Attending a Qatari Wedding

by Darla on April 18, 2009

in Doha, Qatar

Ahhhh the long awaited opportunity to attend a Qatari wedding arrived.  A friend had a ticket to attend a wedding and extended the invitation to me.  I’ve always wanted to go but figured that after 3 years the chance was not very high.

So we set off at 7pm thinking that it was a little late since the invitation was for 5:30pm.  We arrived to find out that there were maybe 7 other women present.  Guess we weren’t late after all.

At the entrance, cell phones/cameras were taken and we were patted down to make sure we weren’t hiding any in our bra.  It was pretty funny.

Two hours later and we were still a part of a small group.  We set out with the idea that we would stay maybe an hour or so and then go.  Hmmm well there wasn’t much to see up to this point so maybe it would be a good idea to stay a bit later.  Three of us went together so we spent the time discussing wedding from different cultures.  My friend Stella is from India and had experience with several different cultures.  My friend Janet, LDS western culture, shared her traditions and I shared my experience and even though married in an LDS Temple it was so different.  Going with a friend is a fantastic idea.

At about 10pm the “band” showed up.  All ladies of course one had a bell and a drum stick while the others had a Takhamir drum that looked like the one in this gentleman’s hand.

Here are some of the other instruments used.  Arabic Musical Instruments

While many of the words were beyond me several kept reoccurring over and over.  Interesting because I’ve never been able to understand anything.  Perhaps my ears are becoming more attune to the sounds?  The room was set up so that at the one end sat a sofa on a raised platform with a catwalk that extended 3/4 of the way into the room.  We could only guess that it was for the ladies to walk down the runway to display their beautiful dresses?  Nope it was to dance on.  Not anything like I’ve seen before.  If they danced well or were friends of the family money was showered over their heads.  Hundreds of 1, 5 and 10qr.  (USD .30, $1 and $3)  There may have been others denominations but that is what we saw.  This is the wedding gift.  As you might guess lots of money all over the place and approximately 4 ladies fully covered collected the money.

This isn’t the particular bride as you aren’t

allowed to take photos but would be a great representation.

After a couple songs the bride came into the room.  She walked very, very, very slowly.  It seemed that her dress was very heavy.  There were shiny diamonds, crystals or rhinestones all over the dress.  (Not sure which)  She was very beautiful.  It took two attendants walking beside her to keep her dress from folding under her as she walked and not to trip.  She walked the length of the room and up onto the sofa where she sat and the ladies of the room greeted her, showered her with money.

At about 11pm the ladies put their abayas back on and headdress, perhaps the bridegroom is coming?  We had a broadcast feed from the men’s tent and then the groom’s party came into the room.  Photos were taken of this group and then the groom stayed with the bride.  More people came to greet them as a couple.  It was obvious who were the members of his family as they were not covered after the main group of men left.  Greeted more family members and then the bride and groom left.

The buffet was served with traditional Arabic flair and flavor.  Yummy!  Appetizers and chocolates were available in abundance throughout the evening for those that were munchy.

At 12pm we left to go home.  We were not the first to leave but we were tired and had work the next day.  What an amazing experience.

For more information:

The real lesson of this event:  In the scriptures, we read the story of the Ten Virgins which can be read in Matthew 25:1-14 We waited a long time for the bride to come and then for the bride groom.  There were times we were ready to leave.  It was easy to see that we could have easily missed him if we weren’t patient enough.  Attending this wedding was to me like reenacting the scripture story.  I didn’t appreciate how long we would wait and didn’t know that I should have eaten something before I went.  This event changed my heart and I hope to be ready when it is time to attend His wedding with my oil lamp filled.


May. 10, 2009 – Untitled Comment

Posted by tlpgina (
Really interesting! I bet it does make that scripture have a little more realism now?
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May. 22, 2009 – Untitled Comment

Posted by lahbluebonnet (
Thanks for visiting my blog and asking about costumes. I am working on a blog article, or series of them, about this. I do have a few articles on the ancient costumes specifically, none of which I used patterns for. Usually I do use a pattern, unless there isn’t one out there. For example, my son wanted a General Lafayette costume but there is no pattern. So I took a pattern for a colonial/pirate vest and coat. I changed the coloring. Looked at pictures, primarily from our vacation in Colonial Williamsburg and our visit with Lafayette. I purchased broadcloth which is cheap but got the navy blue and buff colors. I just tried to recreate with things I had. I knew I needed silver stars for the epaulettes, golds for the epaulettes and gold buttons. Those were the supplies.
We use TOG so I know which eras we are going to study for the year. Then for each 9 week unit my kids and I choose one character to reenact. So usually I have an idea but don’t know the specifics until the end. I have that luxery.
In your case, you might want to look at the eras you are doing, buy patterns to match and look on the back to gather the supplies.

I don’t know if you can mail order supplies or not. There are alot of craft companies that do that but dont know if they deliver to other countries. Perhaps a family member could mail things to you?

Like I said, you have inspired me to become more vocal of how we do costumes. I had considered this in the past, but had no idea if there’d be any interest in it. =)

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May. 29, 2009 – Untitled Comment

Posted by lahbluebonnet (
This wedding entry was very interesting to read. We’ll return to ancient history in two years and we are definitely using your blog as a third person interpretation of the area. =) I’m also going to read it more to see what all you have and incorporate it into our devotions. We pretty much read through the Bible when we did year 1, main OT books, Acts and survey of rest. Then we read through the rest of NT letters and just started the gospel of Matthew right before the move. We need to do each of the gospels and this blog will be great to correlate. We did learn in our ancient history studies that a lot hasn’t changed in that part of the world…that Middle Eastern thought is so different from the Western World.

Do you use TOG? Are you on the TLT list? If so, you should share some of these entries for year 1 studies. I moderate TLT and year 1 and this stuff is great.

Where will you be stateside?


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May. 29, 2009 – Untitled Comment

Posted by dgallew (
Do you use TOG?
We just started using TOG this spring. We had used a free lesson plan for American History but it didn’t work out. God was preparing us for Tapestry of Grace. 🙂 Funny thing is after so many years of homeschooling I feel like I’ve come home. Hallelujah!

Are you on the TLT list?
I am on TOG Yr3 list. What is the TLT list?

Please feel free to send a link to my blog to the group. I’m more than happy to answer questions I can. We used the Mystery of History during that time. It is an optional spine for TOG which is how I initially heard about TOG. Some of the friends that I made on that group lead me to TOG. It truly is a small world.

Where will you be stateside?
We fly into Washington DC and then will be in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. Perhaps even Williamsburg but only time will tell as it needs to be rather flexible. (We’re selling out house in Pittsburgh) We’ve visited Williamsburg several times and love it. May not make that but hope to visit sites in Philadelphia and perhaps a quick trip to Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts.

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