As I am curating the twitter user @weareqatar , I get some questions that aren’t easy to answer in 140 characters or less, so I’m replying here and linking there.
I got this question:
@WeAreQatar What happens in a Qatari household on a typical Friday? Does the whole family gather?
— Amy Bambridge (@escapetoqatar) December 12, 2013
What is Friday in Arabic, the word is “Jumuah” which means gathering. It’s a day of gathering people together.
I would start by saying that every family does different things, it starts with the tribal affiliation, and ends in personal choices. I will describe what my family does.
Just like everyday, I get up for the morning prayer (before sunrise, tomorrow the call will be 4:48 am, prayer is around 25 minutes later), I try go to the mosque and pray in congregation.
I go back into bed and sleep for a while, then I get up at around 10am (most of the family is already up, probably had a bath/shower, and breakfast). I usually have a shower, get dressed in a fresh thobe, get a fresh ghutra (I usually prefer white), get ready to go to the mosque.
I go to the ground floor of our house and my children rush to kiss my head.
My wife would bring some burning oud. She would put the oud container on the floor, and I would stand over it… the incensed smoke would pass under my thobe, and start escaping from between the buttons. My 11-year old son would do the same.
Then she brings some oud oil and puts a dab behind my ears, and another one on the back of my right hand. I would spread those behind my ears, and the one on my hand and use it to perfume my hands and my face. My son does the same.
We go to the mosque to attend the Friday prayers: Listen to both sermons, and pray.
We usually go as a family to my parents’ house for lunch, and since Friday prayers finish earlier and my daughters need “more time to get ready”, my son and I go to Starbucks. We go back home and pick up the rest of the family to go to my parents’ house.
When we arrive, we split into 2 groups:
- The 1st group is my parents, myself, my siblings, and all the boys.
- The 2nd one is my wife, my brother’s wife, my daughters, and my sister’s daughters.
Depending on the attendance, we may group differently.
When I enter the house, I start by greeting “Al-Salam Alaikum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh”, and try to find my mother. I kiss her on the head, then do the same for my father. My siblings and nieces/nephews would be queuing to kiss my head.
Each group has their own lunch, we chat, and we discuss many things… After lunch we would sip some tea, Arabic coffee, eat some cake, sweets…
We would usually pray together in the Afternoon (Asr) and Sunset (Maghrib) prayers.
When we’re ready to leave, my wife and children may want to visit their aunts, my wife’s friends’ houses (they used to visit their grandmother’s house).
I usually go back home after that, I would sometimes visit some friends or go to the tailor, hairdresser, or similar requirements, usually with my son.
I hope this sheds a light on a typical Qatari Friday.