QATAR – Ramadan Around the World

Museum of Islamic Art set against a beautiful skyline in Doha, Qatar.

WITH the advent of Ramadan in Qatar, the working hours are reduced, which makes the streets, shopping malls, markets and entertainment centers quite crowded. Qatari women purchase and store special spices for this month, prepare milk and rice, and produce clarified butter from the milk of cows and sheep, which they distribute to their friends, family and neighbors.

Qatar lodges millions of residents from various Arab and Muslim countries, who  try to replicate the distinctive customs and traditions of their homelands in the month of Ramadan. Qatari citizens, on the other hand, revive their age-old traditions and customs.

Another distinguishing feature of Ramadan in Qatar is the sound of cannons being fired to indicate the time for breaking the fast. However, the profession of Al-Musahhir (the man who used to wake up people to eat Suhoor before daybreak) has completely vanished.


Cannons being fired to indicate iftar time.

Masjids usually witness an overwhelmingly large number of worshippers and religious discourses are held either before the time of breaking the fast or after Taraweeh prayer.

Traditional Qatari food

Qatari citizens prepare for Ramadan by buying various traditional food and drinks such as Al-Harees, which consists of mashed wheat mixed with meat, clarified butter and ground cinnamon.

Other essential items on the menu in Ramadan are Ath-Thareed, which consists of tiny pieces of bread with gravy poured over it and Al-Machboos, which is a spicy meat and rice dish.


Machboos and Thareed

Al-Muhallabiyyah, which consists of rice and milk topped with saffron and cardamom; Al-Madhroobah and Al-Luqaymaat (sweet dumplings), which is similar to Luqmat Al-Qadi (featured in Kuwait page); and Al-’Awwamah are other popular sweets.

Immediately after the Taraweeh prayer, the men meet together for the midnight meal called Al-Ghibqah and the women also meet after Taraweeh for leisurely soirees lasting a few hours. During Al-Ghibqah, special dishes are served like Al-Mehammar, which is a dish of fried fish and rice cooked with sugar, in addition to Al-Hareesah and Al-Madhroobah.

Charity in Ramadan

In Qatar, about 250,000 needy people gather around what Arabs call “the tables of Ar-Rahmaan”, which the wealthy prepare for the poor throughout the country. Besides, when the time of Iftar approaches, a variety of snacks are distributed among the fasting people on the road who are unable to reach their homes in time to break their fast.

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