Tuesday, September 18, 2012


So I found out what this building is today.  It's the FANAR or the Qatar Islamic Cultural Center.  It's a non profit organization that "motivates society to become more informed about Islam."  Fanar is a Qatari word meaning "flourescent floodlight mounted on a high tower."  Which if I'm not mistaken, translates to "lighthouse."  Not sure why they don't just say, "Fanar means lighthouse," but I haven't been "motivated to become more informed about Islam" just yet.  :-)

All joking aside, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the FANAR this morning.  I went with a small group of women to a cultural seminar held there once a month.  Today's topic was "Introduction to life in Qatar."  It was very much like the class ExxonMobil offers to new expats ... a brief overview of the Qatari culture.  I would definitely return for future seminars which include more deails regarding food, clothing, weddings, etc.  They served both traditional Arabic tea and hot sweet tea during the presentation ... both unique, not sure which I preferred.  The Arabic tea was a very different flavor and was very fragrant.  The sweet tea was crazy sweet - like Sonic or Chic-fil-A in Houston, but served hot.  The presentation was given by a young Qatari women who spoke perfect English.  She did a great job introducing Qatar - both the history and the present day Qatar - even the correct pronounciation of Qatar!  :-)  After the presentation, they offered a large spread of snacks and drinks.  I wasn't expecting a free lunch, so it was fantastic all around!


  1. Do tell- what is the correct pronunciation???

    1. Ginny ... the way it was explained was almost like, everything is correct, nothing is wrong.

      In Arabic, it starts with more of a G sound (like gutta), but the Qatari dialect doesn't really use the G sound, so they pronounce it more like a C (cutta). It's two short almost harsh syllables and the R is almost silent.

      However, you hear Qatar pronounced all kinds of ways and no one ever corrects you. The two most common pronounciations among expats seems to be "Cutar" (Like Cut-tar) or "Catar" (like Ca as in cat, so Ca-tar)...emphasis on the "tar".