We’ve opened up a new store in Doha, Qatar, and to celebrate we teamed up with the one-and-only Anna Dello Russo for a big bash. Above, your first look at Wednesday’s event — from the invite by artist Happy Menocal to the boutique interior to the crowd of local tastemakers who joined in on the festivities, including bloggers Ascia AKF and Anum Bashir and photographer Noor Mohammed Al-Nisf.
Plus, for some insider insight on what makes the country tick, we spoke with Noor, who’s behind the popular Instagram @its_noory. Discover Doha’s highlights and customs — and get to know Noor, too — in the Q&A here.
It’s the homeland of peace and welfare.
Best time of the year to visit…
Winter time (December to March).
First-time visitors must visit…
The Souq Waqif (a traditional market with nice restaurants), Katara Cultural Village (there’s a beach, art and photography exhibitions, nice restaurants and coffee shops), the Museum of Islamic Art and Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum, the Al Shaqab horse riding academy, Corniche and Aspire Park.
The top three Qatar customs to know…
1. Hospitality: In Doha, greeting and welcoming visitors is a must. We usually have to serve them coffee with dates, food, etc. It could be disrespectful if we never make our visitors feel welcomed, whether they are local visitors or tourists.
2. Generosity: People in Doha are known for their generosity. For different kinds of occasions it is a must to give a gift, even if it’s as simple as flowers or chocolate. Even when you visit people, it is important to take something with you. Giving gifts is very essential in our culture; we believe that giving makes us happy.
3. Greetings: It’s important to greet people in a respectful manner when you see them.
And words and phrases to know…
Assalamu alaikum (“may peace be upon you”) used for greetings. Kef halik (“how are you”)? Ya hla (“welcome”). Shukran (“thank you”).
One secret about Qatar only a local would know…
The Sidra tree (Ziziphus spina-christi) is native to Qatar and grows in dry climates. It is found everywhere in Doha and most people grow it in their own houses. The Qatar Foundation for Education used the tree as its logo because the Sidra tree symbolizes unity and what makes it special, according to the foundation, is the “roots bound in the soil of this world and its branches reaching upwards toward perfection.”
I love photography because…
It helps me to express my feelings, give inspirational messages to the world and, also, when I look back at these pictures, it makes me feel the moments. Photography can tell a lot about a person and reflects what’s inside a person. I believe that beauty is in simple things around us; it’s just how we view it.
And my favorite subjects to photograph…
Lifestyle, fashion and nature. My main goal is to spread positive energy and write inspirational messages to people. I started to focus on inspirational messages in my videos and photos recently by writing my own words and found out that my followers were very interested. I always aim to be different and want to leave my fingerprint on every person I meet so I will continue to link photography with important messages that people would love to read/hear.
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