Last Friday we went out for trying the Iftar dinner. This is a special Ramadan dinner, the Muslims eat after sunset. They don't eat, drink or smoke, etc. until the sun is up (they sleep instead), then when the sun goes down -around 6 pm here- they shut the gun on the Corniche and everybody starts eating and they eat all night long. The shops are open through the night, the restaurants and everything, and proportionally most of the shops are closed during the day, and of course all coffee shops and restaurants are closed too .
You can get this Iftar buffet in every hotel and restaurants. They begin with eating sweets, especially the date fruit stuffed with all sorts of things and drinking very sweet drinks (non-alcoholic of course) to work their blood-sugar up again, and so they go on to all the rest... We have been to the Ritz Carlton and there they had 50 different dishes, mostly traditional Arabic cuisine... and this is how it is every day during the Holy Month of Ramadan, while they're fasting. Throughout the day there's hardly any traffic on the roads (well, compared to Doha normally), and after 6 pm, you just can't get to go anywhere... There are people just driving around between two roundabouts, back and forth on the Corniche waiting for the gunshot, so that they can finally get some food.
This is the restaurant inside - quite an Arabic atmosphere:-):
The ladies here in the black abayas did not like us taking pictures - even if didn't want to take pictures of them directly-, you are not allowed to photograph Arabic women at any times (unless you get their permission), but now during Ramadan they are even more sensitive.
We have to acknowledge certain rules here in the Ramadan too, even though we aren't Muslims. We are not allowed to smoke, drink, chew gum or eat in public in the hours between sunrise and sunset. You cannot even do so in your car while driving... imagine how lovely this rule is when we have 45 degrees Celsius here in shade. If you would to it anyway, you risk getting a warning from the police or it can even result in spending the rest of the month in jail!!!?- This is only valid for adults though. You aren't allowed to dance or sing or listen to loud music in public, or wear revealing and tight clothes.
Soffi has found a little friend at the Iftar anyway:-), not that she notices a lot of these Ramadan rules... but after we've been eating they've been running around together, looking at each other's shoes and trying them on... so typical women;-)...
The Ramadan is almost over, it will be finished on the coming Wednesday or Thursday depending on the sun or the moon or both:-)... and then we will have the first Eid, which is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, it's actually 3 days of holiday, we are looking forward to that:-).