Baobab Tree in Aspire Park

“It is a question of discipline. When you’ve finished your own toilet in the morning, then it is time to attend to the toilet of your planet, just so, with the greatest care. You must see to it that you pull up regularly all the baobabs, at the very first moment when they can be distinguished from the rose-bushes which they resemble so closely in their earliest youth…” (5.16).
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery

In addition to traveling together as family, we are avid fans of reading aloud to kids. We collect classic books and one of our  favorite is The Little Prince. Hence, our fascination to Baobab trees.

Baobab trees are the Africa’s iconic ” Tree of Life.”  Kinda like our Asia’s Coconut Tree – we call our high rising coconut trees as Tree of Life as well. 

Fun facts about Baobabs:

  • Baobab trees grow in 32 African countries.
  • They can live for up to 5,000 years, reach up to 30 metres high and up to an enormous 50 metres in circumference.
  • Baobab trees can provide shelter, food and water for animals and humans. A lot of savannah communities have made their homes near Baobab trees. 
  • Baobab bears fruit! And based on what we’ve read so far, Baobab fruit is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world. Hey, that’s what we say to our coconut!

Soon, we’ll be visiting baobabs in Africa, we know it would be a fantastic experience and family travel bucketlist to tick and enjoy. We also know that we’ll bring our worn out Little Prince book with us. Every time we read that book, there are a lot of realizations in life thay suddenly sparks our minds. Just like traveling. 

For the meantime, a more interesting information about baobab tree….

Drum rolls please!!! 

Did you know that there are baobab trees in Aspire Park, Doha, Qatar? To touch a real love baobab tree is like meeting Little Prince in person. There’s always a lot of reason to explore Qatar. Or any nearby neighborhood, for that matter. With curious eyes and wandering feet, we’ll  never know what we can discover. 

Our very own Little Princes and Baobab Tree with The Torch Doha in the Background 💜💙❤️

Qatar 6 : The Chemist Cafe 

“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” – John Steinbeck

What a breaking bad idea for a Cafe 😊

We probably found the coolest cafe ever for our family  and it’s in Qatar! This is coming from a family who enjoyed a unicorn-cafe theme in Bangkok, Thailand and of course, way back when we were very naively wanting to conform as family, enjoyed Mickey Mouse Cafe and Disney Princesses Cafe! 

Ohh look at that very engaged scientist wannabee! Strawberry Mojito served with Dry Ice, who knows it could be such a hit concept!

Scratch all those cafes, The Chemist Cafe is, by far, the best for The Turknoys. It’s Breaking Bad style, kinda like the family style we advocate to live, minus the illegal laboratory, and more on breaking free with science and gung-ho positivity. 

Because every little lady needs a concoction! ❤️

Everything a girl needs to get a drink

Awesome hang out place discoveries like this in  the country where we are based, in between traveling in different countries, is something we celebrate like a breakthrough! There was a time in Qatar for our family that McDonalds offering breakfast menu was the headline in our blog. Seriously. 

Drink in a Beaker, if the reactions fit, why not?! ❤️ So long it’s pink!

It’s really amazing how the people in the country opens up to all wonderful, state of the art, top class innovating ideas. That’s what we think of The Chemist Cafe. It’ll be a nice home education brainstorming go to place . 👍

Life is good being The Chemist ❤️

What’s the coolest  Cafe you’ve been? We want to know different concepts. Do you have similar Chemist Cafe concept in your country? Do tell. 

Qatar 5: Al Fuwairit Beach and Turtle Hatching

“And the turtles, of course… All the turtles are free, as turtles,  and maybe  all creatures should be.” -Dr.Seuss 

 

The turtle nesting season in Qatar starts April and since 2015, the Al Fuwairit Beach is closed during the season until the cute teeny tiny little turtles are off to their place in  the ocean.

Helping tiny turtle hatchlings go to their home in the Arabian Gulf is a very spectacular experience for all of us

The beach normally  opens again first two weeks of August. That would  be a tad hot to swim, not too hot to appreciate the sunset, the fine beach and the calm sea water.

 

Our family photo in Fuwairit Beach! We have the beach to ourselves ❤️
Life is always good at the beach

Maybe it’s our perfect timing to visit the beach, maybe it’s our  instinct way from crowd, but we never really see Al Fuwairit Beach crowded. If we are to describe the beach based on our  experience, it  would be the adjectives “desolate” and “serene.” We usually go  right after work hours of the week day to watch the sunset or Saturday afternoon when  everybody might be heading back to the  city for the work week.

 

The Al Fuwairit Beach is  almost 50-km away from center of the  city through Al Shamal Road. There are no  facilities such as shower, toilets or supermarket   but there will be at least two fuel stations with convenience stores for stop  over along the way .

 

The  kids always have a blast swimming or  just running around the long stretch of white beach.

Dad says Jump… Son says “How high?!”

We sincerely hope that the visitors will  not leave their trash behind to preserve the beauty  of the  Al Fuwairit Beach.  Just like anywhere in the world, nature preservation is the responsibility of every  one of us. If we can’t contribute,  the least we can do is not cause any damage.

It’s a blessing to live in a Peninsula Country. Beach around us! Add in sunset watching and life is always blessed and awesome!

Enjoy Al Fuwairit  Beach, but please..  please.. leave  only footprints and adventure memories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Qatar 4 -Al Wakra Beach and Park

“Every time I stand before a beautiful beach, its waves seem to whisper to me: If you choose the simple things and find joy in nature’s simple treasures, life and living need not be so hard.” – Psyche Roxas-Mendoza

 

Since we moved to a different  location in the  city, we  now lived more than an hour  way from any beach  in Qatar.  It’s not  really far, at all, although it will take a little getting used to. We’ve  lived less than  30 minute-drive away from  Al Wakra Beach  and  at any  point that our family want some unscheduled activity, we always end up going to hang out by  the Al Wakra Beach.

Then (2007) Night Life By the Beach And Now ..three kids after daytime fun!
Family Photo in Memory of Kisha (our departed dog)

We’ve done almost everything at Al Wakra Beach  – plane watching (way back to the  really old Doha Airpot) , Eid Celebrations, BBQ, Overnight Camping and endless family chatting and eating, hanging out by the kids playground . In  addition, Al Wakra Beach is a haven for the dogs and our dog lover family members.

 

BBQ with the first bin, was she really this small? ❤️

Three kids and two dogs will always be our memory of Al Wakra Beach

Beach is always a great idea especially for dad-daughter bonding

Al Wakra is another town from Doha, so we were technically going “out-of-town” everytime we visit the beach. Priceless family memories almost always  involve beaches.

 

Is it obvious who’s the dog lover in the family?
 
Yes, we conclude, have dogs and kids in Qatar? Al Wakra Beach is a perfect place to hang out at leisure. 

Qatar 3: Al Zubarah – Beach, Port and UNESCO Heritage!

 
All who are running on their father’s footsteps, are anyway running. – Qatari Proverb, which means the son will always do what the father does.
 

always fun at the beach early morning! the color of the sea is the color of the public transpo in Qatar!

Did you know that Al Zubarah is the remaining complete plan of an Arabian pearl-merchant town. Al Zubarah is a very unique archeological evidence to the human interaction with both sea and the harsh desert environment of the region.
 

Al Zubarah Fort

Kuwait traders founded the Al Zubarah village, imagine the geography now! When Al Zubarah was nominated to be a UNESCO heritage sites, our family was cynical about the entire UNESCO qualifications as we have been in the country for quite a few number of years. Yet, we started traveling, we have come to realize that Qatar is indeed a country full of treasures. It’s the harsh weather that is fascinating about the country and how the citizens and residents, then and now, respond to it. It’s a peninsula country surrounded by the Persian Gulf with mainly desert terrain and yet, there are lots of treasures in any form with a defined Islamic and Qatari culture embedded in daily lives.
 

old house in old desert village
somewhere in the middle of the desert – a carving yet to be interpreted by archeologists in Qatar.

We have been to other UNESCO heritage sites with less. We are proud Qatar residents that this site is included in the ever famous UNESCO Heritage list and we take every opportunity to visit the area whenever we could!

Discoveries in desert are always golden!
 
family discoveries in the desert are worth more than gold!

The pristine bluish-green beach is a site worth driving 2 hours already! Add in the architecture of the port and the history hidden it the archeological site and if we are lucky, there are camels and sunset!
 

It’s a guaranteed full, stimulating and fun day of exploring in Al Zubarah!

sunset and history in desert, we just love this kind of day

 

Qatar 2: Sculpture in the Desert Nature Reserve


“I consider space to be a material. The articulation of space has come to take precedence over other concerns. I attempt to use sculptural form to make space distinct.” – Richard Serra
 

One hot sunny afternoon . We were the very first to see the art installion!
Three years on, another hot, sunny, beautiful summer day in Broque Nature Reserve enjoying Richard Serra’s Art Installations

Another favorite weekend place for our family is the Brouq Nature Reserve especially when the the Richard Serra art installations of four steel plates, over fourteen metres in height each with their perfect alignments has been completed in the reserve. Modern steel art in our favorite country by a well-respected artist in his field. That sounds spectacular to call Qatar home for us.

The art by Richard Serra is titled East-West/ West- East. We love the desert nature reserve and wide desert space with its unique limestone formation all over the art installations. The landscape is simply breathtaking. Especially we look far out and see the span of Persian Gulf and walk along its beach line.

Borooq Nature Reserve is really a unique destination in Qatar!

Add in a good desert weather, amidst the season, hot and humid or cold and windy, it’s a full day out for the family. There’s no wrong weather, only wrong clothes, as we always say, so we always come prepared whenever we come to Brouq Nature Reserve.

Limestone formations are such a joy to climb, different textures than sand , soil or dunes!

limestones formation, always a joy to conquer!
top of the world of limestones formation

This place never fails to make us appreciate the beauty of desert landscape and its wonder. There is always beauty in our surrounding, even without the green! The grass is always not better when it’s greener. At some awesome times, the grass is better when it’s wild, free and growing in the desert.

Isn’t it a wonder how some living things thrive in the barren desert? Awesome wonder of nature! And wonder of life.. 🙂

 

This husband/ wife photo is taken by our eldest Turknoy inspired an ode to a 10-year-old -desert-love

 Ten years together. 
 East West/ West East 

North South/ South North.. 

 Together yet not interdependent. 

 You are you. I am I. You I/ I You. 

 Because being together is a choice. 

Not dependency. ❤️❤️❤️ 

Qatar 1: Singing Sand Dunes of Qatar

“What makes the desert so beautiful,” said the Little Prince, “is that it hides a well.”
 

“They’re sleeping in there or else they are yawning. Only the children are pressing their noses against the windowpanes.” “Only the children know what they are looking for.” “All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.” “What makes the desert beautiful,’ said the little prince, ‘is that somewhere it hides a well…” (Quotes from The Little Prince)

Our family didn’t love traveling instantly. It was a slow courting process for the parents and kids to love exploring. We used to be conformist to any society’s standards. Got married, checked! Got kids, checked! Put the kids in the best school we could possible afford, checked! Went to church and mosque religiously, checked!

Life became routine and predictable. We are very grateful. That is one value our family will always have – being grateful to whatever circumstances and predictability life hands to us. Yet, we can’t help but hear the silent questions of our hearts and minds.

“AND THEN WHAT?!”

 
What happens when a family wants something more? What happens when every family member questions all society’s standards? We are in our journey and we don’t have the answers just yet but this we are very sure of: When you start questioning the validity and existence of one norm, such as education and traditional family lifestyle, there is no turning back. We just had to question all norms and the “why” we do the things we do day in and day out, like robots, like zombies, like programmed applications in a matrix.
 
That is why we like hanging out in the desert. The Singing Sand Dunes of Qatar close to Al Kharara is our favorite place in Qatar, whatever the weather! Yes, even in the middle of summer when the temperature is scorching 55++ degree- Celsius!

Sand dunes in the winter

 
Sand dunes in the summer!

There is something about the beauty of the sand dunes, dependent to the blowing of the wind, yet standing firm and proud to its desert background while humming its sand dune songs!

We may be an ordinary expat family in Qatar, yet we have our ambitions and goals as family. We go where the wind blows, especially with the unpredictable world economy nowadays, yet to stand firm and proud to our family’s quests and questioning while we hum our family quests song unique from all the songs of other family!
 

Sand dunes are better explored bare foot!

The Singing Sand Dunes of Qatar is a must-see for all Qatar residents, visitors and tourists! During winter, this is the perfect place of hanging out with friends for a BBQ and bon fire, sand duning, sand tobogganing, climbing cardio exercises and a lot more activities! It’s a great hang out for kids.
no filter !
 
Great playground for kids with free play-all-you can sand dunes! Our family has seen the sunrise and sunset from the Singing Sand Dunes of Qatar, both spectacular nature wonder at work.
 
Most of the time, what we actually question in life has no right and wrong answers. Those who claim, they have it all figured out and they know the right answers are all wrong. And we are mostly sure, they didn’t watch the sun rises or setting from the sand dunes or desert!
 

Sunset, Sun Dunes, Desert and a lot of Life’s Questions

Maybe life should never have answers. Maybe deserts contain hidden wells, yet again maybe none.
 
Does it matter really? When we can survive life without water?

different lovely shades of brown