An evening at Aspire Park

Late night walks after a long day, allows you take in the day’s events and time to connect with mother nature. After my diner at Chef’s garden, I headed to Aspire, with the view of iconic Torch Hotel in plain sight, lit in green in solidarity with those who died in the Saudi Arabian blast, a reminder of the global chaos.

The sight of boab trees across the fields, the sound of children’s laughter, the men gathered in a circle almost in a makeshift majlis, while the women have their own circle with a watchful eye on the children, containers of food, couples walking hand in hand ,the reflection of the majestic Torch Hotel dancing int he water, the ducks and fish in the lake had all the makings for the perfect end to a day.

 

 

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Dining at Chef’s Garden

To end my Eid day, I stopped by Chef’s Garden for a quiet evening dinner, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Chef’s Garden, located at Marwan Club in Al Shaqab, is a hidden gem in Doha. With its clean aesthetic interior, providing you with a view of its great outdoors, its luscious lawn and welcoming pool views, it is certainly a place to delight.

The seasonal menu featuring organically grown local produce and its fresh fish specialties, organic meats seasoned with fresh herbs grown in their very own herb garden, are enough to whet one’s appetite.

I opted for Sesame Crusted Salmon, a baked sesame seed salmon with a lobster bisque sauce and homemade potato gnocchi. The salmon baked to medium rare, so delicate to the palate yet full of flavour complemented by fresh vegetables cooked al dente, crisp on the outside and soft and tender inside—is an ideal way to maximize their nutritional value.

Being Eid Day, the restaurant was relatively quiet. So, I got the full attention of the friendly staff.

 

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A Day in my Life!

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minarets

Eid Ul Fitr 2016 . So it was the 1st Day of Eid Ul Fitr , the morning was eventful, the excitement of going to pray in Eid Salaat, seeing new and old faces, shoulder to shoulder as one Ummah… the beauty of congregational prayer and sense of oneness in indescribable… Back at home, the house was relatively quiet, the absence of the children was so real, tears rushing to my eyes, having to remind myself that it is what it is, and I have to make the best out of what I have… our breakfast was rather simple by comparison, but it sufficed.   Finally I get to put my feet up, laptop in place and began my all too familiar skype calls, exchange of greetings, lump in my throat…  Lunch time came and went, before we knew it, Fatima had to resume her duties at work, leaving me to my solitude. Armed with my Nikon, I set out to explore  the Education City Mosque.    The spectacular mosque with its trademark minarets that stretch up 90m into the sky which point straight towards Makkah, has become a new highlight in Doha.  The mosque with its capacity of 1,800 worshippers in its main prayer hall and exterior courtyards and its exterior elevation covered with embossed verses from the Qur’an, rests on five main structural columns, representing the 5 pillars of Islam. Four streams of water each representing wine, milk, honey and water, flow from the surrounding gardens into the building. A modern structure, to say the least.

Once inside, the minimalist and contemporary aesthetic exudes calmness, serenity yet warm and welcoming. The modern twist of the arabesque designs with different mediums so evident, the geometric patterns so intricate yet so simple.

The Mihrab features a golden text and a Qur’anic ayat which translates as: “So turn your face toward al-Masjid al-Haram. And wherever you [believers] are, turn your faces toward it [in prayer].” 2:144T

The call to prayer so soothing and so welcoming, followed by the total surrender of the worshippers.

It was time to visit the courtyard and some picture taking.

 

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