Day 93: International Day and Other Events

A little while back, CMU-Qatar held its annual International Day, which was the finale for a week full of events based on introducing other cultures. It started with American Day (in my Easter post, I talked about the food and how I made some omelettes for everyone), and included Arab, Desi, and African food throughout the rest of the week. On that Thursday evening, there was an International Day event hosted by CMU. It had food from all over the world (ie. tacos, sushi, hamburgers, pasta!) and a variety of performances by students and staff. The performances were all awesome to watch, as everyone was passionate about their country’s native dance or song. At the event, I had the opportunity to wear a thobe- check my pictures! It’s incredibly comfortable and quite light as well. It was 85* that day, and I felt like I was wearing shorts and polyester T-shirt. Underneath, it’s common to wear a very light pair of pants (3/4 length) and a thin white T-shirt. Sandals are the common footwear, although some people do wear dress shoes for more formal events. The common dress is finished with a white cap (gahfeya) covered by a flowing white or red scarf (guhtra). The black coil piece (iqal) holds everything in place and has 2 tassels that drop down behind the neck. I will definitely wear it again before I leave! If I come back to Qatar to work after graduation, I would consider wearing it every day.

Last week, I participated in a laser tag tournament which my team won! We all received gift cards for the mall for winning! This week there are a few fitness challenges, so we shall see how slow my 3 miles run is in this desert heat. The prizes and free food/giveaways at each event is incredible. Qatar definitely has some perks… I don’t think I paid for food during for an entire week- there were events with (legitimately good) food at least twice a day. This week, my dean from CMU-Pittsburgh, Jim Garrett, is coming to give a lecture on smart infrastructure improvements. I’m excited to also have a chance to talk to him about my experience and hopefully get more CIT (engineering college at CMU) students to come to Doha! I’m also in the process of planning an event this weekend to watch CMU’s buggy races for their Spring Carnival. I’m bummed I can’t make it back, but I’m excited to support the CMU Fishing team’s buggy endeavors! Hopefully we can get some more CMU-Q students interested in buggy, booth, and the rest of Carnival as well!

Over the past few weeks I’ve focused on schoolwork, but I’ve had some fun as well. I’ve explored a few more restaurants, made a couple trips to the Souq, and spent a lot of time with friends. I’ve also had way too much chicken shwarma, and I know I’m going to miss some of the authentic food when I leave.

I only have 3 weeks left in Doha! And school is picking up for the last two weeks… I have 3 papers, 2 projects, and 3 finals, so I’ll be busy with work. It broke 100 degrees here today too, although it’s been a relatively mild April so far. Every night is perfect weather to eat and hangout outside, so we’ve been taking advantage of it while it lasts!

I’m excited to come back home, but I’m starting to feel a bit at home here in Doha too! I’ve made some great friends here, and I’m looking forward to having at least a few more weeks to spend with them!

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