Sunday, September 8, 2013

Desert Kokeshi 15 砂漠のこけし15

There's a lot to see in downtown Doha, and last week I saw some interesting things that were a complete surprise. Once again I brought the Togatta kokeshi along for the trip.
There is construction everywhere in Doha in preparation for the 2022 World Cup. All those cranes  in the background are part of a major construction project for train station and underground system (I don't think it's a subway except in the city). By the way, not only doesn't Qatar have a train station it also doesn't have any trains. They are going to build the country's first train line for the World Cup as well.
One thing I really like about Qatar is that you can go anywhere, it seems, and nobody bothers you. When I was downtown this time we wondered around from place to place with complete freedom. That was really nice.
Kokeshis are welcome everywhere in Qatar too.
Camels are part of Arabic culture, and they're of course here in Qatar.  There was a pen full of them right in the heart of the city, most likely for the security guards who occasionally ride camels through the old souk (Souk Waqif, which I've shown in previous blogs).
Our destination on this evening was the Falcon Souk and the horse stables, both of which are in the heart of downtown Doha. So what's a Falcon Souk you might ask? Well, it's a market where one purchase a falcon or falcon goods like the little hats they wear, or, I believe,  keep one's falcon. Yes, there is an entire market devoted to falcons and falconry here in Doha, and we went there were plenty of people sitting around chatting in the falcon shops. I had no idea that the Qataris loved falcons so much, but they do.
This handsome building is the Falcon Souk.
Inside the Falcon Souk -- a very handsome building indeed.
Some falcons. I asked if I could take this picture and it was no problem. I have found that nobody minds that I'm constantly taking pictures of things.
Examining falcons.
Outside another falcon shop.
Right next to the Falcon Souk is a large, beautiful horse stable. I'm not sure why it's located where it is -- perhaps they're the Qatari Emir's horses? Anyhow, it's freely open to the public, and so I introduced the kokeshi to a couple of nice Arabian horses.
The stable's exterior.
Kokeshi, meet horse. Horse, meet kokeshi. Interestingly, I have learned that Arabian horses are white when they're young, but take on a light gray patina as they get older. Therefore, this is an older horse, but still fully capable of appreciating kokeshis.
Inside the stable.
Behind the stable is Doha's Grand Mosque, which is lit up beautifully at night.
This other building may have been the Emir's palace, or perhaps parliament. I'm not sure, but it was nicely lit up.
And so ends another exiting Kokeshi Adventure in the wonderful country of Qatar.

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