Everyone had told us about the generosity of the people in the Middle East, and I have been visiting here regularly for over a year and experienced a great deal of this. However, since moving to Doha two months ago, I can honestly say that we have been extremely humbled by the generous and welcoming spirit of the Qatari people and Arabic friends we have made here.
Within my first month I had been invited to become a regular addition to the Thursday evening women’s get together at the home of the Mother of one of my contacts, and I am now treated just as one of the family. They invited me to the wedding of one of the girls and that was the most colourful and again, welcoming experience I have had – I need to write an account of this alone.
We have been invited to fishing trips, meals to meet family and my husband has even been measured for a traditional ‘Thobe’ to be worn when we go to his friend’s house for the Eid celebration.
One Arabic business women I know explained that in Britain we have to get to know someone for a long time before inviting them to our homes, but here it is completely the reverse situation.
I am enjoying exploring the difference – but my waistline is struggling to deal with all the wonderful food!