I am serious about taking you on a 4wd sand dune excursion and sleeping in a Bedouin tent far off in the desert. It’s all the rage here in winter.

I’m still running

out for a run

out for a run

Just went for a nice run at the Pearl where I now live. Hot but still really good to stretch the legs. Fortunately the mildly injured soccer muscle up high in the thigh apparently has little to do with running.  Heading down the boardwalk in a little while for an Iftar dinner at a Lebanese place the office was talking about.
Getting medical checks, driver’s license, Qatari ID, work visa is a zany process but fun in a way. Our driver Saaed from Egypt knows the ins and outs of this City as he drives everyone around for these things, and he’s very fun to listen to as he explains the whimsical processes while zipping though heavy traffic and around roundabouts (a crazy British invention almost as odd as positive ground).
Miss you guys. Come visit.

Tournament results and awards

“Q22” below stands for Qatar 2022, which means the organizing committee for the World Cup program that is being planned for 2022.

The Q22 Ramadan Staff Football Tournament got off to a great start this year, with a total of 64 members of the team participating. The whole tournament proved to be an incredible success, with everyone involved having a great time while promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, in line with our Value of Unity and our strategic goals and objectives.

The players were split into eight different teams, with each team playing three group stage matches. Competition was fierce throughout, with just the top two teams from each group progressing to the knock-out stages. In the end, though, only one team was left standing. Solar Power triumphed over FC Oryx in the battle for the championship, claiming an impressive 11-2 victory.

A hearty round of applause to Solar Power (Apostolis Kalogiannis, Joseph Newnham, Hon NG, Khalid Ba-Abbad, Sakis Batsilas and Zaid Mosawy)who just wrote themselves into Q22 history as the winners of our first ever Ramadan Staff Football Tournament.

The captains of the eight participating teams voted to give the Best Player Award to Hon Ng, who was instrumental in the success of his tournament-winning team.

The Golden Boot Award, for the tournament’s top scorer, was tightly fought, with the winner decided on the final day of the tournament. Seamus McLoughney put together an impressive tally, scoring a remarkable 26 goals to edge out Jamie Frost and Hon NG for the title.

Finally, the Fair Play Award, for the team that had the fewest bookings and demonstrated exemplary sportsmanlike conduct on and off the pitch, was given to FC Falcons (Daniel Jonak, Rhali Amrani, Tobias Toon, James Stearn, Fadel Zitoun, Haroon Haider, Rauf Mammadov).

Congratulations to the winners and to everyone who contributed to the success of the tournament. We are already planning more ways to keep Q22 healthy and improve football participation.